Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Ignacio Mini - the trouble with doors and pizzas

From Posadas we made the relatively short hop over to San Ignacio Mini.  There is a town called San Ignacio nearby, but the aptly named small community of San Ignacio Mini is where the jesuit ruins are.  It is a tiny place, probably about twenty blocks by twenty, with the ruins in its centre. Of course the bus drops you a little distance away, so it is as well that my back had finally improved enough for me to don the rucksack.

It was incredibly hot when we arrived, so we took the walk slowly. We arrived at the hostel during the siesta time, with no one there, so we were let in by a couple of other guests, before Nic followed the directions to the local shop to find someone.  The host, Yrma was very friendly and the place was quite nice, but there was an odd set up with our door.

For some reason, although you could bolt it from inside, there was no lock on the door to the room.  That was fine when you were in the room, but not when you went out.   The solution was that you had to come and go by another door direct to the garden.  However this was a double door, with one side being the stable style of two half doors top and bottom, and it was padlocked from outside.  So to get out, you had to open the top doors using a handle, lean over and unlock the lower door, but then you had to close the two top doors with the handle, wriggle out through the narrow opening of the single lower door, and then padlock that up.  It was quite a palaver, especially as one of the upper windows was rather loose on its one hinge, and you had to battle to make sure it was in the right place and didn't fall off completely!

On our second evening here, we went to a pizza place that was recommended.  I like pizza, but as  I don't eat any tomato, I have to ask for it without the tomato sauce base.  Nic and I decided to share a large pizza, which at 62 pesos was only 2 pesos more than a small one - never have understood why they do that.  I was very clear that there should be no tomato, no tomato sauce etc, and the waitress definitely understood me.

When it arrived, though, it had tomato sauce on the base.  We called her over and said we asked for without tomato and she said agreed, implying that it was.  So I showed her the sauce and she said 'but it's only a little bit'.  Having established that I couldn't eat this and she couldn't provide a replacement with absolutely no tomato, we agreed that Nic would eat half, and would have one thing else. We also said, before we went ahead, that we would only be prepared to pay for half of the pizza.

This all seemed OK until we went to pay and they charged us for the lot. After some while arguing in Spanish, during which at some point the owner seemed to hand us his keys as if to suggest we were bankrupting him, he asked us where we were from.  When we said England he initially made some comments about being English at heart, and then said 'well pay what you want to, like you do what you want to in the world'.

So we paid for my meal and half of the pizza, but still left a generous tip, because in fact it isn't a large amount of money and we don't want them to lose out. If it had looked like it would genuinely have been a problem for him, we wouldn't have even argued, but he seemed like he was just trying it on.

It was all done with reasonably good nature, but it was actually the first time we had seen any kind of negative opinion about the fact that we were English.  Shame really.

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