10th Oct 2018
Coming from San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, via Querétaro, because I had forgotten the key to my home at my host there, I slept most of the time on the bus. It was still a five hours drive from Querétaro till Guadalajara. I awoke once with pain in a leg. Fortunately, I soon fell asleep again, even I tried to be awake. Anyway, I could see, that we were crossing the state of Michoacán and that it had a mixed shape (part of it was flat, another part was mountainous).
In Guadalajara I had a host waiting for me, I thought and took a taxi to the address I had got. Guadalajara is a big city (see link above). Unfortunately there were no possibility to prepay the ride and I had to pay 150 MXN after I put it down by offering 120 MXN from 170 MXN. I thought, it is anyway too much, but no taxi driver was willing to drive me to the address I had given them for less than 150 MXN and it was a young driver, who did take me there.
When I ringed the bell at the address I was awaiting my host’s mother, because Pau, my host, had texted me, that her mother will be “there” from 3pm. Actually a student, what I discovered later, opened for me. He called Pau’s mother and he was afterwards giving me the key for the room, which also had the key for the front door and the gate. He told me, that Pau again, did not have informed her mother – I also understood by the whole conversation, that all the rooms of the floor – where that room was situated, had five small rooms, a common kitchen and a shared bathroom, were rented to students, but the one was just free for the moment. That might also had been the reason, that I could not stay for longer than four days, Pau had messaged me, when I was in contact with her for the address.
It felt miserable for me. I was locking for a usual couch surfer opportunity and then this. I contacted Pau by WhatsApp and she told me, that her apartment is so small, she could not host me there and that the other couch surfers had been satisfied with that option. Pau also told me, that she is very busy, though she did not even come and welcome me. Even her mother was not interested in to see me. I was still tired, therefore I stayed at that room, but for the bathroom. I also booked the hostel for three more nights, but the first night I had to stay in that room. I was happy, that I could book the same hostel for the additional three nights. I did not have anything to eat, but there were no restaurant or shop in that street and I was not in the mood to look further. There were no bed linen or cover either. Fortunately there were a pillow with a pillow case. I put my winter jacket over my legs and my fleece jacket over my upper body. This way I slept most of the night.
11th Oct 2018
The next morning I was thinking about, what I would do. If I would try to get a taxi right off or take a shower, because the shower did not seem to be clean. I decided for a shower, because I was not able to shower at my host in San Miguel de Allende but once, because the pump for his water reservoir was broken (it took air instead of water). The shower at this place worked well and with my flip-flops on my feet it was safe. I also had asked Pau, where to leave the keys and she had answered me, that I should leave the keys in the room. So I did, but I could neither lock the front door nor the gate. It was not far to the next busy street, where I soon could stop a taxi. I actually did not ask for the price before the taxi driver left me at the hostel and I was surprised. It was only for 76 MXN. It is right, the hostel is situated in the historic city center and the bus station far away from there, but 150 MXN seemed me too much anyway.
Even the check-in time is 2pm, the female receptionist did check me in already when I arrived – around 10am. I also could leave my backpack in the locker etc. without any extra payment. I was happy as well, that I could pay by VISA-card. I have not had the opportunity to find an ATM before I was going to the hostel. In the price for the nights a breakfast is included, but that morning did not count, of course.
Outside the hostel was a Mexican waiting for something or someone and he showed me the right entrance to the hostel, because on the first floor is another business situated. He was still there when I was looking for a restaurant for breakfast and he told me, it is one just at the next corner and also told me the direction. I was wondering by myself if he get paid for it or if it, again, is the Mexican way of life. There were two important things I had to fix this day: For the first I had to find an optician to repair my glasses – just the little things, which hold the glasses on my nose. One of them broke the evening before and it is always best to have two new of them, when one break. The frame of the glasses has actually not the best quality and the humid heat is not good for them at all. The other important issue was to find an ATM and as usual an HSBC ATM, though I do not need to pay a fee for taking out money. Both was done smoothly and I had the rest of the day to explore the city.
I walked the historical city forth and back and listened for a while to Mariachi, who were playing at a restaurant for people, who paid them. I hope, that I after a while will find a restaurant, where they will play a whole evening. I am also willing to pay an entrance fee. The most strange thing I saw that day were women, who were knitting etc open air in a pedestrians zone, where crafts women and men were selling their items. For lunch I have had a big and expensive, but very good, ice cream. For “dinner” I was at Mc Donald’s and had a chicken nugget meal. This time I was telling them, that I would have exactly the one announced for 72 MXN, though they could not sell me something more like bigger French fries or a bigger drink. It worked.
Back at the hostel I asked for the Wi-Fi code and the receptionist wrote it down for me. It was very easy to remember as well. Finally working with my blog again, I updated it. I saved time, because I had already the text as a document and only needed to copy and paste. Anyway I sat until very late for adding some photos as well. There were still links missing for additional photos. I promised myself to work with that as soon as possible.
12th Oct 2018
I enjoyed the breakfast, which was cereals and milk or yogurt, fruit and toast bread as well as butter and marmalade. There were also coffee and juice. I took of everything. I was really happy about the breakfast and really full, when I finished. Before I left the hostel, I asked the receptionist – who was male one this morning, about the free tour, which is included in the price for the room. I do not know, if one have to stay for some days to get that free tour or not, but that does not matter for me either. I was explained, that the (papers) bracelet I had got, was not for the free tour, but to show, when I ring the bell of the hostel, though I will be let in. I have seen people wearing it around their arms, but for my 9 nights at the hostel, I think that is not an option. They accepted, that I show it for them without wearing it.
I have got a lot of birthday wishes during the night and the early morning and it continued during the day as well. I am happy, that all of my children remembered my birthday and also some relatives and some friends. Anyway I cannot really believe, that I am already 68 years old.
This day the “Dia de la Raza” is celebrated in Guadalajara and I thought, that I will have a good time on my birthday, because I was told, that there will be a lot of dance. I walked to the cathedral and the open plaza in front of it. Nothing did happen there. Though I was waiting, sitting on a bench and enjoying the sun coming out behind the clouds. After a long while a group of Indians (most of them looked like Indians, but I am not sure, they were. I did not ask them.) arrived with four drums as well as grass and flowers. With the grass and flowers they made two rings. One for the drums and the players and the other, bigger one for the dancers. It was a monotonous melody, which was drummed. The dances were similar to the others I had seen of the “Aztecs” and the other “Indians” (see Querétaro and San Miguel de Allende). A group cowboys on horses gathered nearby, but was after a while riding away.
When the music group made a rest I was looking for a restaurant and found one, which was not expensive. I had three quesadillas with meat and a papaya drink. I had to pay 82 MXN for it together and I was really full after the meal. I walked the town and explored another area, close to the historic city. I passed a small group of musicians, playing melodies on a big xylophone and a drum. They asked for financing and I actually gave them 10 MXN. I think it is like Pipi Longstocking. She did make gifts on her birthday instead for expecting gifts. Somewhere I had an ice cream. One scoop for 27 MXN. That was not the cheapest either, but also this ice cream was very good. Afterwards I went back to the plaza in front of the cathedral. The Indians from the morning were still there and danced again.
I got tired in the late afternoon. I think the reason was the few hours I had been sleeping that night because of heartburn and the hot weather. We actually had 26°C during the day. Though I was up for my birthday cake. I went to a café, where I had a cappuccino and two small cakes. It was an offer: 1 for 39 MXN, 2 for 49 MXN or something like that. Together with the cappuccino I had to pay 73 MXN. After the meal I brought my hat to the close by hostel and was going to the plaza again. On the way there I saw a horse with a carriage and a man going on the site of it. The horse had a plastic cover like a rain mantel. That really surprised me. At the plaza I could help a shoe cleaner and his client by changing a 100 MXN note. I actually only had 99 MXN in 2 times 20 MXN notes and the rest in coins, but they asked me for it anyway. I really hoped, the 100 MXN note is not false.
Even the rain period is just gone, we got a really heavy rain this evening. It seemed first to be over quite quickly, but started over again and became worth. The first time I took shelter in the fore yard of the theater nearby. The other time I took shelter in the cathedral. I was quiet and had shut down my cell phone, but people did talk in their cell phones and talked with high voices with each other as well even there were a service ongoing. There were also people walking the church in short pants, taking photos etc. I could not understand, that they lack so much respect. By the way, most of them looked Mexican. When the rain did decrease, I was going back to the hostel, taking shelter under long roofs, if there were.
I used the evening to upload the new photos, making albums on Google photo and updating my blog. That was not really what I had expected from this day, but anyway we are six or seven hours back home by the time zone and in real, that is not my birthday anymore, when I am working with my photos and the blog. Even this day it became midnight before I went to bed.
13th Oct 2018
I attended a “Free Walking Tour”. Our guide was a young man in the age of 28. He studies tourism and also had been working for the hostel before. This tour was a little different to the others. It started as the tours do usually, but he was late. Nobody got angry about him, because he was such a charm guy. He walked not very far with us, but that is not necessary either, because the center of Guadalajara is rather small and especially the historic center. The most important he told us, was, that the historic center is not very historic. In the fifties were lots of historic buildings destroyed for wider streets etc. There are a few old buildings, which remain, because suddenly one day the government has seen, what they were doing and tried to conserve the last old buildings.
There is a kind of rotunda, which I was wondering about before. On the tour I have got an answer, even I never questioned. That “building” is a kind of sarcophagus for well-known citizens like the governor. In the last 15 years, none has been buried here. The government could not decide, whom was worth it!
At the end of the tour, our guide was taking us to an old market. He recommended us to try the dish “Birra”, which has nothing to do with Beer. Original it is cooked goat meat. Now it usually is cooked of beef. Meanwhile I earlier had been told, that Birra is spicy, here it is not. It tasted good and was easy to eat – together with tortillas, but there come no vegetables or salad with the meal. At another stall I bought papaya juice. I was happy, they had, because it is quite unusual. After the meal we bought fruit respectively berries. I was lucky, who could buy half a portion “Zarzamora” (blackberry/Brombeeren/björnbär). Unfortunately, they were not as tasty at all as the Swedish ones. I did give the most of them away. For dessert we were going to another place and only close to it, our guide told us, that our dessert will be Tequila and beer.
We were in an old “cantina” (pub), where it was not possible to buy a meal. It was one of the few which survived after all the changes of the law about pubs. As in all public places in Mexico, it was not allowed to smoke here – regarding to smoking, it seems, they have the same rules like Sweden. We stayed there for almost an hour and our guide as well. He told us, that he will travel Europe soon, though I invited him to crash on my couch, if he will come to Stockholm. You may imagine, how nice he is.
I was first going back to the hostel, but soon walking the town in another direction. Unfortunately I did not come where I wished to, I did read the map wrong again. It is also very difficult because in that map, I have got of the hostel, are not all streets shown respectively they are not named and the streets in Guadalajara change names often. Anyway I did find the way back easily. Before I was back at the hostel I also bought body shampoo and lip care.
You may believe it or not, but when I finally was back at the hostel, I just took a rest and awoke in the middle of the night with my clothes on. I changed to my night-clothes, was to the bathroom and started looking for my key (the one for the room at the hostel). I did not find it during the night.
By the way, I should have met with a CS member on Sunday. He had not agreed a time with me. It was still all open. When I told him, that I had booked a tour for Sunday and we may meet afterwards, he answered, that I afterwards will be too tired and also, that he had bin thinking to meet around 2pm. I neither know, why people are thinking I will be tired of x and y nor why he could not tell me before, that he will meet in the middle of the day. In that case I had not booked the tour for Sunday. Another issue is, that I, because of my hearing aids not hear, what people are telling me, when there are other high noises around. When I tell them in Spanish, that I did not hear (no escucho), what they did say, they tell me in English. If I mean, that I did not understand (no entiendo), I say that!
14th Oct 2018
Next time I awoke was around 5am and I started to look for the key systematically, but even this time I did not find it. I was thinking about the situation, when I had to tell the receptionist, that I had lost my key – in the room, because I did remember, that I opened the door of the room by that key before I took the rest.
I put a shoe in the door, though I want not to be locked out. Then I had my shower etc. Finally, when I was dressed and should sneeze, I found the key in that pocket, where I had my tissue. You cannot imagine, how happy I became! At the same time, I was thinking, how stupid I had been. I checked most of the pockets of the pans twice and even three times, but just that pocket I did not check.
I had breakfast as early as possible, because I had booked a tour to a “must see” lake. It is the biggest lake in Mexico and how the driver of the bus, who also was our guide, told us, the lake would be the next big in the whole of Latin America. Only the Titicaca lake at the border av Peru and Bolivia would be bigger. I checked this by Wikipedia, but it was not correct, even there is nothing written about that in the article about the Chapala lake, I found that in a list of the biggest lakes in Latin America and the Chapala lake is not under the biggest five.
As I was afraid, tours are not done for me. There is always advertising and other business included in addition to the regular tour. Though it was here as well. The first stop was at the hacienda of the famous Mexican Mariachi singer Vincente Fernandez. The hacienda is not open for visitors, anyway the Mexicans pilgrim there and take photos of the walls, the gate and the name and all, what is possible to take a photo av. Very close to the hacienda is also a shop and a restaurant and if I understood that right, the owner of them is the singer as well. The restaurant has bathroom service for 5 MXN per person. I guess, the gasoline station nearby has the same service.
When we arrived at the lake, we were early for the boat trip. These small boats are called “lancha” here, but actually it was more a raft as a boat. It was built by old, empty oil barrels and wood. It had chairs on it, like you have at home, around the table. We were around half an hour on the lake and did not go far either. The captain 😉 asked us all, where we come from. All other attendees were from Mexico – even from different states. I was the only one from outside Mexico. The captain did tell always something about the Mexican state, the passenger asked, comes from, though he explained, that Suecia (Sweden) is a country in Europe …, close to France – even he said Suecia, he mixed it up with Suissa (Switzerland) as the Mexicans usually do. I left that “boat” at the last one and told him, so the other passengers could not hear it, that I am from Suecia and not Suissa and that Suecia is not close to France, but in the North of Europe. He apologized and I told him, it was for the next time.
The lake has beautiful surroundings, the Sierra del Tigre. The Heron is the only bird I could see flying over respectively using the lake. The captain filled a cup with water, which was totally clear, but I do not know if it is healthy again (see the Wikipedia article from 2006 I linked to above). After the short trip with the “lancha”, we got an hour to eat something in the restaurant very close to the pier. The restaurant had mostly seafood, even I do not think all was from the lake like shrimps, but also a very few beef and chicken meals. The prices were absolutely high and I guessed, the other restaurants around will have the same price level. I ordered a chicken steak with Parmesan. I have got it served with a Parmesan sauce. It was not bad, but for the price of 160 MXN, it was just OK.
Back in the bus we were carried to the town of Chapala. There we got around one and a half hour to spend. The driver had explained, that we should walk the “Malecon” (pier) etc and that they have lots of nice handcrafted souvenirs. The bus driver let us out in front of the church and told us, he will pick us up at the same place at 5:20pm. I walked by myself the Malecon, which had an interesting statue, I thought and took a picture. I also was close to the statue and there I could read, that it meant “Jesus, the fisherman”. All the pier was full of stalls with souvenirs and food. I did not buy anything and was back in good time to the meeting place. My seat neighbor, a Mexican woman from the area of Monterrey, was already there. Though I took a seat on her site. We started talking about traveling and family. At the end, she wrote down her name and address for me, therefore I gave her mine as well.
Most of the attendees of the tour were in time and they also have seen, that the bus was parking on the other side of the street. The bus driver had to ask a few to come over and four persons were not in time at all. Anyway, the bus driver told us about the sweet Membrillo (sweet quince/Quitten Süßigkeit/kvitten godis) and made a stop nearly halfway back to Guadalajara at a shop. Luckily we got taste bites, because nor did I like it, neither did others. Maybe half of the passengers did buy of it. Fortunately it was the last market activity before we were left off close to our hotels respectively my hostel.
For more photos of Chapala, please follow the link.
I was back to the hostel to put my sunhat away, which I nearly did not have use for this day, because it was not very sunny this day, mostly cloudy. On our trip it had not be raining, but in Guadalajara were the streets wet of rain water. I took a short rest, but did see, that it was already around 8pm, though I was to the closest café, the one I had been before for breakfast and my birthday cake. I ordered a sandwich called “Avocado”, but there were nearly no avocado on it, even the cheese I had to look for. I also had asked for a smoothie: Piña Colada. It was served in a cup and did not taste pineapple at all. Furthermore the French fries, which came with the sandwich were salty. When I told the waiter, he were going to the kitchen and came back and told me, that they cannot taste salty, because they do not put salt on it in the kitchen. It might be a combined spice they use. I was so disappointed I asked the waiter to eat it – he took it out to the kitchen, but I did not get any new. I was not so very hungry, though it did not matter so much. I also had half of the sandwich to go, because I still were full from the meal at the lake. The sandwich had been served in a basket, with a big sandwich paper under it. I took the sandwich paper around the left over. The waiter asked me, if I will have it in a bag. I told him, that it was not necessary, but he insisted. I did not give a tip, of course and I will look for other cafés or restaurants the upcoming days.
Back at the hostel I updated my blog. It took almost three hours again, because the upload of the photos already did take around an hour.
15th Oct 2018
I was looking for a supermarket like Soriana and for a pharmacy after breakfast. I needed more tissues, eye-drops and more of my Thyroid medicine. I had enough of the medicine for another week, but I thought it might be easier to get my medicine in such a big town as Guadalajara, if I need to meet a doctor. The first pharmacy was a “Farmacia Guadalajara”, because it was closest to the hostel. They had my eye-drops, but told me, they did not have the medicine. I did not believe them, because this medicine is so usual. They told me, that it was from another chain. I thought, maybe I should have been told, that I had to see a doctor for a prescription, but she did only tell me, they do not have it. Not far away from this pharmacy is another one, of another chain. I was welcomed in and the receptionist soon found a similar medicine. He showed me, that it was the same active substance and the same concentration. He offered me 3 x 100 tablets, because there was a lower price per unit if I bought three boxes at the same time. I could use the medicine until march 2020. It was not so much for the price, that I did buy the three boxes, but for my future travel. I just do not have the problem to buy the medicine in another country next time I am out on my adventures.
Back at the hostel, where I put the medicine in my isolated bag – even this medicine only need an environment cooler than +30°C, I then asked the receptionist, how to go to Tlaquepaque, where there are restaurants with Mariachi playing. There is also a Museum for ceramics. In addition to that, I asked for the pyramid in Guachimontones. For both I could get an explanation. I decided to go one of the upcoming days to Tlaquepaque and the other one to Guachimontones. I thought, this day it was too late for both of my goals.
I was going out for lunch, but had an ice cream instead. I tried again to see Chapultepec and especially the Gothic church. Nearly all of the churches in Mexico are in Baroque style, but I like the Gothic style and especially the New Gothic Style much more. I walked all the way and did find some nice motives for my camera, but I did not went longer than the Avenue Chapultepec. I was really hungry now, but did not feel for tacos or similar. I did not even feel for breaded, fried chicken breast. I found a nice café, where I bought a sandwich and a piece of banana cake. Together with a cold chocolate drink I had to pay as much as I usual pay for a meal.
It was rain in the air again and I tried to walk as soon as possible for not to become wet. I actually made it dry to the hostel, before the rain came down. The climate table states, that there are only four days of rain in Guadalajara in October, but that is an average. Though I am unlucky, that there are more this year.
This evening i spent the time on twitter. I just did not have the energy to update my blog.
16th Oct 2018
After breakfast and while waiting for the guide of the “Free Museums Tour”, I read a newspaper for Guadalajara. It was already some days old and it was in English. In that newspaper I found, what I was looking for: The “Octubre fiesta”. It started 6th of October and continues during the whole month. It is in an area called Palenque – at the Auditorio. I asked the receptionist, how to go there and she explained it to me. Though, before I leave I will definitely spend a day there.
The Museums tour started actually in time. It was another guide this time. He tog us to places we already have been with the “Free walking tour”. The only new was the last museum, the “Hospicio Cabañas“. He explained the murals of José Clemente Orozco. Afterwards we did watch the other exhibitions. In one room, which seemed to be more made for children, en old men was happy to explain things for us, e.g. about the mural I had seen in the “Diego house” in Guanajuato. At the end of the tour we were to a market hall close to the museum and every one had half a “Torta Ahogada“. Most of the other attendees also bought something to drink. I was looking for an Agua de Horchata or a Papaya water, but did not see any stall around with that. The “Torta Ahogada” is very hard to eat, because you have to hold that wet thing in your hands and it is almost as thick as a Hamburger. I did not really like it.
When leaving the market hall, it was raining. Fortunately it did stop soon, but it was not possible to cross the streets without getting wet shoes and feet. The guide brought us back to the hostel, where I took of my shoes and my socks. Around 8am I was out again. This time for “dinner”. I found a quite nice place, where I had a “Huarache” with mushrooms and cheese. A Huarache is an oval and big tortilla, which is served open. I also had a liter of “Agua de Horchata”. Back at the hostel I spent time on the Internet again, but got to tired to finish all the report for the last two days.
17th Oct 2018
This day I was taking the bus from the old bus station (Central Vieja) to Guachimontones, I thought. In real the bus is going to Teuchitlan and the rest I had to walk – or take a taxi. The bus company announce, that there are buses to Guachimontones, what is incorrect. I had asked the bus driver to announce, when we were there, but he did not tell me in Teuchitlan, that this is the closest bus stop to my destination. Though, when I saw on Google maps, that we are going further away again from my destination I asked the driver about it and he told me, that I should have left in Teuchitlan. I reminded him, that I had asked him, to tell me, where I had to leaf. He answered, that I have to follow with him to the next stop and there take another bus back. I could not understand him, but the kind Mexican woman at the side of me told me in clear Spanish, what the driver had told me. She also told me, when we were at that new destination, that I had to leave there. The driver did tell the other bus personal, that he missed to tell me.
Back in Teuchitlan I left this other bus and asked at the bus station, if there was a bus to Guachimontones. She told me, there are taxis. I googled and found, that it is only half an hours walk to the pyramids. Now I was looking for a restaurant to get something to eat – it was already 2pm. I found a kind of market hall, where there were some stalls, selling food. I read all the menus and asked then at one stall, but she only had quesadillas with cheese and nothing more, but a side salad. Though I asked at another stall and he offered me quesadillas med cheese and ham and a side salad. I did not buy a drink, because I still had bottled water.
After the meal, I walked to the pyramids. Part of the way was heavy upwards. That took time for me. At the entrance was a price table and there were written, that elderly have free admission to the pyramid as well as to the information centre/museum. I asked the cashier, if I need a Mexican legitimization, but she already had the “free ticket” for me in her hand. I read, that videos were shown every full hour and the last one every day would start at 4pm. It was around a quarter past 3pm, therefore I decided to first see the pyramid – which was the most important thing for me as well, because the rest I could read at the Internet. This pyramids are amazing. They are all round respectively put in a circle. The houses, they lived, must have been squares. Also here are layers by layers.
As interesting this round pyramids were, as beautiful was there surroundings.
I did not take a very long time up there, thinking about the video. I was back a very little late, but I entered the auditorio and watched the video. It was very interesting and told, that this round pyramids did hold the pole for the games. It also told about their houses on the platforms.
Before I finished my walk at the museum, a young woman interviewed my about the pyramids, the museum, personal data (where I come from) etc. Two times I had to ask her for words – if she had another word instead. I walked back after that visit to Teuchtitlan and was lucky to catch a bus a few minutes later.
I had a meal in a nice café on the Juarez Street and was then going back to the hostel, where I updated my blog. Even I was tired, I updated all the days missing, because I think, I will not update my blog the other day – if I find a place with Mariachi Life music. I was very tired, when I was going to bed around 1am. It had taken me 6 hours for the way and I had spent 1 – 2 hours at the place. The whole day I was occupied by that pyramid, but had no much time to see it, but the walks were good for me, of course.
For more photos of Guachimontones, please follow the link.
18th Oct 2018
Still locking for Mariachi I was going to Tlaquepaque by city bus after breakfast. It took around an hour to go there with all the stops and detours the bus makes. But one ride is for 7 MXN only. I was willing to spend some extra money to see and hear Mariachi, but not for the bus. I had got an explanation by the staff of the hostel, how to find the bus for Tlaquepaque and even there were maintenance of the streets close to the bus stop, I found it easily. The problem was, that buses were driving in the second or third line and therefore not stopping at the bus stop. Anyway they were going very often and it took not very long time to catch one of them.
The map I had got at the hostel also had a part of Tlaquepaque, which actually became a suburb of Guadalajara, but during many years had been an own community and still has its own town hall. Anyway the best help I have got av a Mexican, who stood close to me in the bus. I had asked the bus driver as usual to tell me, when we arrived in this part of the town, but I was not sure he would remember it – he did not! Therefore I had asked the Mexican man and he was very kind and helpful. Fortunately he also was going to leave at the same stop as me, though he even told me, where to go, when we got off the bus.
The center of this suburb is not very big, but nice to see. I was looking for the Ceramic museum, but took a detour, when I saw a church. It looked interesting. Nearby was even another one. The street for pedestrians is the “Independencia”. There is also the museum, but first you have to pass all the souvenir shops and the expensive restaurants. Actually in the building of the museum, an old hacienda, are also lots of artisans trying to sell their items. Some of them are really nice, but I am only looking for Mariachi music and postcards with views this time. I am also a little short of money, because I am staying at the hostel and bought the medicine. I mean, I am not really short of money, but I try not to use more than 5000 MXN for 10 days and because of the extra expenses I try not to spend too much money on other things.
The museum was not big at all, but I found out, that there is another museum for ceramics. It is not directly in the center of Tlaquepaque and its name is Pantaléon Panduro Museum of the National Ceramics Contest (Museo Pantaleon Panduro). That one was much more interesting. It had more items and there were lots of amazing ceramics to see. I spent more time at this museum as well. Before I was going there I also had taken photographs of the murals in the town hall.
Back to the center and the “Bar Parian” for the Mariachi show, but that restaurant was expensive and I thought I may have a cheaper one for lunch and in the evening pay more for a meal. I found the “Las Viandas” restaurant in a side street and chose a dish of the day. I could choose between soup and salad as a starter and took the salad, which I had to pick at the salads board. There was not so much to choose like in Swedish lunch restaurants, but it is the first place, where I could choose from different kinds of salad like the usual tomato, cucumber. lettuce, but also boiled carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and beetroot. Even dressings were offered. For the main meal a had four alternatives for the meat and two or three for the additional like rice, beans or pasta. Even for the drink I could choose two different “waters” and there was a small dessert included. I had chosen the pork steak and pasta. I was happy about the meal. Finally a real meal, without the disgusting soup and quite healthy as well, but the dessert. All this I had to pay 80 MXN for. The service was great as well and the meal tasty, but not spicy, though this time I left 20 MXN as a tip.
I went back to the “Bar Parian, but stayed outside. The sun was warming, when I was sitting on a bench and it was interesting to see the people passing or parking their cars. For half an hour or a little longer I could enjoy Mariachi life music, because the speakers were on high volume. Another group of Mariachi arrived and prepared for their turn, but they never really played as long as I was there. I was thinking about to stay for longer and take a taxi back to the hostel, but I was afraid, that it would be very expensive as well as I had read, that one can make reservations for the show. Therefore I was also afraid not to get a place in the restaurant.
I left the bench around 5:30pm and looked for the bus stop, where I could take the bus back to Guadalajara center. I had to ask, because I did not find the named street close to it and the street for the bus stop was not named on the map. When I found the bus stop, I asked a Mexican woman for the bus to Guadalajara centro, but unfortunately I used the wrong word and asked her for the bus from the Guadalajara centro. She did not really understand my question, but because I had the map and the bus number was on the map, she told me, that it is the right stop for the bus. I gave the fee to the driver without asking, if it was the right bus and by that I was going with the bus to another suburb, Tonala, instead of the center of Guadalajara. I think it took nearly an hour before we came to the point, were the last passengers left and the driver told me, that the bus is not going further. When I told him, that I thought, the bus is going to Guadalajara centro, he told me, that I had to leave the bus and wait at the corner for the bus in the other direction. He told me more, but I could not understand him, because of his dialect and that he was talking fast.
For more photos of Tlaquepaque, please follow the link.
After a while there was a bus in the other direction. I told the bus driver my destination while I paid the fee. It was another 7 MXN, but that is so cheap, though that was not a problem. I was sitting in the front seat, but there was a ramp for wheelchairs between the door and this seats. I never have seen that before, but this bus could actually transport people in wheelchairs! When I was back in Guadalajara center it was dark – it already became dark, when we were in Tonala (with a very nice sunset). I think the ride back from Tlaquepaque took almost two hours.
In Guadalajara I bought a “sub” at a subway and a bottle of water in the Oxxo next door and took it to the hostel, where I ate it as an evening meal. By the good lunch I did not need more. The rest of the evening – actually until around 1pm, I tried to upload my photos from the day to my Google account, but without success. The Internet was too slow.
19th Oct 2018
After breakfast I uploaded my photos, which was much easier done. I had company of one of the employees of the hostel, which was working on his computer, but there were no many people using the Internet. Maybe therefore I did not have the problem during the upload. Around 1pm I was ready to leave the hostel for my activity for the day.
It was my last chance to see and hear Mariachi, though I had decided to attend the “Fiesta de Octubre” (October holiday), because it was announced, that there will be life music in the evening. The best way to go there is by Metro, because it saves time. I was recommended to take the Metro from the Calle de Juarez and change to the other line after one or two stops, but that was so close, though I walked to the line, which is going to the Periférico Norte. From there I had to walk in around five minutes to the Auditorio. The part of the city for the Auditorio is called Palenque. I had no problems to make my way. Even to buy a city was easy. There are ticket machines, where you can buy one way tickets or cards, which give you the possibility to charge tickets on it respectively to recharge them. I bought a one way ticket for the cost of 7 MXN – the same cost like the buses. There were many people at this time using the Metro, but I soon get a seat by a woman, who was leaving and held it for me. In the Metro cars is only an audio announcement, but I could read the names of the stops in good time on the walls, when we arrived at the stops. There was no problem either to go to far, if that had not been possible, because the stop was the last one on the line. Well arrived and on the street again I realized, that I had to use the pedestrians bridge to cross the busy street and then continue to the Auditorio. It was a really high bridge, but I made it – even slower than the most of the other pedestrians. I also found the rest of the way easily, but was surprised, that it was a fun fair with merry-go-rounds of different kinds. School classes were waiting for the opening. I was looking for, whom will entertain in the evening and asked at the cash for the time, the entertainment will start. It was interesting to see, that every child had a simple sign with a cord around his neck stating the name of the child, the class of the school and a phone number. That is high security in a different way. It was only one person, who was announced (there were different entertainers for every evening) and I was told, that it starts at 8pm. I was not interested in to visit the fun fair as the only grandma and was going back downtown. Anyway I have seen, what there “Fiesta de Octubre” looks like.
Back in the city I was looking for postcards with views. I had seen some before, but did not buy some, because I was looking for postcards with Mariachi – the Mariachi music actually is a UNESCO heritage. Unfortunately I did not find the shop again, which sells postcards with photos. By looking for postcards I also was at the “Plaza de Mariachi” again and this time, there were Mariachi on the plaza, singing for a couple, who paid them. I took a seat on a nearby bench and enjoyed the music. Afterwards, there was another couple paying for their music and I could listen a little longer. To get a real impression of the Mariachi, I was visiting a restaurant later that evening. The only one I found in the city of Guadalajara, which offers Mariachi music. It is called “La Epoca de Oro”.
When I arrived outside the restaurant, I was asked to come in and a soft drink would only be for 29 MXN – which is expensive for a soft drink, even at a restaurant, but for the possibility to hear Mariachi really cheap. I was also offered a Tequila for free as a welcome, but denied. I was prepared to spend some money this evening and also needed something to eat. I ordered a cheese fondue – there is nothing dipped in, but I ordered it with Chorizo and had tortillas as well. It was a really big one, even it is called a starter. Though it was enough for me and not expensive at all. I had a glass of pineapple juice, another one and at the end a “Piña Colada”. The whole evening was for not really 300 MXN plus the tip. The Mariachi arrived around 8pm as announced, before another group played dance music and the Mexicans were keen dancers as usual. I did not see strangers here, but me this evening as well, but I think there will be some from time to time.
The music of the Mariachi was fantastic as usual, but after a few songs, they announced two women, who call themselves “Las Flores”. They seemed to be around 50 years old, even the make-up did not give another impression. There voices were not as clear as the voices from the Mariachi, there were not always singing simultaneously and they did not articulate well. Unfortunately they was allowed to sing more than three songs, even the director of the Mariachi group did not like it. It seemed, he did not like at all, that they were singing this evening. He and, it might have been his son, made a lot of gestures, which announced, that they were not happy with the situation. I understand it well, I was not happy either. One of the members of the Mariachi group was a woman as well and he was really making a great job. I would have liked to hear the Mariachi all the time. It was only an hour for the Mariachi announced and I was afraid, that I did not get a full hour with them. Fortunately people paid for them for special songs, though they continued to sing for that people, by being close to them. It seemed to be the only way to stop “Las Flores” from continuing singing. I was thinking about to ask the Mariachi to sing for me as well, but I did not know, how much I had to pay and also do not know a lot of songs. I was thinking about to ask for “Guadalajara” and “Celito Lindo”, but was afraid, that people would not like that, because they are so usual. Anyway I have got a business card and could ask the director of the group for a CD. Unfortunately they do not have one. It was first also difficult for him to understand what I was asking for, when I signed the letters C + D on the table, he understood and pronounced it the English way (I had tried to pronounce it in Spanish). It seems, that the English is taking over for words the Mexicans have not had before. On the other hand side, they say computadora instead of computer.
I was back at the hostel before 11pm, because the restaurant was only a ten minutes walk away from the hostel. I was happy, I finally had heard and seen real Mariachi, even I would have liked to listen to them for longer. I was going to bed directly and apologize, that I did not update my blog.
Fore more photos of Guadalajara follow the link, please.
20th Oct 2018
It was time again to go further. I knew, I had lots of time for the check-out and to go to the bus station. As mostly I had not bought a bus ticket for my next destination, but checked how often there are buses between Guadalajara and Aguascalientes. There were buses most of the time every 30 minutes. After breakfast I packed the rest I had not packed the evening before, took the linen of the bed and put it, where I had to do. I asked the receptionist to call a taxi, which he helped me with. There were soon a taxi driver coming for the airport, but that one was not eager to take me as well. A couple had asked for that one.
My taxi driver was an elderly man, but he was a good driver. He took my straw bag, which is as big as my big backpack. I carried my backpacks downstairs and the few meters to the taxi. The taxi was for 130 MXN. I think they have quite high prices in Guadalajara even the city is one of the biggest in Mexico. Anyway, he told me, which bus company has buses for Aguascalientes, though I saved a minute or two by no need to ask for it at the counter. I do not know if the earlier buses were already all occupied or if at that time I arrived there were no earlier bus, but I had to take one nearly an hour from my arrival time at the bus station. I was lucky and got a seat in the front row. During the waiting time I left my luggage at the baggage storage, eat something and used the bathroom. Here I was allowed to use the bathroom for elderly people. It was also working for people with disabilities, of course. I thought, that is very kind to name the special bathrooms for the elderly etc instead only for disabled persons. Afterwards I picked my luggage up again and was waiting for the bus, which arrived around 15 minutes before leaving time. Though we actually left in time. Even this time I was allowed to have both my big backpack and my bag in the luggage storage of the bus. I put my little backpack in the overhead department and so free of heavy bags I actually did fell asleep on the trip after a while, but awoke around half an hour before we arrived at our destination.
For my next destination, please use the link for Aguascalientes.
10th Nov 2018
I entered Jalisco already in November again, because there is no other route between the South of Colima and the South of Nayarit:
The road the bus was driving is the only one between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarte and very small. It is going near the sea-side, but it was not possible to see the sea. We were coming throughout the jungle instead, which was an amazing view and I was very happy, that I was on this bus and not the night bus. Unfortunately after around 7pm I could not see anymore, where we were coming through because of the darkness.
I used the GPS on my cell phone to see, when we arrive at my destination and found, that we were very close to the hostel I booked in the morning – after I had bought the bus ticket. It was not 10pm yet. Most of the passengers were leaving at this point, though I had time enough to leave as well. From there I took a taxi to the hostel and even it was very close, he took 60 MXN – I think it was because of it was a weekend night.
The hostel was very different to the hostels I had seen before. It was created with so much love to the details. Even the wash basin for the room, where I was sleeping and also the wash basins at the floor – there were two outside rooms, had a similar, beautiful design. Unfortunately I did not take any photos, but will do that soon, when I go there to pick up my sun hat ;-). The receptionist was nice and did find my booking easily. I had to pay 200 MXN for the night, breakfast and all taxes included, but also to leave a deposit of 200 MXN for the keys and the towel, which the receptionist put my name on. I think they have made bad experiences with other travelers. The owner was coming after 10pm, because usual the check-in time ends at 10pm, but by the statement on my ticket, that the bus will arrive at 10pm, I had asked for a late check-in between 10pm and 11pm, which I was allowed without extra costs.
I was very hungry now and I did not see any restaurant close to the hostel, before I entered it. At the hostel were no vending machine, but they sold biscuits and chips. I was first asking for the biscuits. They were for 20 MXN, but I only had 12 MXN in coins and 500 MXN-notes. Though I bought one of the very small bags of chips for 10 MXN. It actually helped me against heartburn and I also could sleep.
For reading about my time in Nayarit, please follow the link.