Battling the Birds

Trip Start Feb 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 20, 2008

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Flag of Peru  , Huacachina,
Thursday, May 15, 2008

We arrived at Huacachina with no reservations, as Robbie had insisted that "we'll be fine!". Unfortunately, El Huacachinero, with swimming pool and pretty rooms, was booked out until the end of the week.

Our cab driver was nice enough to drive us around seeking other hostels, but alas. All were full.

Our second choice, Hostal Salvatierra, also with a pool, was full for the week.

We finally ended up at Hostal Rocha, a family-run property. It was dank & dark, and the kitchen was visibly scruffy. Still, we stored our bags as we awaited check-in, and proceeded for breakfast.

In the backyard was a pool which, upon inspection, turned out to have cloudy water. Several big green PARROTS roamed the gardens, and there was a monkey tethered to a branch with a leash.

Ermmmm...... I was upset inside and it was hard to contain my frustration. I was someone who preferred planning ahead, and I didn't think making a reservation was out of line. Now, I had to spend my birthday in this dump?!

It got worse as the biggest parrot walked towards us, and proceeded to jump onto the table beside us and tried to eat the woman's breakfast.

Needless to say, I was quite freaked out, but essentially helpless as, in this town of 200 people, accomodation options within our budget range were limited. There were 2 other fancy looking places, but they cost US$30 per person per night, rather than our US$6 in this bird-infested place.

We went for a stroll so as to escape the birds, and soon came across a very spiffy looking restaurant. It had a sign that indicated a hostel as well, so we ventured in and were met by the friendly young Jose who enthusiastically showed us around. It was spanking new, with potpourri in the bathrooms and designer taps, but so new that it wasn't listed in guidebooks yet!

Sure, the rooms haven't been retrofitted yet, so, while clean, the decor was dated. Still, it was a BIRD-FREE ZONE!

We decided to move, since Hospedaje del Barco ("hostel of the ship"?) was the same price for a much better environment. This hostel had a cool restaurant/bar area, faced the boardwalk and had views of the oasis. So we returned to the first place and told them we were moving. Immediately, a young guy at Hostal Rocha (presumeably the son) started yelling rudely at us, saying that they had to turn people away because of us, and claimed that they threw out the previous guests so we could check in early.

H-a-h-a. Untrue because his Dad had said earlier that they were cleaning the baņo (bathroom), when we arrived (i.e.: the room was already vacant).
Whatever it was, Ed suggested we could stay 1 night as restitution for their trouble, but I said to that guy that we're gonna leave because his attitude sucks.

The Dad at the place merely said Ok, it's alright, and took the news.
We paid him for bag storage (AND he already made 18 soles off of us for breakfast) and were on our way.
For a place listed in the LonelyPlanet, i'm pretty damn sure they would be filled without any problems, since every other LP-listed place was full.
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