If you read my post on Catemaco then you will know that leaving there we had a small problem with our onward travel plans. The station there was quite small and we had very limited options of onward buses. So we had decided to return to Veracruz where we knew they had a large station with heaps of bus options.
After arriving back in Veracruz we surveyed the bus timetable and decided to change our travel plan to the border to go through Oaxaca. At that time of the afternoon we couldn’t get a bus all the way to Oaxaca as it would arrive in the early hours of the morning which we wanted to avoid. Instead we took a shorter bus to a town called Orizaba which sits in a valley overlooked by the tallest mountain/volcano in Mexico. Sounds pretty right?
In the bus station of Veracruz we even had time to use the internet to look at Google maps for Orizaba as well as some quick accommodation research. With a definite plan we were feeling a lot more relaxed and happily hopped on the bus. For some reason this bus didn’t agree with me and I was travel sick for the first time is ages. I’d been doing so well with the buses until here.
Arriving by bus to San Andres Tuxtla we still needed to make our way another half hour down the road to Catemaco. From the ADO bus station our next opportunity would be an hour away so we sought out other options. A nice local helpfully pointed us towards a new form of transport: collective taxis. These are your usual taxi but you pay per seat instead of for the whole trip. Being Mexico it’s not unusual for these taxis to have six adults (including driver) plus children and shopping in the medium sized cars. Yes this means that the front passenger seat accommodates two adults. We could only fit one of our packs in the boot so the other got to ride on our knees for the short drive.
After being dropped in the zocalo we set off to find accommodation. We walked a loop around the block, down past the malecon (lake front) and back up to the zocalo where we found our to-be hotel right next to where the taxi driver dropped us off. Typical right. The hotel was cheap enough to begin with but while we discussed it in English the lady dropped the price for us by $60 peso; making it a bargain $300 per night. Sure the hotel was super dated but our room was clean, came with towels and soap, had a fan, free water, was cleaned daily and was nice and cool. It was also in a central location; easy for the malecon, restaurants and buses.