Friday, June 12, 2009
Worst Hospadaje I ever stayed in - Twice.
Just across the street from the Navimag port in Puerto Montt, is one of thedreariest looking street I've seen in Chile. Worse than port front in Quellon, on Chiloe. Beginning with the missing chunks of concrete which had they not been missing, would have covered five-foot deep holes into which smelly green water gushes. A nice compliment is a light pole that is the mother of all light poles in Chile, so tangled with electrical wires I'm surprised it is still standing or that the whole street hasn't burned down.
I shouldn't mention the name of it because it is run by a very sweet, very old woman and there is nothing to worry about...If the facade of the building doesn't discourage you, the odor when you open the half-hanging front doors will. The rooms don't lock and have no door knobs, apparently no one would think anyone choosing to stay there would have anything to steal. The rooms were painted in garish colors...about 50 years ago with lead paint, and now have a lovely mold tint where masking tape and old electrical sockets have been torn from the walls. The electrical outlets which remain are verboten! It is so cold you must sleep with your clothes on, including your coats, which also helps because apparently the only attention the rooms appear to get is that the beds are made. I didn't say washed. Smoking in the rooms would only improve the smell.
The shared bathroom toilet wobbles precariously and the flush handle has been replaced with a piece of string with a beer tab tied to it. It appears that someone has attempted to clean the torn gray linoleum floor at one point in time...by rubbing it with red paste wax. Other patrons apparently have an aversion to flushing the toilet.
The only clean area in the whole place is the old lady's kitchen. She is up at 7 am, in her robe and head scarf, stoking the wood stove, scrambling eggs and setting a communal breakfast.
So now you might wonder why we stayed twice. The first time was on our way up from Futa to Temuco. The ship arrived, it's late, Greg was in agony and could barely walk, we were wiped out and too tired to care. The hospadaje is right across the street. And it is 3,500 pesos a person (About $6 p/p). The second time, we were going from Temuco to Puerto Montt making our way home, and took a taxi from the bus station to Navimag, expecting to get on the ship to Chaiten. It turns out that within the week since we made plans to return home, the ship scheduled changed and there we stood on the dock, no ship in sight (at least not one that was going to Chaiten) and all our bags. The next boat wasn't until the next afternoon. It was dark, and cold and once again we were too tired to care. We said "screw it"...walked across the street, opened the front doors to the pungent, familiar smell, lugged our bags up the stairs where the old lady was thrilled to see us again. Twice in a month and a half.