We left Tacna at 8:45 am and drove 30 km to Peruvian border control. We were finished there in minutes. Not so at the Chilean border control. It was a nightmare. For the first time in all of our many South American border crossings, we were required to empty the car and put each suitcase on a conveyor belt through the x-ray machine. How many suitcases do we have? There were 13!
Dimitri vowed that he was never going to cross that border again. Certainly not to drive back to Peru to go to Machu Picchu. Well, we did have to cross that border again in 2008. Click here to see that posting and the new challenge we had there.
Dimitri wanted to stay at the sister hotel in Iquique of the apart-hotel we stayed at earlier in the year (click here to read about our stay in January 2007). The sister hotel is a nice, new upscale hotel on the water. It's called
Hotel Terrado Suites, Los Rieles 126, Peninsula de Cavancha, Iquique (57) 488-000, e-mail: email@example.com. We heavily negotiated a rate of $154-20%=$122 for a standard suite for one night. It turned out to be the second nightmare of the day.
We were tired and ornery and we then learned that there was to be a fashion show/party at the pool level below our room. We had a nice dinner at the hotel's restaurant and then the fashion show began. It was supposed to end at 10 p.m. Of course it didn't. We looked at every available room and the sound was the same. When the music became unbearable, I went downstairs and met with Carlos Operations manager. He said all of the wrong things to me and I got increasingly irrational.
He said that when negotiating the price of the room, Dimitri agreed that there was to be a fashion show/party. I said of course we knew there was to be a fashion show/party, but I said what we didn't know was that it was to be unbelievably loud and that we couldn't get a good night's sleep before our long drive the next day.
I had a tantrum. Carlos continued to say all of the wrong things to me, including that a fashion show like the one they were having that night was more important revenue for the hotel than selling hotel rooms!
The bottom line was that Carlos said we did not have to pay for the room. And when we left the next day after breakfast, we did not have to pay for the room.