We broke up the long journey to Bariloche, Argentina with a brief stop at Puerto Varas, a small, pretty town in Chile and a Mario favourite. Quite rightly! We arrived in the late afternoon and went around looking for a place to stay. The hostel that Mario had in mind had been closed at the end of the season and we went up and down the streets looking for another place to stay. We asked around and some people pointed us to a local hospedaje in what looked like a rather fancy house. We rang the bell, the lady came out, looked at us with untrusting, grumpy eyes and confirmed that she was accepting guests. It was a bit pricey but we were not really into a position to bargain. We settled in, took a quick shower, got into some fancy clothes (as fancy as it gets when you are traveling) and went out. Mario was taking me out for ‘the best burgers in the world’ and a night of gambling at the local casino. And what a casino it was! Rather fancy for a small town like Puerto Varas. By far the best attraction in town.
Mario had visited the city with friend some time ago and had fallen in love with the burgers at the casino. We entered the casino from a back hotel door and avoided paying an entrance fee at the official gate. Sweet. We then picked a nice table at the restaurant and eagerly waited for our fantastic burgers. Mario was right, they were amazingly delicious. This is what happens when French cooking meets fast food. Everything was great and we enjoyed every bit of it. Mario had a beer and I sipped a mango pisco sour. Great stuff!
It was then time to hit the tables. We had had a quick walk around upon entering the casino and had seen that the craps table wasn’t yet available. It was in full swing when we got there after dinner. Mario bought chips for a $100 and the fun began. We spent a lot of time by the table, Mario gambling and making decent progress, while I was cheering and learning the game. After a while I couldn’t stand still anymore and bought chips for $20. It was ooo-oo-oo-n! I lost them as quickly as I bought them though. At first I won some $4 but then I quickly lost that and the rest of my money. ‘Casinos are not made for you to make money…’ Mario kept saying. I guess not.
After Mario got tired of the craps table we moved to the roulette. Mario bet a lot of money on red and won. Then he bet all of that on red again and we lost. It was time to go home. It was 1-2am when we left the casino and headed back home. We were catching an early morning bus to Argentina and we needed some sleep.
We had such a great time that night. I had a blast! I will be going to a casino again…Vegas maybe…