Day 1 of the Vagabond Travel year long trek around the world was technically April 16, 2014. However, arriving in Mexico City in the evening, and then having issues finding each other at the airport meant nothing more than checking into Hostel 333 was accomplished. So day one is actually April 17.
April 17, 2014 was also Sue’s 28th birthday. It was celebrated in conjunction with the local festival recognizing the Last Supper. The day was spent visiting churches surrounding La Basilica de la Virgin de Guadalupe.
Hostel 333 was chosen because…
- Anyone over 18 years old is welcome. Since Sue just turned 28, but I’m 61 this was an important consideration.
- It is reasonably convenient to everything, at least in that there are two subway stations and a bus station only a few blocks away.
The continental breakfasts provided by Hotel 333 are a nice touch, and the meals at Spice Bar, on the main level of Hostel 333 are great. We ate at the multitude of cafes and restaurants within a few block radius. The meal acts as rent on a curbside table to use as a desk, we had to mix it up to not appear as table squatters. None of the dinning options were disappointing food taste or presentation wise, especially for the price paid. The one exception was a restaurant called Wings. The food was delicious Mexican cuisine, but the servings were small compared to all of the other eating options in the area. Since this is a budget adventure, having to eat lunch twice in a single day to feel satisfied goes against the grain.
Nothing Ever Goes As Planned
Sue Bedford, the gal who will be acting as Vagabond Travel’s on camera spokes person arrived first because she departed from Toronto. I, Len Bowcott, arrived on an Air Canada flight an hour later. We had agreed where to meet and arranged what to do if one of us was delayed. What we did not realize is that the two flights would arrive at different terminals. We eventually found each other and headed to the hostel.
This entire adventure is about sharing budget travel tips, and to prove anyone can travel for less than it costs to live rooted in one city. So taking a taxi was cheating, but it was only 350 Pesos (US$35). Plus it was almost midnight, we were tired and didn’t want to navigate Mexico City’s Metro system. It’s easy to do, but we were too tired to attempt it that night.
Every journey I’ve ever departed on wasn’t what a sane person would consider well organized. In fact many have been spur of the moment. This time I tried to get ahead of day to day stuff to buy myself a week of free time so I could acclimatize to being back on the road. Hours before my flight I was still trying to move software from my desktop to the new laptop I purchased for this adventure. I packed and repacked my backpack to be sure I had what I needed but would still be able to carry it on the plane. I literally finished just before I had to leave for the airport.
As is, I packed two electric tooth brushes and not enough of that most important of travel items, the T-Shirt.
Up And Stumbling AboutDay one was also a day to test out some of the electronics I brought along, a couple of cameras, a tie clip microphone and a laptop. To say there were disappointments and frustrations is a gross understatement.
I was recommended to buy a small camera, a FujiFilm model because it delivered a host of useful photo taking and editing options and shot excellent HD video. Day 1 I foolishly brought my older Sony camera because I hadn’t had a moment to familiarize myself with the recommended camera. My Sony was capable of shooting video, but has shortcomings…
- The image clarity is low in video mode.
- When taking video the image is in the same square format as photos, which leaves black on the sides.
- It is not convenient to carry.
- The camera uses two AA batteries that also need to be carried. When taking photos outdoors the batteries last a long time. However, using the flash or taking mostly video depletes the batteries extremely fast.
I do not profess to be more than an amateur photographer or videographer, and I pretty much work on a trial and error basis. Obviously the Sony camera will be used only for photos, while the Fuji-Film product will be carried in my pocket as a workhorse where there is no one on hand to capture something in a photo or video.
Of course the plan is to find local hires once we’ve had more than a few days to have settled into what is a true vagabond lifestyle.