I headed south from Mexico City. Puebla is a couple of hours away by bus. It seems positively tiny, 5-6 million population, compared to 20 million in Mexico City. I arrived at the hostel in the early afternoon. It is conveniently located in central Puebla, close to the Zocalo (main plaza).
I have not stayed in a hostel since I was in my early 20s, in Israel. I remembered being ill there with sunstroke, lying in my bunk, with my head spinning. My head started spinning when I saw the dorm accommodations for 7 women at this hostel. I had a bottom bunk (claustrophobia, anyone?) and a small locker for ALL the stuff in my two big suitcases, which contain most of what I possess in the world. I would have had to leave my suitcases out by the reception desk and open them out there every time I needed something, like clothes, for example. I asked about a private room instead. It was pricier than the dorm but had a double bed, plenty of room to put my stuff away on shelves AND a private bathroom. It isn’t gorgeous, by any standards, but for three nights cost me a little more than 800 pesos, around $20 per night.
I have decided that I will stay in the hostel in Oaxaca, more on that when I arrive tomorrow, but have been busily canceling the other hostel dorm rooms that I have booked (especially the mixed sex ones) and re-booking in my destinations in Mexico and Guatemala, on airbnb, and according to recommendations from fellow travelers.
I was supposed to have lunch with a friend of a friend from WI, but she has pink eye, which I definitely don’t need during my travels. I was disappointed to have to cancel the lunch because she sounded like an extremely interesting woman. She referred me to a vegetarian restaurant nearby called La Zanahoria (carrot), where I enjoyed a veggie buffet for 84 pesos, including green juice and tea and dessert. I ate my “linner” (lunch/dinner combined) and headed to the Zocalo to find the turibus, which I booked for the following morning.
I had only alloted 2 ½ days for Puebla. It is a beautiful city; it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and is considered a photographer’s dream.. The turibus served its purpose. As we drove through the narrow streets, I saw many of the 143 magnificently preserved buildings from the 16th through the 19th centuries. I also went to the Amparo Museum, which was recommended to me; very interesting but not amazing. The best part was the third floor cafe patio that had stunning views.
Last night in the zocalo there was a young people’s cultural exhibition of music and dancing and jugglers and hoopers, etc. I had fun there with the belly dancers, who I merrily joined in dance when they were practicing for their turn performing. They wanted me to come to their class, but it wasn’t until Monday, when I will be long gone from Puebla.
Today I got ready to leave Puebla for Oaxaca. I walked around doing errands. I got my laundry done, had a nice lunch, then, upon returning to the hostel to do research on visas and intentional communities in Oregon, chatted with a few of my fellow hostel adventurers, a young couple from Australia, a young man from France and a woman of my age from Canada.
I had my one expensive meal in Puebla, of the traditional mole, which has up to 40 ingredients. I had the black or chocolate mole at a nice but comparatively expensive restaurant. It was good but I look forward to mole and many other new dishes in Oaxaca, which is a truly gourmet city.
Leaving for Oaxaca in the morning. My 5th post will be from there. I am also looking forward to dancing. I hear there is a free 2 hour zumba class on Sunday in one of the city parks. Yahoo!!