Hip Hip Hooray! A last minute booking through Airbnb!
They always sent those roaring mails, those big companies, but well, I’m glad there is another booking. I think it’s an itsy bitsy exaggerated, as if they pretend the world has been saved, but of course I’m happy that there is a new reservation for the weekend.
It is low season. It is not full. Logical. It’s the same everywhere
Even at the new hotel a bit further down the road are but a few cars out front, while they have 125 rooms.
Immediately after this the phone rings for first time. There is the new booker, indicating that they were hiking, and they’re going to have dinner first. “That is very nice to let me know, thank you!”
“We are now in the Armazéns de Lavos, and then we go towards Soure?” the man asks, and when I answer, I secretly fear the worst.
For years, I state the full address and coordinates – all I could find on the internet to indicate our address – on our website, and I put that automatically also all intermediariessites, plus written directions from various sides.
If anyone books, directly or through an intermediary, I send an email with the link to our website along with the recommendation to keep these directions at hand in case the gps doesn’t know anymore.
That was in response to a New Year’s Eve in 2006
It was fully booked, and everybody had arrived quite early, except for 2 couples.
At 8 o’clock the first one called: “We are now at a lamppost in a forest, where do we go now?”
Not long after the other guests-to-be called: “We are at a church in a village, where should we go?”
This is a bit exaggerated, but not really. I spent the whole New Year’s Eve with these two couples on the phone, and it was quite a sweat “to talk them in”. They had nothing to do with one another, and came from totally different directions. So I had to concentrate really well to know who this was, and where they were.
This was not so unusual
Many more Portuguese went on the road with not much more than “Termas-da-Azenha” and the phone number. And then they started calling. Very difficult and very time consuming.
Oops, there goes my phone again: “We are in Vinha da Rainha, but what now?” O dear, here we go again? I’m trying to find out exactly where they are. And also which direction the car is headed.
The man just stays on the phone. “We drive past a few houses …. ah, there is a church …. Now I see a school on the right. … ”
Stop! Wait! A school? At the right side of the road? Oops, that’s too far the other way. They have to go back. So they were headed to the wrong side, but it is very difficult to see that through the phone.
It was quite funny, him just staying on the line this way
Some people call back all the time, others – like this senhor – just stay on the phone until I’m on the road waving at them.
“This was quite tricky to find”, they say while getting out of the car, but fortunately they did not become cranky. They are used to searching. They do geochaching. Treasure hunting.
I find that funny. Termas-da-Azenha is indeed a treasure you want to find. Knowing this, I always send the directions-link when people book. Not everybody likes to go treasure hunting.
The next day they give the ab-so-lute-ly correct coordinates as a parting gift. And they took a warm farewell, they found it very nice and special.
They’ll recommend it to their friends!
I think that’s worth a hip hip hooray! Especially when the next day I received a good review through Airbnb in the mail!