Sunday, May 17, 2009

Star Trek III: the search for laundry becomes Star Trek VI: the undiscovered country.*

*Note: I have seen neither movie nor does this post have anything to do with Star Trek, I was just aiming for a catchy title for today’s entry. If you are a trekkie, you will be sadly disappointed.

About every two weeks our search for something to do becomes a search for a place to do laundry. We have about a weeks worth of clothes packed but wash them by hand wash every other week. But when you’re living out of a backpack there’s something decadent and comforting about the smell and feel of freshly laundered clothes. Most times the search is short and ends at the reception desk of wherever we’re staying. Today was not one of those days.

So I pulled out the 5 year old Lonely Planet. Now I’m sure you’re sick of me going on about this 5-year old Lonely Planet. It’s not its fault it’s old and out of date. It's Amazon’s fault. I ordered the new 2007/8 versions of the Central American Shoestring Guide but didn’t notice they’d sent me the 2004 versions until I actually got on the road 1 year later. It’s not a big deal when looking for a place to stay as so many places are on the internet. And as for the prices, I just double every one listed so it hasn’t been too bad – except when we’re looking for very specific things like Garifuna museums or places to do laundry. Knowing that the info in the book could possibly maybe most definitely be wrong, I asked the guy at the reception desk about where to do laundry. His suggestions were the same as the ones in the book so that was encouraging.

It was only 10am but it was already sweltering and carrying 10lbs of laundry it was even hotter. And none of the laundry places were around the corner. We headed to the first near the stadium trying to stay in the shade as much as possible. But when we got there it was closed – not open on Sundays. Le sigh. Okay on to place number 2 down at the south end of the city. But when we got there it was closed too – although the sign said it was supposed to be open. BLARGH! I guess it was hand washing once again.

But first we found a bench in the shade to sit on and cool off. I took my glasses off so I could wipe the sweat off my face. We guzzled the water we’d wisely brought with us then headed back to the hotel. About half way back to hotel I realized I’d left my glasses back on the bench. It was so hot I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t wearing them. Adrian was not happy with me. So I left him under a shady tree while I went back to get them. On this lazy Sunday morning there was no one around and they were exactly where I’d left them. Phew. I joined up with Adrian and we went to find a nice air conditioned coffee shop before attacking the load of laundry.

Actually the coffee was the last thing I wanted but I needed some caffeine because the heat had sapped all the energy from us. And then to cool off, we followed up the hot coffee with some slushies and talked about taking a taxi to one of the beaches outside of town. But then Adrian discovered an easier remedy. While standing outside for a smoke he discovered the fancy hotel next door had a swimming pool. I went next door if we could use the pool – they replied of course for only 100L each (about $6). Sold! That would probably be the cost of a taxi to the beach and back but a whole lot easier.

But first there was the laundry. Once again Adrian to the rescue. He went looking for a place to hang out the clothes and found the hotel maid doing laundry… in machines! Unable to communicate with her, I went over and asked if it was possible to do some laundry. She said no problem and shook her head when I asked how much. She said she’d leave it on our room when it was done. I could have kissed her. Yay! now off to go jump in the pool. Maybe this fancy hotel had wifi too.

For the best 200 Lempiras money could buy, we spent the next 6 hours lounging in, by and around the pool. And decided there was no way we were going to a jungle lodge in this heat. And thankfully the hotel did have wifi so I was able to email the scuba place to let them know we were coming the next day rather than later in the week. Then it was back in the pool and repeat as necessary.


cheryl said...

i'm still laughing at your title disclaimer.
the mention of hand laundry reminds me, did you ever find out why the woman was laughing at you last time?

liz and adrian said...

well - i wanted to make sure that if it came up in a star trek google search that i didn't get a bunch of snarky comments from trekkies.

as for what i was doing wrong, no clue. since our clothes were clean, maybe she was just laughing at a gringo hand washing laundry.