Camping at the rural police station

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With Armando in front of police station camping place
With Armando in front of police station camping place (View on flickr)

We stayed a police station last night. Evening came, and dark was nipping at our heels as we came to a intersection of two roads. The store and the gas station were the only thing around and they were both closed. The man with the little hot dog stand was closing up but had four hot dogs for sale which we gladly purchased and greedly wolfed down.

In the dark we noticed another building with a TV playing and a police car in front. We went to the door and knocked. We asked permission to camp there at the police station, a very safe place to stay.

Two of the policement asked if we needed anything.. I said yes - I would like two cans of beer. They went to the town many miles away 45 minutes later drove back with their lights flashing. The beer had arrived.

There are 5 guys who live at the station for a week to ten days, 24 hours a day. They make 100 dollars a month. Wow.  read more here... lee mas aquí... »

Camping Versus Hotels in Latin America

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Camping at the school at Conococha
Camping at the school at Conococha (View on flickr)

When other cyclists told us we would probably spend a lot of nights in hotels in Latin America, we kind of scoffed at them. As seasoned bike tourists, having camped all over the US and Canada, we figured we'd be camping more than most.

But we have been staying more than 80% of the time in hotels in Latin America (although that number is declining as we get farther south). People ask about this, so we thought we'd tell you why.

Camping in Latin America is different from camping in the US and Canada. There are no (or almost no) "official" campgrounds. It's really rare to see anything like that, and when you do, it's often more expensive than a hotel. And there is almost no "unclaimed" land, like in the western US or Canada. In the US and Canada, if you see a quiet place, you can just set your tent up there (if you're discreet) and nobody will ever know or bother you. In Latin America, almost everything is "owned". One time we set up discreetly behind a horse barn in a Mexican pasture right at dusk. Since we had run out of options, we just set up. We were immediately discovered. Some kids came and checked on us right away. Nobody bothered us, but we were not succeeding at hiding out.  read more here... lee mas aquí... »

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