After a week of catching up with one of my oldest (and best) friends, we said goodbye in Veracruz.  I hopped out of the taxi at the ADO bus station and she sped off to the airport.

She was on her way home, but I wasn’t heading back to Orizaba yet.  I was going south, ultimately for a few days in Guatemala.  Hello visa renewal time!   However, since the bus route would take me through Palenque, and I’m a sucker for Mayan ruins, there was no way I wasn’t going to stop off for a day or two.

The first leg of the trip, from Veracruz to Villahermosa, was… interesting.  Quiet and uneventful, save for the fact that by 3 stops before my destination I was the ONLY passenger left on the bus.  Just me.  Just me, the current driver, and the rather flirtatious backup driver.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a little attention from time to time and overall he was polite.  But being trapped alone on the bus with a man who insisted on sitting across the aisle from me and doing his level best to chat me up was a little uncomfortable.  Finally, after he out-right said, “You know, you’re very, very pretty. Do you have Facebook?” and put his hand on my arm I sighed, looked up from my kindle and lied, “Tengo un novio.”   My imaginary boyfriend earned me the last hour in peace, and I arrived in Villahermosa like a queen, with the entire bus to myself.

Testing out the new camera in the ADO station.  Boy do I look tired!

Testing out the new camera in the ADO station. Boy do I look tired!

Things could not have gone smoother from there.  In the hour and a half I had between buses I managed to wander down the street and find a shop where I bought a cheap new camera, get back to the bus station, and even had time to get it all set up to use.  The camera I brought with me has been in the shop for ages, and I realized as I traveled that I’d never forgive myself for not being able to take pictures of my trip.  The new one isn’t nearly as nice as the other one, but you get what you pay for, and it’ll do the trick!

The bus from Villahermosa to Palenque was unexpectedly more like a collectivo- a van used to transport small groups to out-of-the-way places.  Still, it was better than most and got us there in good order.  From there I caught a taxi to my hotel.  Probably the nicest, most informative taxi driver I’ve experienced in Mexico.  As we drove along he noted points of interest, even going so far as to tell me, “From your hotel, walk down this street and it will take you directly to the zocalo.”  Since my hotel was a small, family-run affair well off the main path that became valuable information!

A real bed and my own bathroom, for less than any of the hostels in town?  Don't mind if I do!

A real bed and my own bathroom, for less than any of the hostels in town? Don’t mind if I do!

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Front balcony overlooking a quite side-street.

Front balcony overlooking a quite side-street.

La Posada Chiapan Hotel- colorful, clean, cheap, private, but definitely bare-bones.

La Posada Chiapan Hotel- colorful, clean, cheap, private, but definitely bare-bones.

The roof courtyard of my hotel.  My room was the green window.

The roof courtyard of my hotel. My room was the green window.

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