Travel: Latin America - The Shopping Forecast

Journey to the Source: Hammocks

What could possibly be more pleasant than lounging in a warm, shady spot, dappled by the sun and cooled by the breeze as you gently sway back and forth on a hammock? Not many things, except possibly visiting the country in which their manufacture has become an art form, and incorporating a bottle of Sol and a beachside cabana into the scene.

Merida is Mexico's self-styled hammock capital, so it's a good place to head for if you're looking to buy. The old colonial streets, especially around the main market, are packed with hammock vendors, so make sure you have a good look round before you make your choice.

Hammocks come in all shapes (from simple banana leaf to sophisticated chair), colours and patterns, materials (cotton, sisal, nylon) and sizes (from "single" to "family" - hey, why not have a hammock party and hang out in there with some friends?) and range in price and quality.

Some are are simple cotton slings with hanging threads attached to each end, while others are nothing short of finely threaded cotton webs. Generally, the more threads, the more expensive. If you buy from one of Merida's shops, a single hammock will cost you around 140 pesos (pounds 10) if you are happy to haggle a little.

Wait until you're back in the UK and a basic, single hammock at Graham & Green (4, 7 & 10 Elgin Crescent, London W11 2JA, 0171-727 4594) would cost you pounds 27.50, so buy up a couple of dozen in Mexico and spend the profits on a Continental flight (pounds 420 return) from Gatwick via Houston to Merida with Journey Latin America (0181-747 3108) and drift off to hammock heaven on the Yucatan's sunny shores.

Gadget of the Week:

The travelling espresso set

Colombia's most notable legitimate export is coffee, which helped to convert our nation of tea-drinkers. Then, everyone started ordering tall, skinny americanos and latte frappees and the coffee craze got out of control. But sitting down to drink is passe these days: you need a shot of caffeine on the go, preferably in a nifty paper cup. Try to drink from the thing, though, and you'll end up with an embarrassing blob of froth on your lip line. So, if you're going to be on the move, make sure you kit yourself up with the correct equipment- a zip-up leather travelling espresso set.

This will set you back pounds 650 from Connolly (32 Crescent Mews, London SW1X 7EX, 0171-225 3883) and includes a percolator (that will heat up when plugged into any car lighter but should be used with caution if you don't want your elevenses to out-shine your motor), two stainless steel espresso cups and saucers, two linen napkins, four hornbill spoons and two leather- bound aluminium jars for storing coffee and milk or sugar. The set is available in black, blue-black, chocolate brown, or racing green but rather disappointingly not yet in americano, mocha, latte or even plain old cappuccino.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies