I have many people to thank for all of the help I have received in the last 10 days.. so I am starting here
On November 16, 2007 I rented a car from evenrentacar.com.ar pursuant to all the recommendations I read here.. including Alec's.
When Martin met me at the airport in Bariloche to deliver my car for my 5 day stay in El Bolson, he asked an odd question for a car rental company: "please give me 1 or 2 phone numbers of who to contact in the USA in case there has been a problem". I remember thinking it odd and gave him the numbers.
On November 21st I fell critically ill (my appendix burst) and I had to have emergency surgery in El Bolson. During surgery it was evident that I had full-blown peritonitis). My condition worsened after surgery and the morning following surgery it was decided that I must be transferred via ambulance to Bariloche... naturally, leaving the car and all of my belongings behind in El Bolson.
I was placed in intensive care in the public hospital in bariloche (a decision made based upon the quality of the doctors, not the premises)... not knowing a soul in Bariloche. I was in intensive care for a week.
All the while I was in an out of coniousness, Martin was busy doing what he could do for me: calling the US Embassy, calling my office in Florida, and most amazingly, coming to the hospital a number of times to make sure I was okay. it was Martin, who even took me to my last "consultorio" with my doctor.
Martin retrieved the car (charging me little more than a day's rental cost) and returned each and every item I had in the car.
Now, I should tell you that the car was each and every thing promised in the first place -- the service stellar to begin with.. and this added special service to a sola traveler is something that I know I could not have expected from any of the "Major" rental companies.
1000 times over Thanks to Alec Patagonia:
I knew Alec only from his recommendation to me on this board of Even Rent a Car and some emails back and forth about itineraries.. although he is a tour provider, I preferred to "do my own thing" and took his advice and headed off to El Bolson.
When I came too in intensive care in Bariloche, the nurse was telling me I had a visitor --- I couldn't quite wrap my mind around it -- who knew already to be in Bariloche? It was Alec.
It was the first of daily visits to make sure a lone traveler didn't languish... not only did Alec visit daily, but he personally escorted me from the hospital when I was released.. and then visited me daily.. bringing me all that I needed.. from bottles of water to special food). I literally may not have survived this misadventure but for Alec... the first few days out of the hospital (I bargained a 5 day earlier than the doctors' wanted release) I could not move from my hotel room.. and barely from my bed, but he kept me supplied with everything I needed.
I don't know how to thank him enough -- and I hope that all those who may inquire about the level of service he provides to his clients be well advised to place 100% trust in him.
Thank you Guadalupe!
Guada (who works at the Llao Llao) came to me after my usual hero, Alberto, couldn´t make it onto a plane to rescue me. She also has stopped to see me almost daily..called several times a day to see what she could do, helped coordinate the delivery of my suitcases from El Bolson.. keeping my items safe and secure at her house...bringing me food... making me feel not left alone in my unexpected journey to bariloche.. and being a friend that was sorely needed 8000 miles from home.
There are more to thank, each in their appropriate place (I don't want to break any forum rules -- so think of this as a trip report of sorts).
besos y abrazos a todod!