Mex 05'-9: Update 5/23/05: The entire journal starts at -> Mexico 05’ <-Zacatecas, here we come, or not?
We are all ready to check out of hotel Roma. We need to drive the jeep out of the parking basement and attach the rack and put all the stuff back up on top. But No…. I left the dome light on one day and no way was the jeep going to start. All the parking attendants were there and willing to help but nobody in Guadalajara has jumper cables. We all back the jeep up so we get the longest running start we can, about twenty yards. The head attendant says to stick it in second gear. They all start pushing. It starts!
I get out of the parking basement and pull the jeep off the road and onto the curb. It was early and the street businesses weren’t open yet. Heidi is helping me get the rack back on. I just get it secured when a bicycle cop shows up asking lots of questions and telling me I have an infraction, I think@. Heidi freaks out because she had told me not to park there and runs back inside the hotel to look for the manager, Luis who has been so nice to us. We have been through this before in other countries so I suspect what the deal is, so does Heidi. Luis comes out to help translate. Luis: “Yes, we have a 180 pesos infraction that we would have to show up and pay tomorrow or maybe the next day at the court house, OR we could maybe pass the officer a little tip, 50 pesos”. Well, I already had the cash ready in my right front packet and I guessed the amount to the exact peso. 50 pesos (US $4.50) and all’s good and the jeep stays there for as long as it takes us to pack. While planning the trip to Zacatecas and never knowing what lies ahead we were already anxious about hitting the road. Nothing like some drama first thing in the morning to get the adrenaline going!
Guadalajara is a huge city and the traffic is a mess. Major streets change names sometimes three times through town and the maps we carry don’t reflect all of the changes. Well of course we get all snarled up looking for a street that had already changed names, our map had another name on that section of street.
We manage to get to the outskirts of town. Now we are looking for the highway to Zacatecas. Things didn’t look right. For the first time I ask Heidi to pull out the compass so I can get a good feeling about the road we are on and the direction we are going. Well it’s been a lone time since Heidi was a Girl Scout and she claims she wasn’t there for the compass training. I make the mistake of telling her to line up the arrow with the main marker north. Well…. The big black moveable arrow was pointing southeast on the compass. I get a reading from Heidi that was a little skewed. I do some great jogging around and feel good that the highway is just over the next hill, But No….and No….and No… We ended up in some little village with no outlets except bumpy dirt roads going up into the foot hills. We drive back to the village and finely find it on a map. Whoosh, hours later we have our bearings back and are heading out of town on the highway to Zacatecas.
The scenery on the way to Zacatecas city is beautiful. We go though desert then forests and sometimes palm trees.
Things are starting to get a more ‘wild wild west’ feel the deeper we get into Mexico.
One of several entrances to a huge and beautiful cemetery.
The Lonely Planet Mexico guide book is a great resource but one needs to realize that the hotel listings are just a sample of what’s available. We are using up Mexico fast and are looking to sha..ling a little more as we get closer to the border. We wanted the Best Western with a pool and bar but the parking clearance was too low again. We end up in a nice simple place just up the road with great parking. We are only a few blocks from the old historic section of town, just the way we like it. The jeep stays parked until we are ready to go again.
We enjoy the historic Mexican feel of this town.
This city was built from the wealth that came from silver mines in the area.
No expense was spared.
Chess players in the plaza.
Heidi and I love to check out the local markets and try to figure out what all the stuff is. You can sometimes smell the sides of beef before you see them.
Tons of chilies.
Herbal concoctions that can cure many common ailments, breathing problems, stomach pains and any internal organ problem you can imagine.
Brews: Our senses come alive when we come to places like this, the sights, the smells, the sounds are all so exotic.
On the way back to the hotel there was a lot of activity going on. Not sure if this was a beauty contest or an election for school office but everyone was cheering on their person.
In the central part of town another celebration was going on, I think it also had a contest.
Everyone was waiting to go on while some people were giving super emotional speeches.
Zacatecas has a nice small town with deep heritage feel. We really enjoyed our stay.
Continued -> Mex 05-10 <-