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Travel Adventure - Backpacking Latin America's Gringo Trail Backpacking Latin America starting in Cuba, then travelling from East to the west coast of Mexico before making our through Central and finishing in South America.

Flight from hell before the hostel from hell - Cancun stopover

MEXICO | Monday, 22 June 2015 | Views [413]

I'm not the greatest on planes, usually slightly nervous before boarding and in the air but this flight I had reason to. It was an hour flight from Havana to Cancun and it ended up taking double that time. I like to have the window seat so I can see outside and we were flying through cloud for a good portion of the flight with nothing to be seen out the window but a complete white out. This made me slightly nervous because I wanted to see outside. The captain then announced descent and it seemed to take forever, still continuing through cloud and you could tell we were going through a storm. Nothing was announced and was wondering why it was taking so long to land. A white flash and a bang hit the plane and we jumped. 'What the hell was that?' Matt asked. I assumed we just got hit by lightning, which made me slightly more nervous. What if it wasn't lightning and the planes wing actually burst and we'll be plummeting to the ground any minute! It was grey and raining out the window and the plane started making large turns. I've been in this situation before and I knew we mustn't been able to land in the weather and we were in a holding circle. The captain announced this over the speaker and said he'll wait to see if we can land and if not , we'll be going back to Havana. Oh god no. We were ready to leave Cuba and I didn't want to do the flight again! We could see other planes in the sky doing the same circling pattern and soon the captain announced we were preparing for landing. Back through storm clouds, there wasn't much turbulence but occasionally that dropping feeling, which I think is worse but was happy we were landing in Cancun and didn't have to turn back. As the plane neared the ground it was getting pushed from side to side because of the strong winds and was thankful once the wheels touched the runway. Everyone on the plane clapped and cheered once we landed! 
Now we had landed we just had to now find a place to sleep in the pouring rain!
Once we got off the bus from the airport to Cancun we logged on the Internet (we could finally get wifi! it was good to disconnect for a while but internet makes research and booking things so much easier when travelling). We found a nice looking hostel for cheap which was really close to the bus station, we were only staying the night so we could leave the next day so worked well for us. We screen shot the map and put on rain jackets and our backpacks and started heading towards what we thought was the right direction, getting very wet in the process. Getting lost we asked locals for directions who couldn't speak English so decided to just get a taxi there so we didn't have to walk around aimlessly in the storm. We had walked in the completely wrong direction and were literally dropped two streets back from the bus station which we originally started from and would have been a very easy walk to get to. Anyway at least we were there. Getting used to using pesos again we thought the driver said 10pesos before we got in the taxi, which is only like $1. No he actually said $10US. Shit. So we paid the driver $10 to literally drop us round the corner... easiest $10 ever made. 
The gate to the hostel was locked so we yelled out and the owner told us there was no vacancy. Great. We did not want to walk around aimlessly again so asked him of another hostel close by. He pointed to one next door. We walked in and asked for a room, there was only 2 beds left in a 10 bed dorm and he walked us through the building with a leaking roof and water all over the floor to the room. It was dirty and cramped and wet. It smelled like weed and there was a midget Mexican playing guitar on one of the beds. This was getting almost comical. It was getting dark outside and we just wanted somewhere to sleep for the night. There were girls clothes on one of the beds so it couldn't be too bad if there was another girl sleeping there too, right? Ok we'll take it we said, regretfully. 
After using wifi at reception so we could book Tulum accommodation and not be in this same situation, we went back to our room and the midget guitarist was sitting outside and two more people in the room. A guy sitting on one bed talking to the girl who was laying naked between the sheets on the other. Immediately it was awkward. Oh god, she's a prostitute! 
We went and got a bite to eat for dinner close by and didn't want to leave, dreading going back to the hostel for what late night activities might be happening in the room when we got back. Thankfully most people were asleep. Matt and I shared a top bunk and a couple of people came in throughout the night, opening the door and waking us up with the bright porch light on outside. The air con unit was attached to the wall just above our bed and coz we were on the top bunk we were right underneath it. Someone turned on the air con half way through the night which was actually nice because it was such a hot night. But early in the morning it turned on to sleep mode and the fan thing moved directly down on to me on 18 degrees. I tried to turn the temp a bit warmer, reaching up I could touch the controls with my hand from where I was sleeping but with no luck. I was freezing when I woke and even more due to the fact that the condensation  was now dripping off the unit on to me and my sheet was wet. As soon as we woke up, we bailed to the bus station to wait there for our bus to Tulum and get us out of there! 
It's safe to say that the start of our journey has been an adventure with not everything going to plan. Not that we haven't enjoyed ourselves but I'm hoping and I'm sure things will get better from here on out :)  it's all part of the travel experience though, taking the good with the bad and dealing with situations as they come... and laughing about it later! 


Tags: dodgy, flight, flying, hostel, lightning, scared, storm, travel

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