A recent reflection… Being from the suburbs of the USA, I am used to homes where people put their best foot forward, so to speak. The inside of a home might be a mess, might be in disrepair, or might be void of furniture due to lack of money, but the outside that the world sees tends to look good or look its best. In some of the countries I visited long ago, it was the opposite. The public saw a simple wall. Only when you walked through the oft-closed gate, did you discover that inside laid an open yard and perhaps a marvelous home. I am now in Latin America, specifically Central America so far, and again I am seeing some of this. Often, to drive down a road is to see nothing but walls. Most of these have been stone walls or walls of corrugated metal or flat […]
This is what I walk out to in the morning. It is the view from the dormitory of Posada Jaibalito. (You can have a similar view from a private room, too.) Morning is 6 a.m. for me here — and I love it! The smell of smoke from the homes of surrounding Mayan families greets my nose. The air is full of chipping and other animal sounds that are better than music. The sun comes up behind a volcano mountain so it doesn’t get bright and warm until close to 8. Before that it is a bit of a romantic hazy light and its own warm color. I love it all! Morning is laundry time. My clothes dry in the fresh air. I love the view from the roof — these rooftops and the hazy smoky sky being one. I don’t recall what time of day I took each of these […]
If you are looking for a very nice looking, comfortable hotel in Copan Ruinas, have a look at Hotel Camino Maya right on the town square. I discovered this hotel as I walked past it and just had to stop and admire the stained glass window that graces its lobby and, happily, passers-by on the street.
I didn’t get to stay at Don Moises Guest House in Copan Ruines because I didn’t know about it, and I did like my hotel, but from what I saw and heard I recommend it. I actually discovered it because I bought my ticket for my micro-bus to Antigua from the very nice owner and his son. The next day I met some guests. I was impressed enough to take a few photos, which I will post when I have bandwidth. (If you are traveling in the area, you definitely want to see these ruins — with the best guide, 75 year old Antonio.)
I had planned to spend at least my first night in Copan Ruinas at a hostel as I was traveling into the town alone. However, I met a British doctor who was sight-seeing before a volunteer stint so we decided to share a room. Even though I had this roommate, I asked our tuk-tuk driver to first let us see the hostel that had been recommended. It was nice, but the people there didn’t excite me, nor did the prospect of another top bunk, so we moved on to see the hotel our driver was recommending. I stayed at the Hotel MarJenny, a family-owned and run hotel with much promise on a nice street just two nice blocks from the town center. My hotel (on the left) when walking from the town square:
Are you are traveling to one of the Bay Islands (Roatan or Utila) by ferry and need to spend a night in La Ceiba? Backpackers tend to stay a night at the Banana Republic Hostel. It is right by a good part of town and a great dentist! — and is safe, but it definitely third-world backpacking. Forget the kitchen. The pots lacked handles. There weren’t 4 forks or spoons or knives. Knives were broken, the kitchen was filthy. Don’t count on water for your complete shower or an odor-free bathroom. And the bus out of La Ceiba info that the staff gave each of us was very wrong and problematic. A private room for 2 or 3 runs 450 Limpira, US$25 at this time, which you can split 3 ways. The dorm there runs 150 Limpira as well. (The dorms have backpack-sized huge, amazing lockers though, with electricity for charging!) From […]
May 28, 2012 It was difficult to choose to leave Roatan. I knew I would be packing up my snorkel for quite a while. I would be going far from a family, from people, I came to love. I was leaving a place of beauty that was comfortable and relaxing. But many more places remain for me to get to know so it was time to move on. I believe I will return to Roatan so that makes it easier. It was simple to walk from Mel’s place to the main road, stand a moment, and have a taxi turn around for me. The driver had a friend riding along who spoke English well, having been teaching himself since his arrival from the mainland just 3 months earlier. I forgot what they charged me, but it was exactly what Mel said it would be. the ride was easy. So was […]
If you are a solo or budget traveler wanting to stay in West End Roatan you don’t have to foot the bill for a $70/night hotel room or cabin by yourself. I missed finding this place online because I searched for “hostel,” but found it by walking around and asking others. I liked where I stayed in Sandy Bay, enjoying the owner and that it was right by an fantastic medical clinic. But you might want to stay closer to the more touristy area where the scuba classes happen and there are tourist-oriented restaurants and swimming. So this is the place: Georphi’s Tropical Hideaway Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras 504-2445-4104 or 504-2445-4205 $10/night for a bed in a 6 bed (3 bunks) room that has its own bathroom. She provides sheets and even has soap and shampoo packets. I didn’t get to stay there but she gave me keys […]
I am told you can find some guest houses that have dorms around the West End where the dive shops are, but that they don’t have websites. I didn’t find anything about one online. I did see a sign for a hostel when I went to the West End while on the sailboat but I didn’t see any place that looked like it was the hostel. Looking online, I found a listing with reviews and a website for Roatan Backpacker’s Hostel and decided to go there. The reviews said Mel, the owner, was very nice and helpful. This is true. She gave me plenty of information about this area — how to walk down to the beach, where to eat — and also answered every question I had for my articles about Roatan. It is a small two story building on a dirt road. It is easy to walk from […]
Just briefly for now… This morning, with a sad heart, I left my Oakridge neighborhood to see more of Roatan. More came to the local bus stop with me and then rode the first bus with me to make sure I would find the second bus as this bus driver speaks only Spanish. I was so sad leaving him. I cried as i got off the bus and as he continued down the road to return home Then, waiting for the next bus to depart the station, I cried again. And on the bus as I told a woman how much I would miss him and miss his cousin. I had a nice afternoon at CoCo View. I got to see it, snorkel there, and relax. Then I had a nice ride into Coxen Hole and got another bus to Sandy Bay. But sunset I was at my next home-for-a-few-days, […]
One of the requirements for entering Belize is having a place to stay. Saying “at a hostel” is not enough. Interesting, considering how many backpackers just come over and walk from hostel to hostel, guest house to guest house. :)
I have plenty to write journal-wise, but right now I have some work tech to figure out. I just had to stop though to share my amazing environment with the world. So… I am lying on a hammock at Yuma’s House, a house-hostel that is on the beach. A bright, clear blue sky and fluffy white clouds are shaded perfectly by coconut-laden, full palm trees. Right behind then is the greenish turquoise ocean, an open cabana with 2 hammocks, and a few simple wooden boat docks well spaced, stretching into the water. This is what I dreamed of. A quiet place to enjoy the clear, clean ocean air as I write or work. The price for my 4-bed dorm is $25 Belize per night, $12.50 US. A full fish dinner with 2 drinks and chocolate cake for dessert runs $20 Belize per night, $10 US – and that is BBQ […]
I arrived, with Jesse, in Chetumal around midnight. We took a taxi (50 pesos because it was late) to the hostel and were greeted by Mike, the Portuguese manager. It was late so sleep was the main agenda at that point. The next day turned out quite different than we’d planned. I needed money because my credit card had been rejected in Tulum when I bought my snorkel so I had to use pesos, and now I needed cab fare, food, and to pay the hostel. (I should have paid the latter on line.) i’d expected the money would just work out, but cash machines, banks, and friends to lend you a few bucks are not everywhere, and were not in Bakalar, I was told. Jesse was still tired and wasn’t into going to the city center so I was only own. Getting Money I found my way to as […]
I write now as I wait in Merida’s second bus station, not ADO but for Noresta the 2:30 Occidente bus to leave from gate 4. The ticket was 23 pesos for the 1 1/2 hour ride. The outside of this nice looking plush-appearing bus promises air-conditioning. Getting to the bus was a challenge it should not have been. I easily followed Daniel’s directions from his home to the local bus 5 blocks away. The driver of the mini-van sized bus even stopped and asked me if I was going to Centro. When the bus emptied and a passenger got in front, I tried to ask if he happened to pass the bus station to drop me closer. Instead, the men discussed the terminal’s location and gave me directions to walk there. Only the 5 blocks straight ahead turned out to be 5 blocks too many as I found out after […]
March 22, 2014
After waking in Vallodolid (va ya doulid) at 8:30 having a light hot shower and a leisurely morning that included doing my fingernails putting on makeup and Andrew’s bracelets as well as putting my hair up, I did some email.
I need to decide what to do about my work and writing. Can I really write on an iPhone? Get an iPad? Buy a new Air? I vacillate between the flexibility a new Mac brings me and the freedom of not having one. I have not yet released my upset over losing my Mac. Backpackers do travel with computers. I think everyone, save for a couple had one at last nights hostel.
There is a stylish church anchoring one side of the square but it locked up just as I touched the door. I walked through the small park, stopping to take a panoramic shot of it from church, past the fountain, to some of the regular buildings that are the style of this town. The town is Colonial, I am told. The buildings are right angles, deep golds and reds that are old world and elegant, simple, solid, honest, unpretentious, attractive.
After the solstice at Chichen Itzá I considered spending the night in the immediate town, a small village called Piste (Pee sta). I’d been told while watching the sun, of a big backpacker party in a park nearby and my tour guide had recommended staying in the village. I also thought I might walk back to the structures in the morning. I walked back to the tour bus with my friends of the day, then said so long and donned my pack once again. The village was just a few blocks walk. Passing the ADO busses, I asked around and got one lead on a hostel like place. Walking about a mile I failed to come to it. I met 2 hitch-hiking Spanish-speaking gals along the way, enjoyed the sandwich they offered, then saw them off. I gave up on staying in this town. No one knew of the park […]
When you are traveling alone the place you sleep makes all the difference. Unless you really want a solitary trip. After my first nights at the home couch surf hosts, I came to a hotel recommended by other folks living in Cancun. It is fairly convenient as I can walk to the places I wanted to be in Cancun. And it is clean. There are dorms so I thought I would meet travelers. However it is really a hotel. Travelers were far between. Most guests are from other parts of Mexico and while friendly, they are here for the beach, not to exchange travel info and go see a pyramid. Those 8 travelers I met were with one another already and I didn’t fit their agendas. You might look at a dorm room for 10 and say “No way. I am past that at my age.” I did. I am […]
[As posted to Facebook.] When I first heard of CouchSurfing.org, I said, I don’t need that. I met tons of fantastic people in person as I travelled my first 3 years. But I signed up anyway. I’ve been loving the community boards, picking up tips on places to go in Puerto Rico for starters. Now I have my first host. And having been to my first get together tonight, I am so excited to travel again! So many people, and a lot had been to South America. I can’t wait to go there! The get together was as great as being in a hotel great room. The buzz of conversations of so many people who have been out in the world exploring it and getting to know people there.