Villahermosa: Nov 20
This is Sat the 20th. I made it to Villahermosa. I caught the bus at the station just in the nick of time. The ride overnight was less eventful and noisy than the past several nights. Just an observation, many of the busses travel overnight and the five times I had to take one was because there were no busses traveling by day to the destinations I was going. I arrived at 6:30 this a.m. I took a taxi to the hotel. I had to get a room at the Howard Johnson as there were no hostels here and they answered my e-mail. This is the most expensive of the whole trip, charging 60.00 per night. They put on some pretty fancy airs and had pretty fancy prices to go with them. They had bellboys, waiters in the cafe, doorman, etc including a desk staff that spoke passable English. I wasn't sure I could get a room before the check in time but they set me right up. My room was on the second floor and there was an elevator. So I am safe and sound as of today.
The trip on the bus overnight was 8 1/2 hours long. We left at 10 p.m. and arrived at 6:30 a.m. The bus was crowded until the first stop an hour into the journey. The lady next to me got off there and left me with two seats. Even though I had my poncho and pillow to cushion me, I felt like a screwed up pretzel not having enough room for my legs. Villahermosa is flat and hotter as it sits on the flat coastal plains of Tabasco state. I could feel the humid oppression as soon as I arrived. Almost like Texas in the humid season. When I got settled in the hotel, I showered and went down to their cafe buffet breakfast. It was good but overpriced. I went to the museum by taxi. I wandered through it, but even though it has some nice Olmec and Mayan pieces it was a bit run down and shabby. I felt bad that they didn't seem to have the money to make the place better. All signs were in Spanish. I felt weak in the knees and after I left the museum I sat down on a cement wall for a while to get my breath. My wrist hurt so bad I could hardly stand it. My hands were really stiff when I got off the bus. I took some Tylenol and went ahead and walked back to the hotel. It was only about 10 blocks. I walked along the riverside. The river was pretty dirty, but it had some sight seeing boats on it. The walk wasn't bad and I felt better when I arrived back at the hotel. I have a TV in the room and AC, but it makes so much noise I may not run it. I lay down and watched a movie in English, Yeah! After some rest I went down and had a pizza and fed the crusts to more pigeons. They sure are pigs. Well, just like the chickens, they want more, more, more. The whole section of about 10 blocks around the hotel was closed off to car traffic and the cobblestone streets were only used by pedestrian traffic. Made it nice not to jump out of the way of cars. The blocks were filled with shops that had fancy shoes, fast food, department stores, appliance and camera stores, hair salons, boutique shops, fabric stores, restaurants, Internets, clothing stores computer schools, museums, farmacias (drug stores) and a few street vendors among others. They had T-shirts, knick-knacks and toys for the kids, ice cream and other things to eat. They had a McDonalds and Burger King. Well, assuming they couldn't screw up a hamburger I tried one. Big mistake. The sauce was hot salsa. That was the last one I tried and stuck to vegetable pizzas. Some of the other hotels were located in the same historical area. Some were large like the Howard Johnson. Others were small and were only marked by small-labeled doorways between the shops that had hallways running toward the back of the building with stairs at the end. That looked pretty spooky, like something out of an old forties movie. Glad I didn't book at any of them. Just two blocks from that area was the river that I walked along from the museum. Tomorrow will be my trip to La Venta Parque. More later, Gay