Hotel Roger

We've arrived in Los Lagos, a quiet, lost town along the Ruta Cinco, too close to anywhere to thrive on tourism despite its wonderful location. It has one place to stay, 'Hotel Roger', a run down, once thriving place, with peeling paint, still stuck in the 1960s with shared bathrooms and an old matriarchal hotel owner who has lived in it alone for so long it feels as though you are imposing on her in her 30 bedroom home. Amazing and sad, it has seen better times. At least we brought some life to it for a couple of rainy days, fires were lit to dry our clothes, Cuban music played in the dining room, elderly maids returned from their homes and our 80 year old hostess got her hair done with the proceeds of our visit. She loved our little Leo, we loved parking our bikes in the ballroom and that there was no one to disturb apart from her.

The only people using the hotel were a kayak club who stored their kayaks in the garden of this prime riverfront real estate. They helped it come to life on the few mornings that they used it and the guy who ran the club spoke excellent English and was able to explain that Chileans like it posh with all mod-cons and that now the roads are better and cars faster, Los Lagos and Hotel Roger stood no chance. Amazingly he had represented Chile in the Barcelona Olympics and had four sons who he was pushing in the same direction. We stayed 2 nights and quite liked Los Lagos for its chilled, uncertain atmosphere and its myriad of thrift shops, 'pelukueria' or hair dressers, 'Commercial Cindy's' department store and the great graffiti.

Hotel Roger, a set on Flickr.

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