Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back at Hacienda Contreras

Well, that was a bit of a long 24 hours, but now we're back and can spend the next 5 weeks or so relaxing. We had a great time on our Vegas vacation, but it was certainly not relaxing!

Yesterday morning we drove back towards the airport. Our flight didn't leave until 4:20pm so we had some time to kill. We made our way to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory where we had read they had a free tour and a nice cactus garden. The tour was a bit lame, it takes you about 5 minutes to walk and look through a glass wall at the workings. There wasn't much chocolate making going on, so before we knew it we were at the stand for the yummy free sample, and then of course we were ushered into the store where we found the very expensive chocolate. No thanks!

But the cactus garden was nice...

Ruth at the cactus garden.

This one had pretty orange flowers on top.

We grabbed a meal at Subway and filled up the car with gas. We had put 450 miles (720 kms) on the rental car in a week at a cost of $51 in gasoline. Sure enough, the total bill at the car rental place was $128.70, just as I had booked originally. Good deal!

Got checked in with Volaris for our flight back. There was a long line up going through security and it took almost an hour so it wasn't long before they were calling to board the flight. 

The flight was uneventful, and we landed on time at Guadalajara. There was a one hour time change so it was 8:30pm when we landed. Made it through Mexico customs without any issues and found our way to the taxi stand.

We told the taxi driver that we wanted to go to a small motel about 4 kms (2.8 miles) from the airport. He seemed to know the motel, but couldn't tell us how much it was going to cost. He said it depended on the "ticket" or something to that effect and I thought he meant that it was metered. Okay, so we got in but there was no meter. So I asked again what it was going to cost and he stopped at an official looking guy and he asked this guy. The guy says 160 pesos ($12.60) and I argued with him saying that was ridiculous for only 4 kms. Anywhere else in Mexico this would have been a 50 peso ride. But for some reason airports always try and rip you off. Not sure why that is. Captive audience I guess. Anyhow, it didn't take long and the guy says "okay, 100 pesos" ($8.00) and we said okay. I guess he was trying to get the gringo price out of us. We probably still paid too much but it was late and our options were pretty limited!

The motel was quite nice. Barb and Sal had stayed there before and so we knew that it was going to be okay ahead of time. It's a kind of a "no-tell motel" if you know what I mean, and rooms rent by the hour. We told them we wanted 12 hours and the price was 240 pesos ($19.60). Not bad!

The motel was right on a main road towards Chapala and we wanted to try and take the bus all the way to Hacienda Contreras. We left the motel around 8:15am and there was a "parada" (bus stop) only a few steps away. Sure enough, a bus came by marked "Jocotepec" and we knew that was in the right direction. It was a real milk run though, stopping every half km or so. Made it to Jocotepec around 9:45am. (35 pesos each).

We knew there was a bus that went right by Jocotepec that went right by the campground. We just didn't know where to catch it! The guy at the bus station was really helpful though, and said we had to wait about 20 minutes for a local bus to take us up to the main highway where we could catch the Mazamitla bus. That happened okay, then we had to wait about 40 minutes for the Mazamitla bus. Oh well, we had all day. (5 pesos each)

The Mazamitla bus came by and I explained to the driver where we wanted to go. He seemed to remember the trailer park and charged us 70 pesos each. So our three bus rides back to Hacienda Contreras cost 110 pesos ($8.80) each. He dropped us right at the gates at 1:15 pm, only five hours later!

And so we are back. We're going to hang out here until May 7 when we will fly to Chicago, making our way back to Ottawa. 

Check in tomorrow morning when we will tell you how much our cheap week in Vegas ended up costing!


  1. haha, funny how your 4km taxi ride was the same price as your 5 hour bus rides! what a scam the airport transportation is...

  2. Hi Keven and Ruth!! I love reading about my parents on your blog. And I love your stories too. Hope to see you guys again soon. Andrea.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on the Chocolate Factory. We will pass. Glad you are back "home" and can relax for a while...LOL ~wheresweaver

  4. welcome back..quite the adventure just getting home!!


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