Blissful, blissful sleep. At 9 p.m. last night I pulled the hand-loomed blanked up to my chin and sank into the two thin pillows doubled beneath my head. There was no television to distract me. My cell phone has no international service, so it wouldn’t be beeping every time I received an email. A few gringos conversed on the balcony outside of my hotel room door and street noises floated through the room’s only window, but I was so exhausted that I was asleep in moments and did not wake until morning. I have been existing on three or four hours of sleep per night for more than a month as I prepared for my four-month backpacking trip through Mexico, Central and South America and this 12 hours of uninterrupted unconsciousness was a balm to my sleep deprived condition.
Hotel Lerma is a typical family-owned Mexican hotel. The building is old and patched but charming, built in a rectangle around a large open-air courtyard. The entrance gate is locked at 10 p.m., providing additional safety for parked cars and guests, however since the owners live on site, there is always someone available to open the big wooden doors for guests who stay out late. My room is modest but clean, with terra cotta tile floors, heavy wooden furniture, and crazy colors – marine blue for the concrete walls and bright turquoise for the doors and windows. The bathroom is tiny but adequate: the toilet flushes, the sink has running water, and the shower, which sprays directly onto the floor in one corner of the room and drains through the tile floor, has hot water (although the water smells like a cross between shrimp and iron). Continue reading