Merida was definitely a great stop on the trip so far. I suppose the fact I found a cheap but excellent place to stay helped. And, it was nice to be in a place that I didn't feel awkward. Not only did the place just feel right, the manager was really nice and helpful. He seemed so concerned that my hammock hanging wasn't in the most comfortable level and offered to let me move to a larger room that also had hammock hooks without having to pay a higher rate.
I also felt more at home in that city. Not so much like an outsider when I'd interact with the locals. It just felt like I was treated like another human being who happened to be from another county.
Campeche was another story. I had all sorts of problems looking for a room near the bus station since I didn't think I'd be there for more than a night anyway. I still don't know why the hotels by the bus station seem to be set up for hourly rates and prostitution. Who takes on a hooker at a bus station? Oh wait a minute, they must be for the bus drivers. Duh!
I almost just gave up and decided to skip Campeche because it was becoming too much of a hassle to find a room and no one I met was very friendly. I'm glad I stuck it out though, because once I found the historic area it was clear why it had been recommended to me. The architecture is Colonial Spanish but everything has a nautical theme and is painted various shades of coral pastels. At one point I very nearly fell in love with the place when I discovered it is right on the water with no waves.
As I walked along the malecon that lines the entire city on one side, I noticed that there was no garbage or graffiti at all. There were also no people or fragrance of the sea. Very strange shaped fishing boats were anchored out a it with these large black birds roosting on them. I'm not sure what sort of birds they were, but they looked like some sort of black-clad military sentries guarding a ghost town.
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Skip Hunt :: Austin, Texas ~ kaleidoscopeofcolor.com