Sue from Meaford asked a question on our Spot about accommodations so I thought I'd post a quick overview of how we do it.
It took awhile, but we've finally got it. Our biggest challenge was finding a suitable room and then getting to it at night and away in the morning. A suitable room has: wi fi, hot water, secure parking, breakfast included, and a toilet seat. In the beginning, we relied on signs or riding through town. This resulted in a lot of frustration when hotels were found to be: full, expensive, dirty or too remote.
So RuthAnn started using “Footprint", similar to “Lonely Planet” and we have been very pleased with the results. Many are hostels, which means they are very basic but very good value for money - ok cheap. One such was a place called “Chill Out” in Huanchao, Peru that was owned by a Scottish ex-pat and his Peruvian wife. She cooked a wonderful curry dinner and he made an English breakfast the next morning and the bill for the room, two meals with beer and wine was under $30.
Getting in and out of cities was another challenge as we didn't have room for individual maps so we just brought country maps which lack fine detail. There weren't GPS maps available for any countries other than Chile and Argentina so we just have very high level electronic maps. Asking directions usually results in the response “directo” and a wave of the hand which I think loosely translates into “piss off and stop bothering me!”. So we are now using the Google map on our Spot which Steve pulls in on his iPhone and Ross is able to lead us in and out of even the biggest cities.
Our Spot gives the co-ordinates of all the hotels where we have stayed if anyone is interested. All have been great with one exception-a '24 hour' place in Central America that catered to an hourly clientèle that kept RA up most of the night increasing her Spanish vocabulary!