Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Santa Maria, Misiones, Paraguay - a quaint little town

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After saying farewell to our friends from Norway, we had a couple of days to shop, and stock up on warm thermal clothing.

“The rains are here”.  The food festival we had planned to visit on the Saturday was rained out.  It was so cold that when we were on the way to buy the clothes, my son cried.  He was in agony. He had refused to wear socks, and he was cold to the bone.
So once the clothes were paid for, he wore them back to the hotel – and was a very happy shopper.

We also went and purchased a bus ticket for the next morning to Santa Maria.  I am sure we got charged tourist prices.

We were assured the bus went into the town, but we were fortunate a we had pre-arranged accommodation, and the lady obviously knew it didn’t, and met us at the turn-off.

So here we were.  Freezing cold. And in Santa Maria.  This is another town on the Jesuit Ruins loop, in the Misiones region of Paraguay.

Here we are - this town is steeped in history. The original old cross, and our lovely little place to stay.

We had booked to stay at the original Hotel Santa Maria – right on the main square. It was such a quaint old place, and I would thoroughly recommend a stay there.

We layered up, and went out to explore the town. 

We headed out back of the museum and found monkeys in the trees.  We learnt the black bigger ones are male, and the female are the brown ones.  

They would snatch apples and bananas - right out of our hands – and wow – are the strong!  At one time I tried to hold onto the banana, and it was like a game of tug-o-war.

We found the museum, and the lady at the hotel called and arranged a staff member to open it especially for us.  It had some fabulous wooden carved statues and other items from the ruins.  I loved it, but a few were a bit scary for my son.

We wandered around town, and loved the old church and square.

The hotel has a lovely little prayer chapel in the garden, and being a Sunday we decided it would be a nice thing to go and light the candles, and have a time of thanks to God.  There were hand woven wool mats on the floor, a wooden cross, candles with shades, and lovely wooden benches. But the nicest part was the beams of sunlight that came into the room.  The silence and warmth was lovely, and it was a wonderful time.

We then head across the square to the playground.  Mt son makes a few friends.
I find myself giving the local kids and English lesson, whilst I brush up my basic Spanish words.  We talk colours, numbers, greetings, and I find that although it is over an hour, we have fun and I have a following of kids.  As we walk back via the church, my little crowd follow me and I have a bit of a sad farewell as we head into the hotel.

We were the only ones staying there, and being Sunday there was only one little store we found open.   Was glad I had brought milk and some food with me and was able to scratch up dinner.  Not bad, as I ad one glass of red wine left – enough to warm me up, with the help of our immerser and hot water bottle.

We absolutely recommend Hotel Santa Maria if you go to Missiones.  The price is reasonable and includes a lovely breakfast. There is traditional decorations throughout the hotel.  The service is lovely.
We thank them for their hospitality and kindness and being part of our promotions for our world trip.

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