The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Glad we came to visit Chihuahua!

Once again, we are overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people we meet. When all you hear from the media are warnings about danger and being told "don't go there", you start to question things. But then when you set out to explore, you find a city where the vast majority of people are just going about their daily business and everyone is friendly and helpful.

The city of Chihuahua has a lot to offer, and it's a clean modern city. Unfortunately, there's a lot of construction going on in the central core at the moment, but that didn't stop us from seeing a lot of interesting things!

First off, we had applied to stay with two different couchsurfing hosts. We accepted Urbano's offer of accommodation, but the other fellow, Rodrigo, asked if we would like to meet up for lunch. Yes, we would! So we made a plan to meet Rodrigo at 1:00pm.

We spent the first part of the morning on the internet, confirming accommodation for both Las Cruces, NM on Friday and Saturday, and Albuquerque, NM on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. With that all done, we set out for a walk towards downtown.

The "Angel of Liberty" monument in Plaza Mayor near the central area.

The Chihuahua state government building is one of the best we've seen. It includes a free museum and you can wander around freely without having to go through x-rays and airport style security! 

The Government Palace of Chihuahua. (Palacio de Gobierno de Chihuahua).

Inside is a nice courtyard.

And a small museum showing some interesting firearms.

You can make out the murals on some of the interior walls.

Ruth, admiring the murals.

Kevin, giving a speech from the podium!

Ruth, wondering what's behind that door!

We finished up at the government building and decided to walk down a pedestrian plaza lined with stores. Want shoes? The Mexican people LOVE their different shoes! Shoe store after shoe store. And boots too, especially fancy cowboy boots!

Lots of people out enjoying the day.

This is the latest style for ladies. Can you walk in these? Why would you want to??

Pretty fancy boots! The ones on the left? 990 pesos ($84.00). 

The cathedral and all of the construction at Plaza de Armas.

More downtown construction.

Then, getting close to 1:00pm, we went to our prearranged meeting spot with couchsurfing host Rodrigo. Sure enough, he pulled up and we piled into his car and said hello. He said he knew of a great place for burritos for lunch, so off we went!

I mentioned to Rodrigo that it seemed the city of Chihuahua had lots of cash with all of these construction projects on the go, including a public transportation fiasco called ViveBus that is now more than two years into it's construction phase without a bus running yet. He said "ummm, no, Chihuahua has lots of debt though!"

Seems some things are more similar to Canada than we thought!

Ruth and Rodrigo after finishing our burritos. Burritos are typically made with flour tortillas, so Ruth ordered hers without the tortilla...just the filling!

Then Rodrigo gave us a little driving tour of his neighbourhood, including a look at his family's business...a retirement home that they operate here in the city. He dropped us off at the Benito Juarez Museum, and we said goodbyes. It was far too short of a visit with Rodrigo, but we enjoyed our time together and will make sure to get in touch again next time we're in the area. Thanks Rodrigo!!

After the museum, I spotted an office building that looked like it had a restaurant at the top. Sure enough, we went inside, but at this particular building we had to show ID and were issued visitor passes. Turns out this was the legislature building and there are a lot of political types in offices there so a bit more security. But, the security people treated us like royalty...I guess not many tourists ask to go to the top!

It was only 17 floors...but still good for a view!

We wandered around a bit more, went to the market and got a paleta (strawberry cream popsicle), our last one in Mexico. They make the best ice cream popsicles in Mexico!

Then at 4:30pm, we met up with our host Urbano and he went and picked up a girlfriend and the four of us went to the Pancho Villa Museum. This was a really good museum, and even included the car that Pancho Villa was assassinated in, in 1923.

Kevin, with Pancho Villa...too funny.

The 1922 Dodge that Pancho Villa was killed in.

Still riddled with bullet holes!

We didn't get a photo with Urbano and his friend Annie. Feel bad about that, but he's going to meet us at 7:00am this morning so that we can return the keys to his apartment. We'll get a photo then.

What a great day we had in Chihuahua!

And so, it's off to the great US of A this morning. Hopefully the border crossing will go smoothly and we're looking forward to visiting yet another new state for us...New Mexico!!

25 comments:

  1. Another great day, now travel safely and enjoy New mexico.

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  2. As usual some great pics. It reallys is a beautiful city. Can't believe you didnt see a statue of a Chihuahua, got to be their bigget claim to fame :-). Many parts of New Mexico will remind you of Mexico. Safe travels.

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    1. We didn't even see a live Chihuahua, Donna!

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  3. my only time spend in Chihuahua was passing thru to copper canyon and a local cop followed us most of the way thru town... thanks for showing me a bit of what we missed

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    1. We wished we had a little more time to explore more of the city but then we need to save things for another visit. We are planning on trying to see Copper Canyon next winter, we hear that it is an amazing place.

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  4. We enjoyed our time there as well and found a great restaurant. I understand the RV park beside the Pemex is now closed. It was the only RV park near the Chihuahua.

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    1. We never checked it out so can't say for certain if it is closed but I am sure that other places could be found. There are a number of water parks near Chihuahua that I am sure you could boondock at.

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  5. Another great tour. Hope all goes well at the border and welcome to the States.

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  6. Wow that is a BIG city. Somehow I hadn't known it was that big. Safe travels up into the U.S. Hope the border guards are friendly.

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    1. Compared to some of the cities we have been through it actually didn't seem real big but it is spread out over a large area.

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  7. Chihuahua looks nice. Safe Travels.

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  8. You looked so natural standing next to Pancho Villa. You must have been a bandito in a past life... ;c)

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  9. How do the locals afford to buy such expensive boots????? Or are they just for the tourists?

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    1. Actually the boots are quite cheap and they last for a long time. They are not for the tourists because there aren't enough tourists here to keep a shop running. There are definitely there for the locals.

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  10. Can you share more about applying for couchsurfing hosts. Is there a site?

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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    1. We did a post on it a long time ago. Here is the link www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2009/12/couchsurfing.html It has lots of info about couchsurfing and the link to their site.

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  11. shouldve brought me some cowboy boots :P

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    1. We needed you there to make sure that we got the right size and style, Lindsey!

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  12. I hope your crossing went well. I requested a Couch Surfer host in Kingsville, Tx. for next week and got one. I like CS!

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    1. You will love it Chris! You know that we do.

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  13. Hi Kevin and Ruth,

    You have traveled farther and faster during this trip that you are on, than I have ever traveled during my 10 RVing years on-the-road. You two are intrepid!

    Tu amigo,
    Jorge

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    1. If we had a choice George, we wouldn't be doing it so fast!

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  14. Hey guys; I need to learn about this 'couch-surfing.' It sounds like lots of fun - and adventurous too.

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    1. We did a post on it a long time ago. Here is the link www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2009/12/couchsurfing.html It has lots of info about couchsurfing and the link to their site.

      We love it and think it is a great way to met locals and learn more about the area.

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