The address was right, but it looked like it was an apartment dwelling,with 6 buttons to ring the residents. I didn’t see any sign for a hostal anywhere.
After rolling my roller luggage in circles trying to find anything that looked like a hostal, I decided to ask these 2 older gentlemen in front of a used furniture shop. They said something about going down the street and taking a right blah blah blah.
I decided to use maps.me and find a hostal on my own.
Apparently, a typical thing in Antofagasta is to list apartments for rent on Booking.com. Not official hostals. About the 3rd hostal, I finally find a sign: “Hostal D’Milan.
The door is opened by a huge Chilean guy named Juan Carlos. I managed to express in my rough spanish that I needed a room. He shows me a room with three beds, and after some miscommunication I gather that I would be the only one in the room. I say, “Fine,” tired of going in circles. After that, he drops it:
There are no locks on the door to my room, or any interior room, for that matter.
At any other time I would have bolted. But my gut said he was true to his word when he said he would watch closely, and that I shouldn’t worry. That, and my cable lock decided it for me.
Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Juan Carlos and his wife Merlida took quite good care of me. Juan even took me around in his car, showing me his beachside home, and trucked me to one of the sights: La Portada, a dramatic beach with huge waves, cliffs and even Condors circling. That night, we drank jote (Red wine and Coca cola) cervezas including a Michelada (beer+salt+lemon juice), and ate boiled oysters and clams till I could hold no more.
He even took me in his car to get bus tickets out to San Pedro a couple days prior to my trip, and said he would take me on my bus out in the morning of the trip.
Hostal owners aren’t so charitable, but these two were. Don’t let the unlocked doors fool you – this is the place to stay in Antofagasta!
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