Wednesday, February 21, 2007

** Hostal

Many people asked us before we left what kind of accomodations we´d likely stay in on our trip. We hadn´t planned out lodging in detail; we did know it would likely vary based on the cost of living in each country and how that fit with our daily budget. So maybe cheap hotels in SE Asia and hostels in New Zealand, for example.

So far, in Peru, we´ve seemed to hit the mark with the two-star hostal. Interestingly, it seems that Peruvians have adopted the term ¨hostal¨ for just about every hotel, ranging from your stereotypical hostel with lots of bunkbeds and shared bathrooms to hotels with private rooms with a private bathroom.

Basically, for about $13 USD per night, we can get a room with a ¨matrimonial bed¨(full size) with a tiny, tiny bathroom attached. While the shared living might be more attractive for solo travellers looking to make new friends, we prefer the privacy--definitely worth the $3 or so that we´d save otherwise. And we do manage to meet travellers of more similar age and means (all Europeans so far) in these kinds of hostals which tend to have common areas and roof terraces for breakfast and hanging out. We also get towels, toilet paper, and a toilet with a seat--not a guarantee everywhere.

I also think they save some money and aggravation by having a few more amenities and resources. We've been able to book tours, buses and the like in the comfort of the hostal rather than having to hoof it around town going from agent to agent. And they tend to have some staff who speak English. Even though we´re managing to pick up a few new words and phrases everyday, it still helps.

Our hostals thus far have tended to be close to the main squares in town, but a few blocks away so we´re not always right in the thick of things. And they have also generally been in cool old buildings and colonial homes, which helps make up for lumpy pillows, scratchy sheets, and no temperature control. (Below is a picture of the Hostal del Parque, our home in Arequipa.)

We found this place from the brother of the woman running it while waiting for the bus in Nazca; now we´ll be staying at another family members hostal in Cusco. It´s a little funny to get handed from place to place, but I figure we have plenty of opportunities for travelling woes and troubles ahead of us and might as well enjoy the convenience for now!

It´s funny how a room that I probably wouldn´t want to stay in in the US can feel quite luxurious in other places in the world!

2 comments: said...

It's wonderful to read your blog. Please keep adding to it as often as you can as it's inspiring me to work something similar out for Eric and I!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an exciting first week getting your travel legs (and taste buds, and bus stomachs). I'm glad to know your whereabouts, and look forward to reading more! Take care--Anne