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The missing boots

Written on: Saturday February 23rd, 2008

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Puerto Natales, Chile 

Author: Julie 

Hola! 

Woke up this morning to a great breakfast put on by the Erratic Rock crew with lots of eggs, toast, cereal, and the best part in Kevin?s opinion: real coffee. It has been difficult for him to find real grain coffee in South America. Few restaurants serve anything but Nescafe Instant and the groceries shelves are only stocked with the same. Seems that Nescafe has quite the monopoly on the continent with plenty of advertisement everywhere and sponsorship of various sports teams. After breakfast, we had to check out of our room since we had originally booked one night and had pre-purchased our bus tickets to El Calafate, Argentina for this morning. Unfortunately, we would have to stick around for the day to see if my boots could be found and we would need a room for the night. Erratic was fully booked but we did have the option of crashing in the dorm room of the crashpad of their annex building. First we had to see what could be done for us. We quickly found Bill, the incredibly helpful co-owner, to see what our options were. I was hoping a phone call could find them if not I would have to hop a bus to and from the park for the day to search for them. I was really hoping that wasn?t the case. He made a few calls including to the park office, a couple of bus companies, and finally after multiple tries due to dead phone lines he reached the shuttle company that had transported us from the lake to the park entrance for our second bus connection. They had found my boots and with lots of careful prodding, since they didn?t seem to want to be too accommodating, he convinced them to drop them on the late outgoing bus returning to Puerto Natales. I was so glad they had found them! He did recommend that we go over to their office in town later on in the afternoon to say thank you and at the same time to remind them to ship them. From what we can understand quality client service is somewhat lacking in this place. The tourists are always going to come not matter what, so they can afford to be a little moody in their dealings. 

We had a few hours left before we had to drop into the office so we walked around a bit trying to see what other hostels were in the area. We managed to find a nice place for the night but didn?t move over till much later. We spent a good part of the day at Erratic Rock. As a thank you for all their help, Kevin offered his IT skills to the owners to help out with a few connection problems. He managed to tweak a few things and make things run a lot smoother for them. When it came time to move our stuff over to the other place, we were a little sad to leave since they were so helpful and nice. 

Time came and we walked over to Hotel Glaciares where the bus shuttle company was located. I was quite happy to say thank you over and over since they had saved me quite a bit of money by not having to buy a new pair or having to take the bus back to the park. The guy at the desk assured me that they would be on the bus and would be back in town by 9 PM that night. All we had to do was come over and they would be holding on to them in the office for us. So nice! With more time on our hands while we waited, we stopped at the bus company where we had pre-booked our bus tickets to Argentina to see if we could change the dates of our tickets, but unfortunately like we expected, we had to buy new tickets for the next morning. 

Finally at 9 PM, with fingers crossed, we walked over the office and there sitting on the counter were my boots. I was ecstatic to see them. I love them and have had them for quite a few years. They?ve been all over the world with me, including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro a few years ago. I couldn?t imagine doing this trip without them, plus they are broken in just comfortably right.