Lodgey and Life on the Road. Stories from South America.

4 March 2010

Back to basics

One of the things I love most about backpacking is that it makes me live in the moment and it brings me back to basics - getting myself from A to B, finding food and shelter. 

It doesn't take much to make a backpacker happy... a decent shower (if it's hot even better), comfy bed and an edible breakfast usually does the trick. WIFI and a friendly front desk are a welcome bonus.

The sad thing about backpacking is that with age comes an increase in standards. At the ripe old age of 34, a 5-star hostel has now become the norm... a soft towel, intact sheets and lockers that lock. 

Take the hostel we are in tonight.. El Diablo Tranquillo in Punta Del Diablo, Uruguay. Guy at the front desk puts his hand out and introduces himself, helps us by changing our booking so that we have a beachfront dorm and offers to help us with bus bookings when we want to leave. A soft towel, beds that are already made and food that's waiting. Ahhhh...

Take the dorm we stayed in last night... Unplugged Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay (AKA backpacker hell and should be renamed 'Unlucky'). Barely big enough for my bag let alone six Spanish people and their dozens of suitcases (which by the way has become the new trend in backpacking... backpacks are SO yesterday), a cold, dribbly shower and a smelly and frankly horrid room. They served warm beer and cold coffee. AND someone commented on Hostel World about it's great location. I guess some people think that the middle of nowhere is a geat location. 

But back to tonight... picture this... you get off a bus that you've been travelling on for six hours (the last dodgy hostel told us three) thinking some choice words, when you come across a beautiful surf beach haphazardly lined with cabanas that can only be described as completely 'out there' in all colours and inviting, hippy, outdoor bars. You walk across the beach to an isolated bright red wooden beach shack with hammocks swinging in the breeze and some surf boards nearby. You open the door to your dorm, sit on your bed and look out at the surf... that's us! Wecome to paradise! 

PS. as I am writing this a mosquito has landed on the wall and it is the length of my finger. Hmmm...

1 comment:

KevKom said...

So are they now called Suitcasers?