Leicester, United Kingdom
November 9, 2004
Your guide will lead you around, pointing out numerous cheap places to sleep, eat, and visit. They won’t give you any street names (that is because there aren’t any), but don’t worry, as Livingston is really easy to walk around, and you will soon find everything even without street names.
If you want to get something really cheap, you must try to look poor, make sure that you specify your requirements, and insist on your price-if you stick to it you will get it! I stayed in Africa Palace for 20 quetzals a night. The owner kept telling me that he didn’t have anything in that price for a while, and when I wanted to go and find somewhere else, he found the room for me.
The room was tiny, really tiny, the tiniest room that I have ever stayed in. It was the room where the receptionist slept, when they had one, and consisted of nothing more than a bed and enough floor space for my pack, but it was cheap, and obviously if you pay more, you will get a much better room.
The hostel is laid out around a pleasant garden courtyard, with a couple of tables and chairs scattered around for meeting with fellow travelers. A romantic river flows through the middle of the hotel, although this is best admired from a distance to avoid its pungent aroma. Crossing a small bridge across the river will bring you to the hotel’s bathroom and toilet facilities, which are at least kept reasonably clean.
The owner was very nice and tried to help in any way he could. I wanted to learn a few words of the local Garifuna language, and he gave me an illustrated Garifuna Bible to read, which, while not exactly making me fluent, certainly gave me many useful phrases.
All things considered, this is a good choice for those travelling on a tight budget. Admittedly it’s not exactly the Ritz, but I guess that if you want a luxurious holiday, Guatemala is probably not the place to go.
From journal Livin' da Livingston