Santa ROsa, California
April 12, 2002
We had difficulty booking the room from Spain (despite our speaking French, English, and Spanish fluently we still couldn't communicate well - apparently Portuguese was her only language, despite being right next to Spain in a touristy area!). She denied we'd made a reservation (this turned out to be a common theme in Portugal), and said all the rooms were full. It was late in the evening by this time, and we didn't feel like going out and looking for another hotel. After 5 minutes of "discussion" suddenly she found us a spotless room, and it turned out most of the hotel was empty, too.
In fact, while we were in there "sorting out" the problem, another Spanish-speaking man came in, had the same problem, gave up, and left.
The room was very clean, and had a comfortable bed. It was extremely well located, minutes away from a great pizza restaurant (pizza IS vegetarian dining in Portugal), and minutes away from the main pedestrian district. It took us about 10 minutes to walk there from the bus station.
In Portugal, don't take "no" for an answer - and budget hotel reservations - even those made with a credit card - don't mean much!
From journal Overnight in Faro, coming from Seville