One of the bits of advice I’ve heard or read from several sources regarding long-term traveling is that it’s beneficial to get accustomed to a variety of sleeping conditions. In the journey for adventure, a few odd, random and uncomfortable bed settings are par for the course, and not only as a result of imbibing way too much. My trek across three countries thus far has landed me in everything from mattresses on the floor to three-tiered bunk beds and most recently to a hammock. While I previously as an employed person, had a taste for ultra luxe mattress accoutrements to the detriment of all other bedroom furniture, I’m not one to complain about the places where I sleep nowadays. I’m more than willing to sacrifice for the cause of a great journey and here is a compilation of some of the more interesting accommodations one could encounter along such a trip.
Busted. Yes I stayed in an upscale chain hotel (I used loyalty points though if you must know) for one night during my lowly backpacker travels and I make no excuses. Sometimes, a traveler’s weary bones should splurge on the comfortable and known so it’s good reassurance to know that yes in fact, you don’t always have to sleep in hostel bunk bed.
However, the plush and luxurious is far more the exception than the norm. I was soon sent back to my original sleeping layout, the hostel dormitory. This hostel in Montañita featured a very beach friendly roof terrace with mosquito net bed pods. If one were to stumble upon this scene without context in the middle of the night, I imagine it would look like a human breeding project with cocoons.
One of the more exciting dormitory bunk bed layouts was the triple decker in Cali – one of my favorite sleeping accommodation of all my travels. I should take a little side wander here and note that along the way in this trip, I developed an intense fear of drunk men in the dorms peeing on me in the middle of the night. I had heard way too many stories about guys being drunk and doing something completely random like opening a clothing drawer and pissing inside because they thought it was the toilet. As I didn’t want to become a victim of any R. Kelly joke reenactments, I then decided that I would always sleep on the top bunk when in a questionable dorm situation. When I walked into this hostel in Cali, I was overjoyed at the sight of a triple bunk bed. There’s no way any lunatic would come all the way up there to relieve himself. I actually ended up deciding that the middle bunk would be sufficient as my fear of being peed on was tempered by my fear of falling off such a great height.
Last but not least, during my recent stay over the weekend in Parque Tayrona, I went all rustic and slept in a hammock for three days. I have mixed feelings about this. When I think of hammock, I think of rest and relaxation. Therefore, sleeping in a hammock throughout the night should be this wonderfully peaceful experience. Well as I’m sure with anything, you either love it or you hate and I did not love the hammock this time around. It took me one and a half nights to finally perfect the optimal position to achieve sleep mode. I couldn’t sleep straight in the hammock because my feet would get tingly after a while and then there was no real neck support. For the first night, I barely slept. During the second night, I managed to bunch my hair up into a pillow of sorts (yes, I’m scared as well that I can actually do this) and maneuvered diagonally to sleep with all of my limbs at the same level. Then during the third night, some obnoxious British teenagers tried hopelessly to round third base in the hammock next to me and it killed the serene mood I was feeling.