When told “no worries” – panic.

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Arriving anywhere early evening the day before a major festival without booking a room is not to be recommended. Invariably it’s dark, hunger is setting in and the bus journey has tested even the most laid back traveller’s patience. We often end up in this situation because my friend had blind faith that everything will turn out fine in a typical Aussie “no worries” way that tends to drove me to distraction. Having travelled with him for some time now I know that when he utters that phrase I have every reason to panic.

So to Trujillo, Peru. We chose a place that had a good write up, didn’t bother to book and arrived after a 16 hour bus journey. After walking into reception the owner tried to sell us a tour even before we had secured a room. Now if there is one thing I loathe its people giving me the hard sell. For example shop assistants that trail after when you have declined their help uttering “that looks nice…….., you can try on…….. not at work today?………we have it in other colours………I’m following you because I think you are going to steal something”. The more they persist the more determined I become not to buy anything and end up walking out of the shop. Therefore when the owner continued her sales pitch, despite the fact that we politely told her we just wanted to check in and have a shower, I was ready to leave. Luckily, before I had the chance to execute an about turn and march out the receptionist informed us that there was a major festival the next day, the town was full but he had a room. Although it was not en suite there was shower and toilet directly outside the room that he would partition off so we could have exclusive use of it.

We were in a similar situation in Laos once when we arrived the evening before New Year – except Mitch had a broken leg. “No worries, it won’t be a problem” I quoted back at him after we had trudged/hopped around the town looking for accommodation to no avail. We finally fell into a restaurant which by luck had rooms and a late cancellation. Expensive but better than sleeping rough. Other travellers had less success and ended up in a beauty parlour sleeping on the massage tables.

Not wishing a repeat performance of this incident we took the room. Unfortunately, the hostel was full of teenagers who ignored the screen around our room/“en suite” and the next day they sneaked in while we were having breakfast. When I went for a shower the bathroom looked like a bunch of dirty hippos had been having a party in it. I tried to explain to the owner that I was not prepared to pay for an ensuite when in fact most of the hotel was using it as a public play pool. She was not interested. We decided to search for another hotel but in our haste locked our door and left the key inside.

“No worries” said my Mitch “they’ll have a spare”.

They didn’t and being fiesta day no one was available to help. The owner was still not interested as she was now trying to get her son to the parade. Giving up on the idea of going anywhere that day we headed off ready to party with the locals.

“Can you remember where it starts?” I asked.

“No worries, it’s a small town, we’ll find it ” he replied.

I’m sure you can guess the rest.

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