San Pedro de Atacama: Day 1

Friday 12/11/15

With motion sickness, elevation sickness, the flu and jetlag, I finally make it to my hotel in San Pedro de Atacama: Hotel Takha Takha.  

The weather was pretty nice (mid 70’s) and as I walked up to the gate, they buzzed me in.  This kind of threw up a red flag as to why they would need an extra level of security, but later I figured it’s so people who didn’t pay for lodging could not sneak in.  At the check in counter, was a very warm and friendly girl who spoke English.  

In front of her on the floor was this very large sleeping dog.  There were a lot of street dogs in Chile. Barely being able to stand, I gave my passport and credit card for check in.  Shortly after, they were returned to me and she gave me my key: Bungalow #22 (right by the pool).

As I entered the room, I noticed that the seal around the door wasn’t very tight.  This only concerned me because I tend to get hit with bug bites.

The room had no TV, no Wi-Fi, no Air Conditioner, and no insulation.  The insulation was very apparent because the room was much hotter than it was outside.  I could also CLEARLY hear someone sneeze two bungalows over.  Those were the bungalows with no connecting walls to me.  It took me a while to realize this though.  Pretty much the entire first day I didn’t leave my room and just watched TV shows on my computer with the volume blasting.  When I CLEARLY heard the people in the room next to me talking softly, that confirmed my suspicions.  I listened with earphones from then on.

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I didn’t think the room was that nice until after walking around the hotel grounds (it’s also part camp site) and some of the surrounding areas.  By comparison, I had a very nice room and it did make me feel a little better about it.  It’s the most I’ve paid for a room ($75 USD) since I’m used to travel hacking I pay very little.  But this place was out of travel hacking’s reach.  The next day I was at about 80% health and still dreaded being on a tour all day.  I stayed in sick again but researched tours that I wanted to from then on.  I booked several tours for the rest of my stay.  I pre-paid for them and was determined to go adventuring even if I had to load up on medicine.



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