Central America | Mexico | Yucatan Peninsula | Yucatan | Merida – Siesta in Merida
In Merida now, which is a peaceful respite after the rush of Mexico City. I am sleeping beneath a mosquito net in a cabin half-open to the sky, in the backyard of Nomadas Hostel, for just over $6 U.S. a night.
I am switching into backpacker economical mode. I’ve discovered that if you sleep in hostels, buy food from markets and make it yourself (make sure the hostel has a kitchen!), and rely on public tranportation, it’s possible to keep costs around $25 a day. It occurs to me that the less money I spend now, the more there will be for future travel.
Have met many other backpackers, of course, at the two hostels I’ve stayed at so far. No other Americans, which alternately relieves and saddens me. Why isn’t travel more a part of our culture? Though a big part of the answer, I think, is the miserly two weeks we have for vacation, versus the 5-8 common elsewhere. A huge percentage of travelers here right now are German. It’s gotten to the point that when I see a new person I simply ask, ‘Alemania?’. Add to that a smattering of Brits and Canadiens, and an Uruguan or two. I hear there is an expatriate community of Alaskans, of all places, in Oaxaca.
I started language school yesterday – 2 hours of grammar and 2 hours of conversation a day. It didn’t take me long to get into the political situation of Mexico, and today the conversational time was devoted to explaining to me the three primary political parties in Mexico, the major problems, and the situation of the indigenous people. I’m glad to start to learn about the country from a local person (Rosario).
I had initially planned on 2 weeks here in school, but it’s pricey compared to other spots. I’m thinking now of traveling next week (back to Merida after that to meet Mom), and picking up another week of school in Chiapas prior to Guatemala. Already plans are shifting. You have to go where the road leads you.