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Trip Report Tours with The German Pirate

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My daughter and I decided to visit my grandson’s girlfriend, studying at a university in Valparaiso, Chile. I spent almost three months researching as many details as possible. I was on a variety of websites: the USA’s government site, Chile’s government site, and travel forums. Of course there was a daily search for the best prices hotels and flights had to offer.
One of my concerns was a transfer from the airport in Santiago to Valparaiso, over an hour away. After a great deal of investigation, I came across Michael Arnold, AKA The German Pirate. He had wonderful reviews, so after a little more pricing, I decided he was the best choice. I explained that besides the transfer, we would also like some touring while our student was busy with her studies. From that point, planning became a whole lot easier. We were able to make arrangements and meet face to face over Skype.
I already had some ideas of where to stay in Valparaiso, but after talking with our student and Michael, we changed our plans. It seems that Michael and his girlfriend, Carolina, have a B&B called Above Acapulco Beach Spectacular, located in Vina del Mar. However, it was booked during our stay, and after seeing it, I could well understand; it was beautiful. Michael mentioned another accommodation which turned out to be absolutely perfect. We were able to look out on the Pacific for our seven days. Not only that, but we were able to visit back and forth with Michael and Carolina, enjoying treats and sharing stories about our lives.
When we arrived and finally left the airport building, tired after a 9 hour flight, my daughter heard my name, and there was The German Pirate, ready to take our suitcases to the car. En route to our accommodations, we stopped at a vineyard and a discount wine store (good idea). Once we arrived at our lodging, Carolina was there to help us settle in. Later we ate a late lunch at a place on the beach, had wine and snacks with Michael and Carolina, and slept until late morning.
The tours we had with The German Pirate were outstanding. I’ve only used a few guided tours in my travels, but Michael made us bond with Chile. It became not just a bunch of facts, but a living memory of people and their lives. He has the highest recommendations from my daughter, our student (who joined us on one tour), and me. In fact, my grandson is in Chile right now and his girlfriend has planned a tour for them with Michael.
After seven days, it was time to head for Santiago, this time to be on our own. We said a teary good-bye to Carolina. We still had to see Playas Norte and its surroundings with Michael before he took us to the big city. He finally dropped us off at the Hotel Orly, a hotel I would definitely recommend. (He Skyped us a day later to make sure we were okay.) We enjoyed the sights and restaurants of the city but missed all the personal information offered by Michael.
The bottom line is that Carolina and Michael made Chile more than just a trip. I am so glad my grandson will have the opportunity his madre and abuela had to travel with The German Pirate. It was a sad time to say good-bye to Michael and Carolina, and a sad time to say good-bye to Chile. In our hearts, though, we have faith that our paths will cross again. Thank you, Michael and Carolina for all your sincere hospitality and your desire for us to meet such a variety of lives.
Trapsma

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