Mazatlan, Tepic & Guadalajara

Sunday, November 2, 2014
Warm Sunny
Last night we stayed at San Fernando's RV Park

Awesomeness: People were already there from BC that we had met last year and they remembered us. The cement around the pool had been freshly painted and looked sparklin'.

This is Day of the Dead or Dia Los Meurtas in Mexico. This is when the living honour their dead relatives or friends.

I really wanted to go to Poncho's in Mazatlan for supper. It was just too darn hot to stay in Maz. Another time we will spend some time there.

The pool at San Fernando's RV Park

Once up we realized the people next door were at San Fernando Trailer Park last year. We recognized the parrot painted cable dish. 

They recognized us and wanted to know where we were going. The people on the end by the pool were there last year, too. They still had the same little Chihuahua type dogs. Once the pooches sniffed us they quit barking. When I first got up there was this adorable black and white cat accompanied by his grey and white amigo. They were obviously hungry and this made me very sad. They cried and cried, I had to ignore it. When I went to take a shower I saw that they had a food dish full of food. Guess who ever counts them as their mascots (pets) had not been up yet and had not feed them yet. I was so relieved that they had a human buddy to supply them with food. We met more people from BC who had been coming down here for about fifteen years previous. Wow, a lot of years.

We stopped at Mega on the way out of Maz., a usual thing for us. We purchased comida (food) for lunch. There are few areas of civilization in which to eat lunch on the toll road. It was hot on our ride but we managed to keep relatively cool. We came to the realization that getting out and eating outside would be a mistake at plus 35 degree tempertures. We ate in the car with the air conditioning running and parked in the shade. I know, not too cool, pun intended. Believe me we had too, it was just too hot.

Map of the grounds at San Jose Del Tajo

We drove through beautiful mountains and mango orchards on our way to Guadalajara. Such wonderful scenery. We would stop at some of the toll booth rest stops to get out and walk. It was very hot and not very comfortable inside the car or outside of the car. One rest stop was so crowded with people that we did not even get out. The restrooms would have been uniquely undesirable.

We had our camping stop picked out and Google Maps set for it. It was called Jose ....and was supposed to be in a park like setting amongst the bustling civilization that is the huge city of Grudalahara. Somehow we missed the turn for the campground and had to drive many miles to return to it. We drove in on the dirty, cobblestone road that needed repair. We found the bathrooms very ill repaired, clean but scary. We decided to stay anyway because of the difficulty of finding another place after dark.

Monday, November 3, 2014
Warm Sunny
Last night we stayed at San Jose del Tajo

Awesomeness: The park like setting. Lots of wonderful big, old trees. On the way out of the place we saw Poinsettia, tall shrubs and other beautiful, blooming plants.

Yeah, we woke up in the campground that was not our style at all. It did have a few perks as it was in Mexico. There were at least three, cute, loose dogs wondering around by the van. A few sites over what Ken thought was a new bathroom for the place was actually someone building a house. The owners of this property were likely going to sell off pieces of the campground for housing. Seems like a good way to make money. We saw interesting, huge, old trees plus poinsettia shrubs and other flowering plants.

It took a long time through thick traffic to get down into Guadalajara centro. 

We had no appointments or anything so slow traffic was not a problem. All we were doing was checking out some hotels to stay in for maybe up to a week if the deal was good enough and we liked the hotel. We started with the least likely to stay at Hotel de Mendoza. Least likely because we thought there was not safe parking. Great, old colonial style hotel, we liked it. We went on to the Hotel Morales and actually ate lunch there. It too was in the colonial style with an inside type of courtyard. The restaurant did not make it in our books so we crossed that one off our list. We drove by the Dali Plaza Hotel and looked to be under construction or renovation. We just drove on by.

Another day we went for a look and they were so booked we could not even see a room. Might be an interest, ok place to stay. We drove to the Residencia Los Angleles. We park close to it but it did not have off street parking. It was like going into someone's home not a hotel. Not our style at all plus the rooms seemed a little small. We did not go to the La Fe Hotel and Arts, same price point as the Mendoza and La Fe was further from the action. Ken did some tweaking prices on and found a better price on the Mendoza so we returned just as the doorman said we would.

Looks like the internet is just a passing fad... the guy on the right looks bored. ha ha ...

La Chata looks good, but we are not going to return.

We went out and walked around the Centro of Guadalajara. We found a plaza very close to here set up with Catrina's in full dress. It was something set up for the Dia Los Meurtas. Many Catrinas had marigolds arranged or scattered at their base. This is a traditional flower for Dia Los Meurtas. 

Ken took pictures in the dark with his new iPhone and they turned our wonderfully don't you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Warm OverCast
Mileage 529 056 km
Last night we stayed at De Hotel Mendoza in centro Guadalajara

Awesomeness: It is an older building

Today was our first full day to explore in Guadalajara. We kind of slept in as it was our first night in a hotel for awhile. It felt like such luxury to be in a bed that was in a room. It was a very comfortable, with a bed with a firm mattress and quality sheets.

Once out and about we realized just how centro we are located. Our first task is to walk to the Libertad Mercado for comida. It is a huge Mercado, about four floors high with stairs and ramps leading to each floor. At least one floor is devoted to restaurants but not in the typical way you would think.

There are no walls in between the separate venders. Each vendor's kitchen is surrounded by the counters, surrounded by chairs. There are condiments around the counters to put on your food or comida. We picked our vendor by the look of cleanth to their kitchen, the look of the cooks and the amount of people sitting our the vendor's kitchen. It was hard to pick a vendor because many were up to our standards. Our shrimp and fish tacos were excellent, best food since coming to Guad. The comida was very nutritious with pico de gallo, lettuce, avocado, delicious salsa with grilled vegetables, corn tortillas and the seafood.

Mercado Libertad

This is a "did you see this woman" photo.
Ken takes them all the time in the big cities. 

We wanted to go for a long walk as we have been driving so much the last few days. We decided to walk to the outlet for the Casa de San Mateus tequila which we thought was a few kilometres away.

 We saw many sights on our way. We saw big, old homes many of which have been converted to law or doctor's offices. 

We saw very interesting restaurants. In fact, at one place they saw us admiring the outside of the building. They invited us in for a tour - fine, old building with wood trim.

We arrived at were Casa De San Mateus was located on Google Maps. We talked to the security guard and realized that the place was really just the offices for the place not the manufacturing plant. Disappointed we headed back. We tripped upon Te Quiero Tequila Museo which is a tequila museum. Wow, did they have a lot of tequila, shelves and shelves of it. I did not know there were so many kinds. They had a model of a tequila plant which shows you how it is made. We even got to sample a kind that is very expensive and yes, it was very good. The cheaper kinds do not measure up.

Mexico looks after us again. A Tequila Museum just when you need one.

Yes! That is a sculptire of a cow stuck on the side of that building. It is how you know you are in Mexico.

We were very tired when we arrived back at the hotel from our round trip. It was a walking tour of over nine kilometers. No wonder we were so tired.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Cool OverCast
Mileage 529 620 km
Last night we stayed at Hotel De Mandoza

Awesomeness: The hotel is close to everything. Ken could walk about two blocks to a great, little bakery and also get coffee. He took his own cup and the coffee was free.

We woke up and saw that it was raining out. Ugh, one of the reasons we lest BC - rain and dampness. I realize it has to rain to water the plants. I just generally do not like it because I have had to put up with so much of it on the "Wet Coast" of Canada.

We slept in and laid around the hotel room. We were kind of slouchy all day. I do believe it had to do with the ten kilometres we walked yesterday, plus the change in weather. It was a day with a lot of moping around. We did get some necessary computer work finished.

We finally made it out of the room in time for us to have a very late lunch. We returned to the same seafood restaurant from yesterday in the mercado. I was standing looking for it, a bit overwhelmed by all the vendors. Ken realized we were standing right beside it, so we sat down.

After our return to the hotel room we decided that a museum experience was about all we could do today. We went about a block away to the Instituto Nacional De Anthropologia E Historia. We did not take pictures because there was an extra charge. Once we were on our tour I realized we had at some point visited this museum in the past year or two. One very notable exhibit was the almost complete skeleton of a wooly mammoth. The building itself is definitely worth the visit. There was one huge vase that had been broken then pieced together by, I am assuming, archeologist. It had to be three or four feet tall.

Risking another restaurant when we were already not feeling stellar was not something we wanted to do. Supper was off the street. We had a big plate of steamed vegetables covered in crumbly cheese. Delicious! The vender was about two blocks away.

Right after supper we went for a walk in search of more food. We found a guy playing a wind instrument. He was so good we stopped and moved back and forth to the music. Impressive clarinet playing, of course we tipped.

Ken is not feeling great today. He woke up in the night with a bad sinus headache and sore tummy. Not sure why but we had many theories. One theory being that the gas fumes in the city were bothering him. The decision has been made. We are moving on from Guadalarjara and going to Ajijic, likely for awhile. I contacted our friend Niki who lives in Ajijic because we wanted to meet for lunch and meet her new pooch. She was kink enough to invite us to stay with her for a time. As she said in our "old room". We had also been looking to rent a reasonably priced place so Ken looked in earnest for one on-line.

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