Starting out at noon on Wednesday, my husband and I headed to the Buffalo Airport where we caught a flight to New York City; made a connection to Lisbon, Portugal; waited two hours for a flight from Lisbon to Faro; took our first taxi to the train station and caught a train from Faro to Lagos on the coast; and had a final taxi ride to the Carvi Hotel, where we are staying two nights until our condo (rented through a home-share rental site) is available.
Now, I know how fortunate we are to be able to travel, but all in all, the trip took us 24 hours. We are not quite fortunate enough to be able to travel first class so we got very little sleep in our cramped seats Wednesday night.
We’re okay with that–lose sleep, get a little stiff and cranky–but get out of Dodge! The weather in Lagos beat Buffalo’s icy-, snowy-21 degrees F. by a long shot: sunny, low 70s F. To put it mildly though, we were pretty shot when we arrived. Had a bit of a nap, a great dinner, and a good night’s sleep. Thank God we were staying at a hotel because this morning when we tried to contact the owner of our rental condo, no luck!
We had two phone numbers for him, neither of which worked from our cell phones. We contacted the numbers on WhatsApp. Nothing. We spent an hour trying to reach him, finally going to the front desk and asking Carlos at reception to help. He informed us the phone numbers we had were not even Portuguese phone numbers. Our three-week booking in paradise was beginning to look like a figment of our imaginations. We sent an email to the host and crossed our fingers.
At the end of the day we got an answer from our host with: the house manager’s name and phone number, the complete address of the condo, the news that he needed our passport numbers, and that we had to pay a $250 euro security fee in cash up front when we arrive. We’ll get the money back when we leave, provided we haven’t caused any damages and–didn’t we get all this information before??? Ummm, no!
I shudder to think what it would have been like if we were supposed to go directly to this condo (thinking all we had to do was use the phone numbers we had to call the owner) after our 24-hour, virtually sleepless trip. The only word that comes to mind is: “PANIC!” My next thought is anger, not only over the poor communication, but also over the fact we had to unexpectedly come up with $250 euros in cash. Don’t be this host! Look for your copy of Host for the Most (in book stores and on Amazon soon), and stay on top of your home-share rental business.