By now, we are no longer lost when we arrive in a new place. We have a system!
We get off the air-conditioned bus and into what feels like a sauna, hot and humid. Ewelina enters the terminal with our carry-on bags, to find us seats. I claim our backpacks and follow her in and take a seat. She gets up and takes the camera to find and photograph timetables for busses out of here, and to find the bathrooms. I watch the bags until she returns, and then it is my turn to visit the bathrooms. In this town it is also my turn to find us a hotel, she found us a place in Palenque.
While my girl watches our stuff I step outside, hoping my phone's GPS will get a fix on our location while I visit all the hostels and hotels near the bus terminal to check prices.
It is hot and sunny, and I'm not wearing any sunscreen, so I stick to the shadows as much as I can. So hot, I miss the cool bus already.
Prices? 150 pesos for the filthy, run-down hostel, 450 for the B&B, 600 for the fancy hotel with the private parking and air-conditioned lobby. Nothing looks appealing, but at least we have an idea about what things cost in this town. Our goal is to find something nice for under 300.
I rejoin Ewelina and we step outside to get a cab to the city center. 30 pesos, and the cab is nice and cool. We ask the driver to take us downtown, but he wants more details. I ask if there is a park, he says yes and we ask to go there. He says something about hostels and hotels, but we don't understand, we just want to go to the park.
When we get there, I leave Ewelina and the bags under a tree and start walking around, checking more hotels and prices. If the price is right I ask to see the room. If the room is nice, I ask about internet access.
About half an hour later I have checked out all the places in our Lonely Planet guide and a bunch others as well. Ewelina and I discuss the options. None are perfect, but the Monkey Hostel right by the park has the right price, wifi, staff that can answer questions in English and a cute little balcony. The room is plain and we don't have our own bathroom - but at least it's possible to hang up the mosquito net.
So once again we have a new home, at least for the night.
Time to go exploring!