Like a slice of gringo traveler paradise El Viajero (The Traveler) won’t leave you disappointed. Like an oasis in the desert the hostel is so comfortable and friendly to gringos you will wonder if you are actually in South America. Featuring a pool, hot showers (that actually do work), free salsa classes, yoga, free breakfast, happy hour and companionship El Viajero won’t disappoint. Warning: if you are looking for an authentic shithole experience where no one speaks English and you fight off cockroaches in the night do not come here!
Visiting other countries is often viewed as an arrival to a place where the showers are cold and the people foreign. At El Viajero the people are still foreign but everything else is amazing. I also had the pleasure of meeting a variety of people from different cultures and parts of the world.
Jayne is a Canadian who is on an epic motorcycle journey with her brother from the highest point of North America to the lowest point in South America. She is also a WordPress genius and was able to help me sort out some chronic problems I was having with my blog. If you can’t find any tidbit of value in this story, hate me but DO visit her blog because it is AMAZING!! If you love this story because I am such an awesome bullshitter DEFINITELY visit her blog!!!! www.amazingride.ca
Kristen was another amazing individual I met. From Kentucky, USA she is the perfect Eco-Traveler. She has been backpacking her way south with a variety of volunteerism and out of the way stops in native communities. I really enjoyed her stories and spirit. Upon my departure she was preparing to make her way South to Popayan to visit a indigenous marketplace with various types of handiwork and art.
There are also two other individuals that I want to make a special mention of, they are Taz of Japan and Till of Germany. While I did not meet these two at El Viajero I did enjoy dancing with them. There was also Phil the Chinese-American, he was so nerdy and innocent but a great person and a fellow traveler. One other special mention is the random Argentinian guy who let me and my friend Joe play his guitar. 1:00 am is a great hour to sit at an outdoor cafe and sing a Johnny Cash duet!
Hostels are a great way to travel. I recommend that you shit can hotels permanently because you will never experience the friendship and community of a good hostel. They also serve as a good buffer between you and whatever culture you have decided to immerse yourself in, because asking for toilet paper in any other language just isn’t the same. And you need a break, even if it is just a minute of meditation in “el baño.”