Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hostel Insomnia

I thought I would put togther my thoughts on hostels and places we have stayed at so far because there has been quite a mix! We decided to use as many hostels while travelling as possible to drive the cost of the trip down. With that comes a dorm room...or in some places they should call them a bacteria room. Dorms range anywhere from a private room 2 bed with shared or private ensuite into the 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12 and 16 bed my view you could write an algorithm to help youto calculate how little sleep or how many germs you might acquire and this might be multiplied by the number of people who can potentially provide a distraction and wake you up. So you might walk into a hostel thinking its layout, free internet, free breakfast is spot on, the beds might look comfortable but once the sleeping starts you get the snoring, the sleep shouting (no not talking), opening of doors, switching on the light during the night, slamming doors, opening lockers, scratching around in backpacks filled with plastic bags, talking loudly, mobile phones going off and the list goes welcome to the world of insomnia...I usually love a healthly 7 to 8 hours sleep a night but I think that average is down around 4 to 5 hours now but I have been offsetting that with a strategically placed poppa nap in the afternoon where possible. A number of things we can highly recommend to push your sleep average higher are a good eye mask...preferrably a fabric one in case you sweat from the temperature and earplugs, we got a stack of ebay before we left and it was the best purchase ever...only thing they dont totally cancel out is the noise from talking...but still worth it!

Aside of these negatives Hostels are a great place to meet people from all over the world and share information and experiences. There are some Hostels in Sth America that have been really great, you can see that they have really thought about the layout, service, good staff etc etc to make your stay easy and comfortable.

Some ones worth noting for good and bad reasons:

- Our apartment in Rio on Copacabana beach, not a hostel but worth noting...the guys we went through also arranged tickets to Sambodrome for us also. So if you are after something not a hostel in Rio let me know, our man Mauro was very helpful.

-Hostel Botafogo - poor hostel in terms of layout and design...9 bed dorms (yuck) with triple bunks with one fan in the room. Only 3 showers in the whole hostel and toilets were inside the shower rooms! muppets.

- Puerto Iguazu Aregntinian side - Marco Polo Hostel Inn (also another one by the same owner 5km out of town called Hostel Inn). arguably the best hostel we have stayed in - almost like a 3 star hotel, aircon in the rooms, quiet dorms, swimming pool, nice bar and happy hour, awesome staff with great service that will book you tickets, and run around after anything you need. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

- Casa Brasil - Florianopolis - it rained the whole time we were there but this hostel made it worth the stay, we were given a really nice double room for a fraction more per night so thsi made the stay more comfortable. This place was more like someones house...frash baked bread cooked for breakfast, in house bar with great Capairinhas, free internet. Hammocls outside under cover to chill out and read your book.

- Hostel Estoril - Buenos Aires - probably the best so far, won south american hostel of the year. 6 floor hostel in downtown BA..each floor has a manager and takes care of your needs...more like a sharehouse. Rooftop garden with bar that overlooks BA, awesome. free internet, kitchen to cook your own food, free breakfast of croissants and freshly squeezed orange juice, tea coffee etc..yum.

well best get myself ready for the Football today - off to see Boca Juniors at the Bombonera!

signing off

Mr SJ Peric
Hostel Operations Manager

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