Out for a lakeside walk in Valea Morilor Park in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 4, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Our first full day with the caravan group

We always thought that these caravan tours were a little expensive. But I don't think we realized exactly how many "extras" are included in the price that you pay, especially with this particular caravan company. Yesterday was a great example of some of the extras.

And man, they keep you busy! Not much time for relaxing. Although today, Superbowl Sunday (and Kevin's birthday!) is an off day for the entire group. I've got some things to do though, like installing a brand new CB radio for Sherman. Everybody on the tour has a CB radio so that we can all keep in contact. It's not used for minor chit chat...only important stuff like upcoming turns, obstacles on the road, stuff like that.

So yesterday we did two tours and an included lunch out.

The first was a tour of Guanajuato. The bus arrived right at 9:00am like it was scheduled to, and we met our driver Geronimo, and our tour guide Cony. It turns out they will also be the guides for our Monday day trip to Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende.

All of these tours are organized by Gabriel, the owner of Caravanas de Mexico RV Tours. He is a licensed tour operator and has many contacts throughout Mexico. Other than hiring fantastic wagonmasters (!) he is the reason that these RV Caravan tours are so successful. He simply knows what he's doing to make people enjoy their visit to Mexico. So we really don't have anything to do with organizing these day tours, other than making sure people are where they are supposed to be at whatever time.

On the tour bus with our guide Cony. (I think she said it was short for "Consuela").

Our first stop was a beautiful old hacienda where a wealthy silver mining family used to live. Museo Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera. The property was sold to the government back in the 1960's and is now a garden and event salon used for expensive weddings and banquets. Queen Elizabeth visited here in 1972.

Our group being led through the property.

Beauiful location.

Lots of old gardens.

This used to be the storeroom for the rocks from the mine that contained the silver. It was then processed. Now, they've made it into a garden.

While we were in the garden, our driver Geronimo had taken that time to go get something fixed on the bus. But it took longer than he thought it would and he was about half an hour late coming back to  pick us up! But, better to have everything running properly. Not a big deal, but it would have been better to have been able to use that extra half hour in the gardens rather than waiting out front. 

From there, we went on the panoramic road that circles above the city. It offers some great views of the city below, and we stopped at an overlook but although there was a clear blue sky there is a cold front going through and the high was only about 18C (65F) yesterday and there was a cold north wind. So we didn't stay at the overlook very long!

Guanajuato is an amazing city.

Next up, half of the group walked down from the overlook to the central plaza, and the other half stayed on the bus. Ruth walked, and I stayed on the bus. We are really the only ones in the group that can get by in Spanish, and our driver doesn't speak English, so I figured it was better if I stayed with them just in case.

At the central plaza is the Teatro Juarez (Juarez Theater) built in 1903. It's been renovated a couple of times, but everything is as it was over 100 years ago. A beautiful theater that still hosts events every weekend.


It would be fun to see a play in here!

And then it was lunch time! A bit of a touristy restaurant right across the street from the theater. The food was just okay...we've had better fajitas...but the ambiance and the service were impeccable. Oh, the onion soup was delicious, as was the flan for dessert! Overall, a good meal. Margarita included!

Betty and Ruth.

Lunch is served. We didn't need much for dinner!

After lunch was free time for a couple of hours to give people a chance to see the things they were interested in, or just sit and relax and have a beer. 

One of the side streets in Guanajuato.

The huge indoor market.

Right at 4:00pm, the bus was there to take us back to the RV Park.

But only for a couple of hours to relax because they were picking us up again at 6:30pm! 

They were taking us on a "wandering minstrel" night, where a group of professional musicians lead you on a walk through some of the back alleys of Guanajuato, singing and playing music along the way. When we got off the bus, they were standing there playing for us, while they handed out orange juice and tequila to keep everybody warm during our walk!

The wandering minstrels.

Turn up your volume!

They walked and sang for about an hour and a half. It was a lot of fun, and there was some audience participation as well!

And to top off the evening, we then took the bus back up to the overlook for a view of Guanajuato lit up at night. What a view!

What a fun day we had!

Today, everybody is on their own, but I would expect we'll have a Superbowl gathering later on. Tomorrow will be another busy tour day, and then Tuesday we lead the group about 175 kms (108 miles) south to our next location at Cuitzeo and San Juan del Lago RV Resort.

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A fantastic deal on a one month emergency food kit. For the price, you can't go wrong...


And in Canada, good quality ladies Citizen watches, some at 60% off. Valentines Day is coming up...




33 comments:

  1. A nice day in Guanajuato, we'll be there on Wednesday. Happy birthday Kevin, may you travel and blog for many years to come...

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    1. It was a wonderful day, long but wonderful! You will enjoy your time here. Thanks for Kevin's Birthday Wishes, he had a great day.

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  2. Happy birthday! Sure was a full first day.

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    1. Kevin says, thank you for the birthday wishes.

      Yes, it was a very full day and there will be a few more days like this ahead of us yet.

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  3. Happy birthday Kevin. I love the group tour....always want to see culture i.e. singing, dancing, etc. I think I want to join the caravan next year..give us the skinny on how to do that :-)

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes.

      The company has set up lots of tours and they are very cultural, along with lots of the history of the area. They definitely look after the caravan members and make sure they have a great time. Here is the link to the company's home page. www.mexicorvbuddies.com

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    2. 3 planned for next year 54 day Fall (led by myself) Oct 12, 82 day spring jan 11 (wagon masters TBA), and a 30 day copper canyon/Mazatlan in mid Feb. I am the US/Canada co-ordinator, beddows1@telus.net

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  4. Happy Birthday, looks like you will having a busy month ahead of you.

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes, George.

      Yes, we think it will be a busy month but a fun one too. The time will fly by!

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  5. They pack a lot into one day - but it looks like you had fun. Nice that there are two of you to split up when needed. Enjoy your quieter day - and Happy Birthday as well!

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    1. They certainly do! Everyone had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the city and the musicians in the evening.

      Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes, he enjoyed his day.

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  6. Happy Birthday. I have no doubt you and Ruth make the very best Wagonmasters ever.

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes, he had a great day.

      Well not sure we will make the very best wagon master's but we will certainly give it our best shot. :-)

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  7. Nice that you are getting to places you haven't been. That is what Dad and I liked about Elderhostel - places that you wouldn't get to see if on your own.

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    1. Yes, we are enjoying seeing some of these places. We could have very easily done these ourselves though but have chosen not too before this. Places like the Hacienda and the theater aren't really Kevin's cup of tea so we have missed them in the past, so I was quite happy to see them this time around.

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  8. Great day on the town. Happy Birthday Super Blogger!

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes, Gaelyn.

      Everyone had a great day out on the town and we are off again this morning for another full day.

      Delete
  9. Love the classic view shots of Guanajuato, great shots. Happy Day.

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    1. Yes, that overlook gives you some fantastic shots of downtown.

      Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes.

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  10. Now that is an awesome header photo.

    What an awesome tour. A very happy birthday to you Kevin.

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes.

      It was a great tour and they have another one today!

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  11. Feliz cumpleaños! Guanajuato is my favorite Mexican city. :)

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    1. Kevin says gracias for the birthday wishes. ;-)

      Guanajuato is one of our favorites too!

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes, Connie and Barry.

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  13. Replies
    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes!

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  14. What a tour! Great pictures. Looks like a very pretty city. I liked the old theater. And the overhead picture of the city is spectacular.

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    1. It is a beautiful little city! Lots to see and do here as well. The old theater is considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico.

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  15. Happy Birthday! You share a birthday with my sister (she was born in '62 on this day) Love the header picture of Guanajuato. The contrast of the blue sky with the colorful buildings of the city is quite striking and lovely. It seems like Mexico has perfected the art of color & balance. Safe travels and wishing you all lots of fun on this newest adventure.

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes and that he and your sister were born exactly on the same day and year.

      Yes, Mexico certainly has perfected the art of colour and balance. There aren't many colourful cities back in Canada or the U.S., I can think of a few but not many.

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  16. Replies
    1. Yes, it is a beautiful city and full of history and culture.

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