I very nearly didn't make it to the Museo de Arte Colonial, the elegant country mansion known locally as the Quinta de Anauco. The map given me by my hotel put it in a different place from the Lonely Planet, and my first attempt to get there would have meant walking up one of those roads where that voice at the back of one's head goes "hmm... not sure about this".
However there was a really good reason for visiting (which will come to shortly) so resolved to try again, this time with the Lonely Planet as a guide. And this time was successful - and was really pleased as it is just lovely (above).
You're not allowed just wander around as there are some pretty expensive items on display. Instead you must wait for a guide to take you round in a tour. Alas my guide (below) knew no English and I know only a few words of Spanish so surely missed much.
But even without the commentry could enjoy the feel of the place, with its elegant polished tables and sumptuous four poster beds, such as the one below.
The need for them became clear as the "bedrooms" were as much corridors as rooms, and there could have been people coming and going and the drapes would have lessened the distraction and also given some privacy.
There was even a baby four poster for the child of the house:
It was clearly an upmarket mansion, with all mod cons including large kitchen, bath, and this rather elegant device they would use to wash their hands after a meal:
I learnt this fact from one of the other in my tour group who had basic English and struggled to find the right words.
In the second half of the tour we had a different guide who spoke English as well as Spanish, and my friend the translater kept complimenting her on her accent, saying it was just perfect. "What we would call the Queen's English" I suggested, and he seemed keen to agree with that.
I think there might have been some subtexts here as later spotted them have a whispered conversation and then exchanging phone numbers!