Left Mexico City for Veracruz, took the Ado GL bus it is the deluxe one for $400 pesos (only $40 pesos more than the regular bus) the ride took about 5 1/2 hours. No food which kind of sucked, ETN and Primera gave me some kind of sandwich and cookies/nuts.
Had a bit of an issue with a cab driver in Veracruz, told him I wanted to go to the Hotel Amparo which I had found on the Internet before I left Mexico City. He tried taking me to another hotel, one that he no doubt gets kick backs from far away from the central zone and $200 pesos a night more. A battle of wills began, I wasn't getting out or paying him and he didn't want to take me to where I wanted to go... I won he finally gave up after 10 minutes of us sitting in front of the hotel.
The hotel Amparo was listed in my footprint guide as a good place to stay. They were right, a single room with no TV cost me $150 pesos a night (if you want the TV $180 pesos). It is right in the historic zone a few blocks from the zocalo and the malecon. You can pretty much walk to anywhere you want to go. There are a ton of similar hotels in the area so if they are full there are other choices. The bathroom is hillarious, the bathroom is the shower. Brings back the days of the family trailer.
I have spent most of the time walking around checking out the sites. There is free live music all over the place in this town, you can't go down a street without running into a band. There are free shows pretty much every night in the zocalo as well. Last night there was a band in every square, a bit of sensory overload when you got to the place where they merged into one. I like Latin music but 2 different bands at once is a little too much of a good thing.
You may have noticed that while in Mexico City I didn't mention any clubs, that is because I was being good and stayed out of them. Well that lasted until last night when I found a metal bar down the street with live music and all you can drink beer for $60 pesos (yup that's just under $6.00 mi amigos) and it is 1/2 a block from the hotel..
Veracruz is a beautiful place, I took a boat ride around the harbour today at a cost of $75 pesos for a 45 minute tour. Things here are much cheaper than the other places I have been. The road side stand food is $8 pesos a taco the beer is cheap and the tours are cheap. This is a big tourist destination but mostly for Mexicans so the pricing reflects it. They have several beaches in town (a bus ride away from where I am) but due to the heavy shipping traffic in the harbour they are kinda polluted. If you take a 6km bus ride down the road there is a beach called Boca Del Rio. I however did not make it there, it is very hot here and baking on a beach was not something I wanted to do when it was that far from where I am staying. I only like to stay out for an hour or so now and then I've had enough. In the next couple of weeks they are having their carnival, too bad I won't be here apparently it is a great week long party. My Spanish is improving a bit the front desk folks at the hotel think it's funny that I can actually ask for my room key without having to use my pocket English to Spanish book, which has come in very handy here.
I have found a great coffee place called El Grand Café de la Parroquia they are famous in Mexico for their coffee they have one called Lechero. You get a shot of coffee in a glass delivered to the table and then another guy comes by with a metal tea kettle filled with hot milk and dumps it in. It is very tasty. A great place to people watch as it is across from the Malecon, they have patio seating and they have live music courtesy of the band that sets up on the corner of the street. They have been in business since 1808.
Next stop heading out on the night bus tonight to Palenque but I will be staying just outside the ruins in El Panchan. Seems you can get a cabana in the jungle for $80.00 to $100.00 pesos a night, no electricity but there is an Internet cafe in the main compound. Bus from Veracruz to Villahermosa $400.00 pesos and just over 6 hours. Bus from Villahermosa to Palenque $106 pesos and about 2 hours. Should be there by 9am ish.