The kittens from the caretakers house kept themselves entertained last night by throwing themselves against our front door in attempt to get in. With their shadows they look like big cats. But I know better 🙂
Breakfast is sadly a very different affair from yesterday’s dinner. I know that we’re in South America n’all but the service was verrrrrry, very slow and poor. I asked if they wouldn’t mind toasting some of my own gluten free bread for me, only for said bread not to reappear until Rich has eaten almost all of his breakfast and I’d asked if they wouldn’t mind bringing my bread back so that I could eat something. They seem to be geared up more for lunch and day trippers, rather than guests staying overnight, and it leaves a bitter taste that they don’t seem to genuinely care about their customers. I realise that we’ve been spoilt by staying in wonderful out of the places, with wonderful people, where we’ve experienced warm and genuine hospitality, but it’s always nice when staff and fellow guests at least make an effort to be civil. The restaurant is at least very attractive to look at – like a giant tree house, having literally been built around some of the large trees on the slope.
Our room – Piezza 2, is also built around a tree, and every few minutes you can hear little knocks on the roof as nuts fall from the branches. With the windows (some of which are made from stained glass) open we can also hear the river, and there’s a gorgeous old wood burning stove and huge beams in the main room. Aesthetically it’s beautiful. Like Rich said, we wouldn’t have wanted to spend our last few days in the hustle and bustle of Santiago. That would have been waaaaay too much of a culture shock. I’m trying to enjoy it for what it is – an outdoors theme park, really I am, but I don’t feel welcome here at Cascada de Animas. Yes I may be hyper-sensitive, but me no like being treated only like a cash cow. So no, when we come back to Chile, we won’t be coming back here.
When we ask for key to cross the river and walk in the hills which belong to the ranch we’re told that we’re only allowed up there with a paid guide. This is despite them having given us a map of the route when we checked in. We’re left feeling very much like sheep, waiting to be shepherded around the complex because we’re incapable of looking after ourselves, or making our own decisions. I understand that some people don’t have the confidence to walk alone, but why pretend that it’s for our own safety, when it’s obviously just another way of making money from us? It’s not as if it’s a cheap place to stay to begin with. Can you tell that I’m feeling disillusioned yet?! We don’t want to sit by the pool all day. So we swallow our pride and go on the guided waterfall walk at 2pm.
In temperatures of 31 degrees C we’re rushed along the path to the waterfalls. Despite apparently having to supervise us for safety reasons, some of the participants are struggling to walk in inappropriate footwear, whilst others haven’t bought enough water so have to hold back as they start to feel unwell. There are the usual pushy pushy, get to the front people, but on the way back we deliberately hang back with a lovely Chilean couple so that we can photograph lizards, and actually take in the surroundings. The walk leader gives up and marches on ahead without us, leaving the back marker to try and hurry Rich along. Not a good thing to do when he’s tired and having more trouble with his balance as a result. So I start giving him the evil eye. The back marker that is, not Rich. What’s the rush people?!
By 5pm we’re lying by the pool, albeit in the shade. As soon as the sun starts to dip behind the ridge most people leave, allowing us the peace we’ve been hankering after. This is after Rich accidentally gets flashed by one of the pool side mums! He’d looked up to see why she’d been shouting at her children. Only to realise that she wasn’t wearing any knickers beneath her skirt. He assures me that he looked away quickly 🙂
At dinner we’re ignored by the first waiter because his shift is coming to and end in the next 20 minutes. After an hour of waiting Rich gets to try the Thai curry, and I dive into slow cooked mountain goat. The food is really good, there’s no denying that. The company is also excellent. We’re kept entertained by a gorgeous grey Persian cat who attempts to get cuddles from each and every person eating meat. Tis no wonder that he’s a fat cat. He is ever so snuggly though. It’s definitely a nicer place here after dark. Quieter and shed loads more atmospheric.