Santa Cruz - There's something about Maria.......?


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South America » Chile » O Higgins » Santa Cruz
April 3rd 2012
Published: June 26th 2012
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We arrived in the little town of Santa Cruz after a fairly short bus ride from Santiago and immediately got to looking for accommodation. Our tactic was for the girls to hang out in the palm treed plaza whilst I wandered around the town looking for somewhere for us to stay. Looking back at my plan, it seems I may have given myself a bum deal!

Luckily for us, there was an information point in the middle of the plaza and so I went over to see if they had any recommendations. Fortunately, the elderly lady at the information point had the perfect place for us to stay and set about making the arrangements on the phone for me to go see this ‘hotel’. I was guided to the accommodation in Spanish and immediately thought I must be getting worse as it sounded like I needed to walk up the road one block where I should then look out for another lady – Maria, who would greet me in some doorway like some shady drug dealing granny… I was dubious.

Despite my scepticism, I went along anyway, and true to the ‘information ladies’ word, there was a second granny waving at me from a dark doorway beckoning me in. ‘How did she know it was me?’ I thought!

So, after looking around the place, I headed back to the girls to give my report. They were more than a touch hesitant when I described the photo filled, chintzy apartment that I was shown around, and so I set off again looking for a more suitable option. When this didn’t materialize after more than an hour and a half, we had to accept our fate and headed to Marias. We were slightly panicked when nobody answered the door after constant ringing and so, I went to see my elderly friend from the information booth. A quick look at her watch was all it took for her to inform me that Maria was at the Supermarket and would be back soon…. Sure enough 15 minutes later, there she was with a grin on her face and three shopping bags in her hands accepting us into her home.

No sooner had we set our bags down and were admiring the Donald Duck lamp in the room when Lisa broke her bed. This wasn’t an act of malice but simply due to the age of the bed which we concluded was probably purchased at an antiques fare along with the lamp. We were down to two single beds . After brushing my teeth before bed, I passed Maria who tonight was donning her red velvet robe and matching slippers. Worryingly, she looked all too much like a ghost haunting the hallway, which if I’m honest, unnerved me more than a little. Despite my attempt at politeness in wishing her a ‘Buenos Noches’, I was completely ignored. I now believe in ghosts……

Come the morning, we had a choice of bathrooms where we could shower. The one with the ants crawling through the cracks in the grout in the shower or the one with half a curtain for a door. We chose to shower with the ants.

It was apparent from last night’s search for restaurants that they were few and far between and so we decided to try a café that was on the way to the plaza for breakfast. After just one amazing slice of lemon pie and a decent cup of tea/coffee, we decided there and then that this was to be our new local, and where we would be spending most of our upcoming mealtimes. It was a hidden gem in a crazy town.

Satisfied, we walked onto Ruta Del Vino which was the local wine tour information centre as well as a place that could recommend accommodation in and around the vineyards. We decided there that we would stomach one more night at Marias before moving onto a beautiful looking Posada which was located outside of town but boasted a pool, great views and not one ant in the shower!

Once this was sorted we could relax and start to think about why we actually came to this town in the first place…..

Off to the vineyards!


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