Days 305 – 364 – January 1st – March 1st, 2015.
Trying to find a place to stay for our two months in Santiago was proving to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I knew finding a place to stay for Christmas in Valparaiso and Vina del Mar over New Year would be difficult, but for two months in Santiago, I had not.
AirBnB was very expensive and very limited for our dates. House sitting was non-existent, and staying in hostels for two months would be a real challenge, especially with lots of work scheduled.
Time was running out. I enquired in a few forums online, a few places were suggested, however these turned out non starters, either very expensive or not vacant. When I say expensive, we do have a budget, and even though if ‘push comes to shove’ we can certainly pay whatever, that’s just not what we want to do.
At the beginning of my search, I had found a place on AirBnB, but when trying to book it wouldn’t let me. I had given up hope with it, but during my dispar I was checking back through my conversations and submissions on the site and noticed that it was still free. I tried again to book it, no luck, obviously something wrong with their booking calendar.
After doing some detective work, following a name on one of the photos from their page, I found a website and then a Facebook page. After contacting them on both fronts I got a reply.
“At last something, in the nick of time”
The only problem was with the payment. They wanted a deposit paying in to an account in Santiago. This didn’t work for us, we don’t pay anyone where we have no guarantee of having a place. We were left with it as a trust thing, we’d turn up and they’d have the place. Kind of scary really and very uncertain. It got to one point when Moni freaked out and wrote a stern email, to which they replied immediately confirming all was good and the place was ours for sure.
The girls met us at Santiago bus station, them recognising me straight away, (do I stand out so much)? A feeling of relief flushed over me and off we walked to their car, me carrying the two heavy rucksacks lagging behind, in my overjoyed little world.
The car, or should I say a bubble on wheels
They opened the car boot and all I could do was laugh. It was so small I couldn’t get the suitcase in. Only space for one rucksack, the rest would have to go in the car. Next problem… only three doors. Moni got in the back seat, I passed her the second rucksack. Two bags to go, I couldn’t get in with the bag, I had to get first, and have the suitcase passed to me. Next problem, it doesn’t fit through the door and through to the back seat…
Solution found, the sun roof. With the sun roof open the 20kg suitcase was passed through to me, thanks to a man that was near by. (He actually works the parking spaces for small donations). I had the suitcase… not the most comfortable but hey it was in. The second lady that met us (they are sisters) sat in the front and took Moni’s pink carry on. (Not sure why they both came, especially with so little space).
The ride was 12 minutes of heavy uncomfortable, face squashed to bags, journey. I tried to record the ride, take a look.
“We arrived at the apartment block”
A huge building in the area called Mapocho. Our place is on the fourth floor with a view from the back of the building to the pool and garage.
Once we had dumped the bags in the apartment we had to go out to get some cash to pay the lady’s. Next problem, not one, not two, but all of the cash dispensing machines were out-of-order or out of cash, I’m talking 12 machines!!. apparently it’s a common thing here in the city.
Why didn’t we have enough to pay? Well, from the 30th in Valparaiso till now every machine was the same, not in use. Plus, lots of machines are actually inside the banks and are locked up after hours, crazy I know. The whole point of a cash point machine is to have access when the banks are closed…
We actually got it all sorted on the Monday and all were happy, if not relieved.
Take a look at the apartment
It has one bedroom with en suite and walk in robe. A tv in the room with movie channels galore all included.
The entrance is directly into the kitchen which is small and compact. It now has everything you need, the few things that were missing, the ladies got for us within a few days. The only downside is the size of the refrigerator. It’s basically a mini bar fridge. Lucky for us, the markets are close by and we can buy stuff often. Plus it helps that I can whip up a three course dinner in no time.
The lounge dining area which is all in one, has a large glass table, a coffee table, a fold down couch/bed for an extra person. Like most of these types of couch, very uncomfortable.
The floor to ceiling doors open on to the smallest of balconies, it’s only 37 centimeters deep, not big enough to put a chair on, but at least you can stand out on it.
Overall, the place is very neat and just perfect for our needs. It has Internet, which for the first month was good, then it went very average and about a week ago it was fixed by a techie and now is blitz fast.
This place has been great for us and we would definitely book it again.
It also has a gym and laundry on the ground floor. On the top floor is a BBQ area and 360 degree views.
The top of the building allows for a 360 degree view over Santiago, take a look
Have you stayed in Santiago? How was your vistit? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.