We were patting ourselves on our backs in the taxi. Our cheap hotel, Ambala, was only a few blocks from the lovely boutique hotel we'd stayed at when we'd first arrived in Candelaria. But it was half the price and included a free airport taxi.
We were less excited when we opened the door to the tiny room, noticed only one towel, no window at all, and that the too-small bottom sheet didn't quite cover the plastic mattress cover.
Ew, we have to sleep on plastic? Will inertia keep us here two nights even though sleeping on plastic gives me the creepy-crawlies?*
One thing Ambala had in common with Abadia was that the staffs at both strongly believed that there was nowhere to eat in Candelaria after ten at night. C and I both refused to believe this.
"Let's just go up the hill to that Gato place we ate at last week. That was open late," said C. We'd both started singing a children's song about Senor Don Gato was a cat when we'd first heard about El Gato Gris. The menu wasn't spectacular but it was big on atmosphere. It even bordered on a square full of buskers, and a reggae store. How much for some reggae?
Not only was El Gato Gris open, but a half-dozen restaurants within spitting distance were also open. We selected one which turned out to specialize in mushroom casseroles. Interesting.
Just after we paid the check, the entire block's lights went out. The staff freaked out. They told us to stay put and went to the door. It seemed like they were ready to barricade us in.
At first, we both stuck to going with local info (meaning sitting tight until we were told it was safe). But eventually C looked out the door.
"The lights on the next block are on. Let's go. We could be here all night."
The staff was still apprehensive, but we left. We both hurried down the street. Freak-outs are contagious.
*Yes. But on the bright side--no bedbugs!