Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Joy of Cheap Sleeps

To travel cheaply is to travel rough: local buses, basic restaurants, cheap hostels and and simple hotels where quality can vary to the extreme. The best are spotlessly clean, quaint and comfy and might include a bathroom, hot water, air-con, a view, a patio, hammocks, a softish mattress, drinking water, a swimming pool or maybe a TV.

Sure, sure. More often, its shared dorms with noisy, stinky boys and messy girls, cold water showers, no toilet seat, 4am roosters, 5am barking dogs, 6am transport trucks, a dangerously old ceiling fan, and dirty bathrooms.

My worst room (so far) was in Panama. It looked OK to start then I found mouse droppings under the bed that attracted many large, sinfully ugly cockroaches. The bathroom was infested with mosquitoes and the shower, tap and toilet all spurted thick, black water. At night, the room filled with mossies and boom boom music from the neighbor next door. The cost: an outrageous $12.