Campeche is our first stay in a colonial town on the Gulf Coast. Brightly colored colonial buildings, ancient fortress and walls dating back to the 1500's.
Our first night was spent in The Colonial Hotel. Great old building with beautiful tiles and courtyard. The rooms are very spacious with high ceilings. The bathroom is simply a corner of the room, with shower, sink and toilet...not offering much privacy, but enough. The nice thing about this hotel is that it's very quiet. The downside is that there are lot's of rules...you must be in your room by 10:00 p.m....they run a tight ship!! This would be perfect for a family with children. Although this is a very nice hotel and we don't usually stay up after 10:00 anyway.... we're beginning to see the need for staying at a hostel, as having a kitchen would save money. Found Hostel Parroquia just around the corner...also very old colonial building, high ceilings, nice courtyard. They serve toast, fruit and coffee in the morning and have a hotplate for cooking...perfect spot to spend some time.
We met so many interesting people during our stay here. I wouldn't say it's the nicest lodgings...but the people we met there created a most memorable experience.
We met a young French student, Alexander, who would be staying in Campeche for three months attending training on the ecosystems of turtles.
A young lady from Taiwan, traveling by herself...very brave I thought..and a pretty common sight as we found out later...
Berta and Lisa, two young women from Germany, became close friends...
An Englishman named "Red"...very high energy with an abundance of interesting tales. He'd been traveling the last three years in Australia and South America...
A young Mexican guy, about 25, who was starting a new job just outside of town, asked to play Danny's guitar...he played and sang like crazy for us until 1:00 a.m....he learned how to play from his Father who loved American 60's music...mostly Beatles with some Doors and U2 thrown in. He was really very good. What a great night...good music, interesting people from all over the world, sitting around talking about differences in our cultures...when it comes down to it, we realize there are no differences.
Fernando, a tennis instructor from Argentina, traveling alone for a couple of months, sat with us one night. We shared conversation and a couple bottles of wine. Fernando, the hostel manager, joined us speaking with such passion about the history of Mexico and his own favorite places in the area.
Lorenz, from France, but now living in Mexico, arrived late one night...very interesting guy, but moved on before we got to know him better.
Two young women from Italy, Julia and Clarietta joined our group later...fun loving and adventurous...interested in getting to know us, even though we didn't speak their language.
Berta and Lisa joined us on a trip to nearby Ednza Ruins. Quite deserted...the many iguanas crawling in and out of the ruins gave it a real ancient feeling. Not very extensive, but included some carved head figures that were unique...
Bill and I took a walk to a huge cemetery across from the ocean one day. Beautiful mosaic tile murals at the entrance. Mostly white above ground graves of all shapes and sizes. Walking towards the back we saw walls of stacked crypts... Some were open and actually had human bones scattered inside. One had a bottle hanging from a string with herbs inside.
On our last day we planned a huge BBQ with calamari, shrimp, fish, steak and Bill's potatoes (papas). Estephen and another guy played the guitar and sang, everyone was dancing...the evening ended late with a new style of ping pong which involved chasing each other around the table....that was the story anyway....on to Merida tomorrow.