A New System is Born

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Posada Los Angeles

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The town of Palenque pleasantly surprised us (probably since we weren't expecting much). We even came across a familiar face, the friendly-swinging-dancing mascot of Farmacia Simalares (Generic Pharmacy) that we first met in Guatemala! 

Most fellow travellers push on for another 5 hours to San Cristobal de las Casas because that's what the Lonely Planet recommends. They also recommend rather doing a day trip from there to see Palenque's ruins. Judging by the number of good quality hotels and the grey-haired brigade being out in force it seems it's wealthier, elderly clientele that this town caters for. That is, not us! 

Even the hostels were overpriced charging $135 per dorm bed! Say what??!! We quickly realised that in Mexico they use the US dollar symbol to denote their currency, the peso. Phew! 135 pesos for just a bed is still a little crazy despite the rough mental arithmetic going on in our heads. Pounds to Quetzals?! US Dollars to Pesos?! This is getting way too confusing!

We knew that we get more pesos than quetzals for our money, but only time would tell what that money would buy...

A new system was born that day in Palenque! We started taking turns to find accommodation in each new town. Given that it's off-season we can afford to wait until the last minute. With three in the travelling posse, one guards the luggage while the other two goes off to find and close the best deal.

This time Mario waited at the $135/bed hostel while surfing the internet. I felt bad that we'd left with the intention of finding an ATM to draw pesos then return to check in. But at the same time I hoped that hostel learned a lesson. They wouldn't let us check in without paying upfront (like most do!) so we had no commitment to them. Serendipity stepped in because it was near the ATM that we found Posada Los Angeles for half the price!

Having done some homework (from a Dutch guidebook in Flores!) we knew that Posadas (cheap hotels aka pensions in Spain) were the cheapest option. Specifically Posada Los Angeles was mentioned as the cheapest. So we dragged all our stuff in the sweltering heat to the main road, far away from the plush hotels and overpriced hostels. There was no internet, no communal kitchen, no tourist info but we were in the heart of town and we got a private room for 3 people with ensuite, a ceiling fan and bottled water for 200 pesos in total! How savvy are we?!

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michelle on

so savvy.. :)

thelees on


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