Not every place I intend to visit has a nice hostel or a reasonably priced hotel. This is where Airbnb comes in handy. Understandably people are likely to be less willing to let someone with no feedback stay with them but to actually get feedback you need to have stayed somewhere. A kind of Catch-22 situation. There are some hostels on Airbnb who are unlikely to be particularly choosy about accepting guests so I’ve booked a couple of such places through Airbnb to get me started. The first one was Bon Paul and Sharkey’s Hostel in Asheville.

While switching accommodation in the same city may seem like a reasonable idea in theory, in reality it’s a bit of a nightmare and resulted in effectively writing off most of today. This hostel is located in West Asheville, a few miles outside of the centre. It is a much quieter area, albeit with a few good bars and cafes nearby, but the change of scenery was nice. For such a pleasant city, Asheville Bus Station isn’t the best, a bit of a magnet for loud and obnoxious patrons, people with mental health issues and a general sketchiness. The trick here was to wait at a safe distance and run across the road when the bus turned up.

BPS Hostel is a fairly small setup, located in a converted house. This means that the reception hours are limited and gave me almost three hours to make use of before it opened for check-in at 6pm. The obvious solution to this was to watch the Euros in the Westville Pub over the road. The person who emailed me about the reservation referred to himself as Hippie Chris, which kind of summed up the vibe of the establishment. There was a bloke who I didn’t see move from the couch for my entire stay, happy to strum away on his guitar. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was friendly enough. I was even offered a share of an evening meal despite not having contributed anything to it.