This is a Hostelling International Hostel in Arica.
I picked this hostel in a rush, feeling pressured by my taxi driver to come up with a destination and quick. My friend and I had been on the road since 5 a.m. (coming in from Arequipa, Peru). We were pooped. We settled. We promised to never settle again, regardless of how exhausted we were.
The hostel is out of town. Close to the bus station, but a collectivo ride away from downtown and the beaches.
The owner, Ricardo (I think), was very friendly. It was just such a delight to speak English to someone other than my friend. He said he had been napping (it was 5 p.m.). He smelt of alcohol. That should have been our first clue. He was also a big fan of the F. word.
The painting on the front gate is attractive. The tags on the inside, not so much.
We're offered the dorm room. We're to share with a guy (failed to mention our roommate was middle aged and a smoker). There are penises drawn around the room. One, on the ceiling, is three feet long. The shower is leaking. The plumber will be here shortly, he says. He was. That part was ok.
"Party tonight!" we're told. Sounds pleasant. A BBQ for his friend's birthday.
My friend and I returned at 9 p.m. from our quick visit around Arica. The party's getting started. We're told to put on our pretty dresses and come join in. Unfortunately, we're so tired, that we just plop down on our bunks and pass out.
Now this review gets really bitter.
The owner, and a gang of party goers come to get us to join the party within an hour. My friend is poked in the butthole to get her to wake up. I'm just poked in the arm. The owner says he'll return in an hour so as to let us get some rest before the party. Our roommate also came in, to get changed for the party. He started smoking in the room. Party goers came in to wake us up another time. And finally, the owner came in himself at about 10:30 p.m. I pretended to be asleep. He huffed that he "gave me 2 hours to sleep, and now I'm not even getting up." This sounded so high school. He's middle aged.
The music was playing loudly until 6 a.m. (I checked my watch.) I slept with my earplugs on. Fortunately I was so tired that I could sleep through anything.
I thought it was severely unprofessional for the owner of the establishment to harass us through the night, even though we were sleeping. I also thought it was unprofessional to play music loudly until sunrise.
We were never given keys to our room. There was nowhere to safely store our belongings. We relied on trust that our grey-haired roommate was not going to swipe our stuff.
Breakfast was included. Buns and butter. Gross looking jam jars.
There was hot water. The shower was moldy.
There was the use of a kitchen in our room. I doubt its cleanliness.
The next night we stayed at the Jardin del Sol hostel in Arica, proper. They were phenomenal.
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