Valladolid, Mexico – Hostel la Candelaria

We left Cancun’s mosquito population behind us and headed west to Valladolid, a small city in the Yucatan province, housing around 46,000 inhabitants.

We stayed in cosy accommodation, Hostel La Candelaria, which hid a miniature Eden behind a huge iron gate.

Our room overlooked a courtyard covered in dense foliage that kept a kitchen and outdoor communal area concealed from view. Cocksure cats patrolled the area whilst brightly coloured flowers produced intense scents begging to be pollinated. At the rear of the garden were gigantic trees soaking up the sunshine and giving shade to hammocks at their base.

You can check out our full review on Hostelsworld here.

© John Brownlie 2012

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Cancun: the bloodsucker’s banquet

One night I’d like to erase from memory is our infernal first night in Cancun City, Mexico. The night was like Lucifer’s sauna. The lack of air conditioning in our proximity meant every movement produced an obscene amount of perspiration. It seemed our room habitually trapped the sun’s heat and the ceiling fan had about as much gusto as a stone wall. Our only option was to open the windows in an attempt to rejuvenate the stale air.

We stripped and laid down. With the nightcap numbing our bodies and adding weight to our eyelids we eventually slept.

The feeling of the female mosquito piercing my skin disturbed the hot stickiness of the relentless night. Instinctively slapping my feet in an attempt to catch her in the act, my empty hand showed that she had already flown.
Her bloodlust had woken me. My body and sheets were already soaked in sweat from the few hours since we’d turned in. I rested on my side to try and get some breeze on my back. Closing my eyes, I managed to drop off by counting the amount of times I could curse the tiny winged vampires a horrible death.

I was out for a fraction of the night before I felt another robbing me of my red juice.

Disrupted from sleep once more I stumbled into the bathroom to a horrifying discovery. The bathroom mirror showed the true extent of the feast. Several red swellings from where I had been punctured, protruded from my back. It had become their new feeding ground. An uncontrollable urge to rip my itchy burning flesh from my bones came over me. Having a lukewarm shower was just enough to stop myself from doing serious harm.

I filled the rest of the unpleasant night with persistent scratching of my feet, ankles and back. It was momentarily soothing as my nails grazed around the bite marks. By daybreak the entire mosquito population of Cancun had welcomed us. I had over 30 bites covering my body. The pancakes the hostel provided for breakfast did little to alleviate me as the endless itching prevailed.
Tired, itchy, rabid and sore we paid and got on the next bus out of there.

© John Brownlie 2012