Saturday, July 16, 2011

Typical Day

A friend asked me the other day "So, what's a typical day like when you are traveling?" I had to think about it for a few seconds. Actually, there are three types of typical days for us.

First, travel days. On the last trip of 230+ days we had about 100 travel days. A typical travel day means getting up early, but not too early, eating breakfast, packing, checking out of the hotel, walking if at all possible to the bus station, getting on the bus and riding 4 to 6 hours to our next destination. We like to travel during the day; somewhat for safety, but mostly to enjoy the scenery. On arriving in the new town (sometimes in a new country) we check out onward connections at the bus station, find the local tourist office, search for the perfect hotel (Wi-Fi, private bath, and hot showers required), then locate places to to get food: vegetarian restaurants, traditional markets, and supermarkets.

Second, day trips. The point is to get out of of the town  preferably by walking, taking a local bus or train, or some mix of each. The day trips we like the best are either all day hikes that start from the hotel, or short bus rides to a nearby small, walkable town with a lively local market - arriving on market day is the best.

Third, urban wandering in which we set out from the hotel with a walking tour and/or map in hand and precede to see all the local sites with a break at noon for the set lunch menu in a vegetarian restaurant. On the best day we also eat street food, see an unexpected awesome Art Deco building or two, encounter some real religion, visit the best museum in town for free, and ride public transportation.

It's a rare day that we just cool our heels in our hotel but it did happen on election day in Ecuador.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...