At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 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.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day trip to the big city of Guadalajara

The last time we were right in downtown Guadalajara (pop 8 million) was in December 2009. We weren't overly impressed at the time...just another big city with a lot of graffiti. And although I think we warmed up to it a little bit more during yesterday's visit, it's still not on our list of favorite places in Mexico.

The bus arrived just before 8:00am again. Not great to have two tour days in a row, and many people weren't impressed with having to get up that early again.

Not sure why there was a scheduling issue...but we gave our feedback to the boss, so hopefully things will change a little bit for next year's caravan.

We were dropped off right downtown at about 9:15am.

A side view of the Guadalajara cathedral.

Miguel Hidalgo.

The above statue was dedicated to Miguel Hidalgo and the fact that Mexico abolished slavery in December of 1810...a full 50 years before the United States. Something I didn't know.

The rear of the cathedral.

Ruth, in front of the Opera House.

Around 12:30pm we were ready to get back on the bus. There had been some street closures downtown because of some kind of religious procession and traffic was a bit messed up becuase of it. So our bus was late arriving back at the meeting point and we had to wait a few minutes.

One of our group, Stan, doesn't like standing so he went and sat at the the shoeshine stand. Boy, there sure are a lot of "stans" in that sentence!

The bus took us to the Guadalajara suburb of Tlaquepaque where there is a somewhat touristy pedestrian street that has a lot of artisan shops. But first, we had to eat. And what a great meal we had! Usually on tour days, lunch is included as it was yesterday. Very nice restaurant, with a very good meal.

Some kind of grilled pork. It was delicious!

Dessert. Sure looked nice, but it contained gluten so Ruth and I didn't partake.

We were even serenaded by an eleven man mariachi band.

Then, we had an hour or so at the end to wander the touristy street. Not bad, and we're glad we went, but we'll probaby never go back.

The main plaza in Tlaquepaque.

This was the last of the scheduled group tours while we are with the caravan until March 3rd. Except that we have some plans of our own for the group while we are in Mazamitla, and we're really looking forward to that.

Now we've got some rest time ahead of us. We're here at the Chimulco RV and water park until Friday morning, and so we've got five days of nothing planned. Actually, that's not entirely true. I need to find a dentist here. No pain, but I know I've got a couple of molars that need some work. If I can't find a decent dentist here that can complete the job by Thursday, I'll get it done later when we're on the coast.

And Ruth is planning on taking some of the ladies back in to Guadalajara, so we'll see what comes of that. Otherwise, it's sunshine, swimming pools, and book reading for the next few days!

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17 comments:

  1. The relaxing days are our favorite ones.
    Enjoy them.

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    1. It will be nice to sit back and enjoy some relaxation for a change!

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  2. So far sounds like the tour company is doing a great job, but it sure doesn't make sense why you would have two long tour days in a row and then so many rest days. Seems they could have broken that up a bit.

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    1. Yes, they have done an amazing job but we totally agree that those two days should have be broken up and hopefully they will do this on next year's caravan tour.

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    2. This is very unusual for this company to mess things up. On the Fall caravans which I wagon master we have 4 days there and we always put a free day between the 2 days of tours. Kevin wa sprobably not aware ahead of time that it had been scheduled this way,neither was I. My only explaination is that Gabriel, the owner, is so busy with bus tours this time of year, he slipped. He sent me an email this morning and told me he paid attention to the complaints, that is all we can ask. One thing about Gabriel is he is very sensitive to any criticisms and does his best to rectify them. That is the one reason I wagon master for him, he gives his wagon masters a lot of leeway and actually listens to them. I doubt the big 2, do that. Next Spring we will schedule one extra day at Roca Azul and do the Guadalajara tour out of there. It will knock 1.5 hours off the travel time. I do the trip itinerary, but Gabriel schedules the tours. The tour intensive portion of this caravan is over. There is only one more scheduled tour (san Blas) in the 6 weeks remaining. The rest is pure beach & relax time apart form whatever ad hoc stuff Kevin organizes in Mazamitla and I organize up the coast. I am betting after doing nothing for a few days, they will all be chomping at the bit to do stuff. I am planning out some low cost activities out of Melaque for those who get bored.

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  3. We can HIGHLY recommend Dr. Lisette in Valle de Juarez!! She and her father run the dentistry there. Did our check-ups, cleanings and my spectacular crown. Also did our friend, Dana's root canal. She is a root canal specialist, trained at U of Guad. Get Barb to set you up with an apt if she can!

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    1. We know Nancy and Doug, and she would be our first choice but we weren't going to be in Valle de Juarez long enough to have the work done. Things may have changed so it is possible that we might be there longer and if that is the case then we will probably go and see her. We have seen her before ourselves and really like here. :-)

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    2. She is good, I had work done by her. I did writ eto kevin and told him,I am thikign of coming up to Mazamitla, I have some spare tiem and would like to see Barb & Sal again and my sister in law has offered to look after my dog. I have no problem taking the caravan down to Melaque for you if you want to spend more time there, I am taking it over in Melaque anyway, so if its convenient for you, no problema.

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    3. If you go with Lisette, let me know today. She is well booked for at least a week. Sal is going to day for more work and we can let her know.

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    4. Kevin is/has contacted you already Barb, thank you! :-)

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  4. Was Stan getting his tennis shoes shined?

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    1. They were his hiking shoes and yes they are being shined, well not really shined but spruced up.

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  5. Guadalajara is full of wonderful museums, historical sites and information. That adds color to what we know about the places we visit. Learning new things, history, art, they all have a background and large cities can sometimes be a gathering place for all of that.

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    1. We aren't disagreeing with you Chris, we never said that we didn't like it, just that for us it isn't a city that we particularly want to return to because we have found so many other cities in Mexico that has more of the things that we prefer than Guadalajara. We have found that most museums offer much the same thing so unless it is a totally different kind of museum we are just not interested, I think we are museumed out at this point. We love history and architecture and have enjoyed what we did see in Guadalajara but have found even more of that in some other cities. It's a good thing that we don't all like and enjoy all the same things, it helps to spread us all around the country rather than have us all stuck in one spot. ;-)

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  6. All n all you had mix time in Guadalajara. After reading your blog I don't want to see myself in that place. It was nice reading your blog!

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    1. It really isn't a bad city to visit and we think everyone should go there at least once because it does have some interesting sites to see. Also what one person likes another might dislike. Too us, there are many other cities in Mexico that we prefer more and have more things to offer us and what we like.

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    2. Thank you so much for guiding me Ruth. I am a solo traveler and sometimes it becomes very difficult to see yourself in trouble especially when you are alone.

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