When I read the description of the hostel in Fortaleza, I thought it sounded pretty cool. And as it turns out, it was… but only for the people which go there.
The rooms were pretty basic… okay they were kind of sketchy at best!
One of the main ladies who cleans, constantly talks to herself, sometimes about you, in front of you, whether anyone is listening or not….
Cleaning day in the kitchen means that everything, and I mean everything, gets hosed down, from the ceiling rafters to the walls, the wall sockets, the chairs, letting the heat dry it all out eventually (now I get why there was a musty smell…).
The bathroom has a motion activated light with a short fuse, so needless to say that when you are in the shower or toilet for more than a minute, the lights go out. Toilet paper, well it’s not provided, as the ladies who run the place say, “Well you guys go out and buy it, so why do we need to…?”
Aside from all this, this was still one of the more sociable and fun hostels that I stayed at in Brazil. It’s funny how odd situations, like bad lodgings, train delays or accidents can get people to talk and open up to each other more….
A hostel is only as good as the people that stay there as well…
As mentioned, it’s not that easy meeting people at pousadas versus hostels – so I decided to hostel crash.
It’s easy because no one really knows where you are staying, and you can meet people at the same time. Just act like you sleep there and if there’s more than fifteen people there you should just blend right in. Hehe
So I met up with Kate (NZ), Katy (UK), Shaun and Michael (AUS) and we went out on the ‘town’ in the evenings.
After drinking a few beers at the hostel, we headed down to the beach…
There, under a large tree, was a cool bar with hanging lights and funky decor. On one side of the bar, a line of hookah pipes awaited with different flavours to experience. On the other side, cheap caipirinhas of all flavours wait patiently for thirsty travelers.
The night passes with noisy laughter, drinking and a slow walk back alongside the beach to return to the pousada. Then, all too soon, my time on Ilha Grande has come to an end, and we are on a boat heading for the marvelous city, Rio de Janeiro.
My hostel in Hong Kong was like a military camp hidden in the mountain highlands. No joke!
I was beginning to wonder if it was the right decision to go there at all when I arrived after a very long bus trip that seemed to go further and further away from the city where I wanted to be.
There were curfews, large 36-bed dorm rooms, gates that locked after midnight and only a few scheduled bus runs into the city each day, which you had to pre-book the day before.
But then again, there was a great group of people staying there and it made all the difference.
We even had a communal BBQ one night which I’m sure broke every health regulation in the country.
It was only after I left Hong Kong that I came to realise that it was the birth-place of the avian flu. So here I was woofing into the chicken dishes and lapping up the asian cuisine where I could. Oh well, you can’t live life with too much fear.
Jackie Chan is a total marketing machine. Hong Kong loves its most famous export to bits and he appears on every street corner holding a product or jumping on top of Honker’s famous Peak Tram. Sadly, I didn’t get to see him in the flesh and ask for an autograph as he was filming some movie with Chris Rock or Owen Wilson or one of those guys in some other country…