Following breakfast we say our good byes to our new friends, the staff – Monica (Moni as she likes to be called), Marta, Lenora, Antonio, Guillermo, and Juan Pablo, and pay our bill. Rather sad to leave this gorgeous valley, but we will be back!
Guillermo, our transfer driver is taking us to Marsella, saves about an hour in time by bus. The views were spectacular and we wound, ascended and descended green lush hills. What heavenly countryside. An hour and a half later we reached the small town of Marsella perched on yet another hill and went directly to the central square. Here we were, in the heart of my Spanish telenovela, Las Hermanitas Calle – true story by the way.
Marsella is a beautiful colonial town – whitewashed houses trimmed in the brightest colours you can imagine. We arrive at the Cafe & Hostal Don Danilo which is one of the most brightly painted. Red, turquoise, orange & yellow make a fantastic combination and works beautifully here.
We are really early arriving and our room is not ready. In fact the owner was not around and the Hostal was locked up. Gladys, the neighbour and restaurateur, came to the rescue, calling Andres. Andres was extremely hospitable, stored our bags and said we could enjoy his patio and our rooms should be ready by 2:00pm or so. We decided to walk the short block to the Plaza and have lunch and familiarize ourselves with the town.
We had el menu Del dia – daily special – which comprised of Ajiaco soup, chicken, fride, rice, salad and juice. Delicious and we were stuffed. Fero had his daily siesta and I wandered a short distance to discover the town. Every street was equally as beautiful!
We meandered back to the Hostal and our room wasn’t quite ready so we sat in the back patio overlooking the valley – stunning. Andres spend 9 years working in the Hamptons, NY and he has definitely brought that type of ‘style’ back with him. His attention to detail throughout the Hostal and Cafe below is very classy. Something you would find in a large city and not a small colonial town of 13,000!
Our room ready, we went up to the apartment and what a treasure. It is new, spacious and very clean, we love it. Our colourful balconies overlook the street and you can see the Plaza a short distance away. The living area has a hammock in it and this is where I chose to spend the next hour or two!
We were still full from lunch so we wandered to the shops to pick up some snacks, breakfast for tomorrow (yes a kitchenette complete with gas stove), wine, and Aguardiente. Being the end of the Christmas holidays, there is a lot of activity in the Plaza, people chatting, eating, drinking and generally enjoying themselves. We felt a little awkward as we know that everyone knows each other and we are the strangers in town. Everyone is very friendly so we relax and just enjoy.
A little later a horse ‘parade’ goes through town, several times in fact. A half ton truck with salsa & ranchero music blaring from the back is followed by a dozen people (mostly ladies) on horseback. The horses are ‘dancing’ to the music and it is quite beautiful to watch. Apparently this is very traditional at this time of year.
From the comfort of our room, we were enjoying hearing the music from the Plaza, however as it neared our bedtime, much earlier than the revellers, it became very loud – we think the whole 13,000 must have been there! 😄 In addition to the music in the square there is a bar across our narrow street, as well as a woman selling hamburgers, hot dogs and other treats from a small store front. Her food must be very good as there were people lined up outside until 3:00am when she closed.
Needless to say we didn’t have a very fitful sleep, but it was an experience!