“This looks like a good place,” I say as we spot a motel ahead. No sign of the city yet, but we know we’re close.
“New and clean,” my husband says and pulls up to the reception area.
We’re tired, hungry, hot, and desperately needing a break from the vehicle and the sun.
It’s day five of our trip from Edmonton, Canada to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We’ve driven through a blinding snowstorm, through pouring rain, and hours and hours in the blazing sun. We’re approaching Hermosillo, our first stop in Mexico and don’t know quite what to expect.
This trip was made in pre-GPS days and finding a decent motel each night had been one of the bigger challenges so we’re happy to have arrived at a place so nice and new and clean.
This trip was also made in the pre-roaming-cell-phone days so finding Internet access has been another big challenge. We promised our family back home and our daughter in Mexico that we’d keep in touch daily. A few of the motels had wireless to the rooms. In Kanab, we used the computers in the library. The motel in Tucson the night before had Internet access from the lobby. That was fine. All we cared about was being able to email.
Now, we view the motel through the entrance gates.
“Look, they have a parking space by each unit for the vehicle,” I say. “And you enter the unit from the garage.”
My husband points to a couple of units where the garage area is closed off with what looks like a big curtain. “Secure too,” he says. “No one would even know we were there.”
We smile at the two young men in the reception booth and I ask, in my very limited Spanish, if they have Internet. My question is received with incredulous looks. Good grief, was my Spanish that bad? Did I insult them?
“No,” one young man says. “No Internet.”
“Well, then.…” My husband thanks the young men and we pull away. Watching in the rear view mirror, we see them shaking their heads.
Much later we learn that these are “special” motels generally rented by the hour. Discretion being the primary concern of these particular motel guests, garages are provided to hide the cars. We’re told, by friends who stayed in one by mistake, that there is a pass through for meal delivery or payment for more time, a dancing pole in the room, hot tub, and assorted other accoutrements for guests’ pleasure. Maybe we should have ditched the Internet and stayed the night.