Mex 05'-8 Update 5/14/05: The entire journal starts at -> Mexico 05’ <-
Guadalajara: Heidi and I check in for a week at hotel Roma in the heart of Guadalajara. I drive around to the parking and see the clearance is 6 foot 3 inches. Crap, our clearance is 7 foot 4 inches. I cuss a few times then realize our only options are to find another hotel with adequate parking or take everything off the top of the jeep including the rack and stay here. It took a lot of effort to find this place. Guadalajara population is over 4 million with mostly one way streets that aren’t obviously marked. I opt for option 2, the rack comes off and we drive down into the parking garage with the rack on the hood of the jeep and all our stuff crammed inside.
Heidi and I love to explore big cities and Guadalajara is all we could have hoped for. It’s the second biggest city in Mexico with tons of culture, museums, galleries, historic buildings and night life. Guadalajara is the birth place of many things Mexico is known for, the Mexican hat dance, mariachi music, sombreros, rodeos and last but not least tequila, my favorite alcoholic beverage.
Our week stay here couldn’t have been more pleasant. Nothing too exciting to report, just a lot of photos to enjoy.
Tourists come here but we detected few that looked like they were from the US, just the way we like it.
All the historic buildings and museums are within walking distance from our hotel.
As budget travelers these are the type of places we like to eat at. All the people we came across were super friendly to us.
Lots of street musicians around the old colonial section of town.
Guadalajara has endless opportunities for different types of food.
A huge three level plaza with everything you can imagine.
No matter what day we visited the plaza there were tons of people out shopping.
Shopping for a new switch blade. I paid $2.50 for a super sharp one with a strong spring.
It’s hard to see but this is real honey complete with bees.
The area is filled with beautiful pedestrian streets, fountains and sculptures.
A view from our hotel window. I just caught the tail end of a roaming mariachi band.
This was Mothers day. The streets were filled with live entertainment.
Your hosts having a good time. I think we were the only blonds in town, but not once did we feel uncomfortable.
On the weekend the plazas were filled with live music and tons of people.
These guys were break dancing with unreal acrobatic moves.
With all the lit up historic buildings it looked like a real life Disney land.
Guadalajara has a few huge suburbs where dealers come from all over the world to buy Mexican crafts at bargain prices. After we learn the bus routes we travel to these places easily for about 35 cents one way.
The craft factories are right here.
Shopping is hard work so we need to take breaks.
It’s hard to imagine the crowds of people here.
My mother designs and makes theme craft mice and is always looking for miniature accessories. I score loads of stuff here for pennies, miniature Mexican hats, bowls, cups, fruit, panchos…..
Where there’s shopping there is always lots of food.
Exhausted from shopping we stop for some lunch.
And the shopping continues. Heidi just won’t stop.
More downtown Guadalajara.
This guy could really sing.
I was never one to go on guided tours but our hotel manager was telling us of a great 6 hour tour to the town of Tequila and it only costs $18, only a couple bucks more then taking a bus there on our own. Well the tour had my name on it, Tequila, and it included a tour of a tequila factory where the best tequila in the world is distilled complete with samples. Say no more, a luxury bus picks us up at our hotel and we are off.
In route we pass fields and fields of blue agave cactus, the only cactus that can used to make tequila. Only a few states in Mexico can grow this type of cactus.
A statue of a Jimador, a blue agave cactus harvester. This is a tough and skilled job, a Jimador starts learning the job at age eight.
Lots of tequila for sale in the town of tequila.
The boilers at the tequila factory and a truck being filled up with shredded cactus pulp.
These are the harvested blue agave cactus called pineapples. I pinch myself to make sure this is real.
We all taste a piece of shredded pineapple. It has a kind of molasses taste.
The pineapple shredder and juicer.
The fermenting cactus juices.
Inspecting the raw distilled tequila. This is the only triple distilled tequila in the word and is the brand of Mexican presidents.
A test tube filled with raw, 110 proof triple distilled tequila. Wow, this is the smoothest stuff I have ever tasted! It seemed like the ground was moving after this.
Outside the factory is a tequila museum.
The indigenous Mexican people used everything from the blue agave cactus.
History of the shot glass.
This is the largest hand blown tequila bottle in the world.
Sampling the best tequila in the world. This trip was a bargain at $18.
Guadalajara is a great city to experience Mexican culture and history.
Now we’re leaving Jalisco state and are heading for Zacatecas state and the capital city Zacatecas.
Continued: -> Page 9 :Mexico <-