the

Sunset near Kingman, Arizona.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

Where are they going next? South east towards Roswell, New Mexico.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tour of beautiful Guanajuato

One of the complaints that we have about this 86 day tour is that it's not long enough. What I mean by that is that you are kept so busy that you don't have enough time to relax or do your own thing. When you're not busy with official tours, it's because it's a driving day.

We think the route is not bad, although we would make some changes to that as well. And the perfect trip length would be four months. This enables you to take advantage of the consistently great Mexico weather (something Arizona, Texas, and Florida can't offer) as well as have a few more days to catch your breath and simply relax.

Perhaps we will change things for the 2019 tour if we can sign up enough people who want to do a four month trip with us instead of three months. The cost would not be much different.

But, for the time being we have to keep to this year's schedule, and yesterday's tour bus showed up right at 9:00am to take our group into the beautiful city of Guanajuato...

Our tour bus!

First stop was the ex Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera. This is a magnificent colonial home with beautiful gardens that originally was where they would process the rock from the mines. 

The Hacienda is now owned by the state of Guanajuato.

 Gorgeous place!

 View of the gardens.




Lots of photo taking opportunities.

We notice that it's becoming common for a lot of these types of places around the world to charge an extra fee if you want to take photos. We think that's a bit ridiculous, because just about anybody who visits is going to want to take photos. We negotiated a group rate with them for the entrance fee that included 12 photography passes. We thought it was kind of chintzy to have the people pay their own photo fee, plus it would have taken extra time.






From there, we did a driving tour through the tunnels under Guanajuato, and then a bit above ground while heading up to the lookout.

Interesting house!

The view of Guanajuato!

Most of us took the fenicular to downtown and our restaurant.

Very nice lunch at Casa Valadez restaurant. 
This is one of the 22 group meals included with the package price.
James, Lovey, Tim, Ruth, Gail, Kenny.

Mark, Gabriel (our guide), Angi, Bernd, Richard, Melanie, Barbara.

 They make a great margarita here!
Carle, Sandy, Gail, Jim.

Mike, Linda, Elaine, and Randy.

Scenery along the way.

The Guanajuato Basilica.

Old mining cart now a planter.

We were wandering around with Mike and Linda. Went to the market...


And then we wandered some more. Came across a library. From the outside, it didn't look anything special. I went inside and up the stairs of this old concrete building. Then, there was a very modern entrance door with security. We asked if we could go in and have a look, and were granted access.

The Biblioteca Armando Olivares.

We noticed right away that many of the books were very old. I started looking at the little slip of paper sticking out of the top of each book, and realized that the date of the book was written on each one. I started seeing some that were from the 1600's!

This one says 1654! Wow!

We didn't have a lot of time and had to be back to meet the bus at 3:45pm. So we were leaving, and I asked the receptionist what the oldest book in the library was. 

She said "1490"!

Wow, again!

Then, she asked us to wait, and she went back into the library. She came out a few minutes later with a man who was obviously a librarian of some kind. His English wasn't very good, probably about as good as our Spanish. But he was so enthusiastic about the books and started showing us some of the more special ones.

Francisco the librarian.

A huge copy of the bible from 1645, written in 7 languages.

An original Spanish copy of Benjamin Franklin's Experiences and Observations of Electricity dated 1756!

Francisco was showing us how they made the books back then. Some with wooden covers, and how the pages were hand stitched together with the bindings. We can't even figure out how they made paper back then! Really interesting stuff, and we wished we could have stayed longer. We will return here another time.

We got on the bus and returned to the RV park. Only for a two hour break though, because another bus was coming at 6:30pm to take us back downtown for our wandering minstrel tour. We did this with the group in February of 2016, and it's a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, I forgot the big camera and only had my phone with me. It doesn't take the best night pictures.

Out wandering the alleyways of Guanajuato with the musicians.

I took a video that turned out well, but I don't have good enough internet to post it. It was a struggle just getting these photos uploaded! I'll put the video up at our next stop. Anyhow, the group had a great evening that concluded with a view of Guanajuato at night.

Guanajuato at night.

And, today is another touring day... the bus is returning at 9:00am to take us to Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A variety of Coleman tents and sleeping bags are on Deal of the Day...


And in Canada...




27 comments:

  1. Guanajuato is such a great town. I stayed in a hostel there for two weeks and just walked about and took the local buses. So much to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right it is a fabulous city. I think this our 3rd visit to Guanajuato and we are still finding new things to see. It is a beautiful city and walking is the best way to see it for sure.

      Delete
  2. I concur with your 4 month suggestion, however the issue is Christmas and then at the other end in April, you are dealing with heat. One thing about this trip is that the first half is tour intensive, the second half has much more relax time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we were to do a 4 month trip it would start in December, period! We think there would be enough interest and if people wanted to to the 4 month trip then they would just have to forego Christmas back home that year. The biggest complaint we are getting is that there just isn't enough time to go back and visit each place on their own or even to just relax and get washing and cleaning done.

      Delete
  3. It sounds like you have a very good group. I am looking forward to meeting them all in Melaque. Having led several caravans I have found that 10-12 couples make for the best dynamics. Talking with other Wagon Masters in other companies, they all say the same thing. The poor WM for adventure last year was pretty stressed out with 18 rigs. Too few has its issues as well. I hope they enjoy Cuitzeo, Arturo, the owner, is such a great guy. Tell him I won't make it there this year. I have issues with my trailer and I don't want to travel any further than I have to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a great group! :-)

      We will pass on your greetings to Arturo today.

      Delete
  4. A very well planned day. Guanajuato is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was! Now if only we had another day that we could all go back and explore it even more. :-)

      Delete
  5. Loved this post. So many incredible places to see and do. We've only once been to Mexico and sadly, were not impressed, but you are altering our views so thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad that you enjoyed it Dianne, hopefully we can change your thinking about Mexico. I guess the only time you came to Mexico, it just must have been the wrong location because there are just so many amazing, and beautiful places here that need to be seen and enjoyed. :-)

      Delete
  6. Those are beautiful places that you are visiting.
    I'd be surprised that even the librarians are allowed to handle the really old books.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your tours.

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and that is only the start although we have to admit that Guanajuato is definitely one of our most favourite cities in Mexico.

      If you noticed the librarian did have rubber gloves on and all these books were in a special area that is locked and can only be entered if the librarian is with you. He was extremely careful handling the books as well.

      Delete
  7. Hello Ruth, Kevin and Paul, My wife and I would be very interested in the four month version. We are about to retire after many years of working and are looking forward to relaxing and traveling. I have been following this blog and it does seem very busy. We would want to have more relaxing days but would not want to miss out on any of the sights. Is it possible that one of the caravans next winter is the standard three month and the other gets extended to four months?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Robert, thank you for taking the time to comment. Glad to hear that you would be interested in a 4 month tour. It obviously is not up to us to make this decision but we certainly will press the issue and try to come up with a more relaxed pace that we could present to the caravan company for consideration. It certainly helps when we can get people to comment or send us an email showing their preference for a 4 month trip, it makes it easier to sell the idea to them. :-)

      Delete
  8. One of the jewels in the Mexican crown! We can never get enough of Guanajuato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! There is so much to see in the city and in the area around the city! We could hike in the mountains for a good long time and always find a different path to take.

      Delete
  9. The best part of this day for me was the library and the books. What a treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, that was a nice little gem of the day, find that place. :-)

      Delete
  10. We were in Guanajuato on Mother's Day last May! Did the wandering minstrel tour...so much fun! One of our favorite places in Mexico! I know you all had a fantastic day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the wandering minstrel tour is a highlight of Guanajuato for many of the people on the caravan tour. Guanajuato is also one of our favourite Mexican cities.

      Delete
  11. We loved Guanajuato and love seeing all these photos to remind us of our trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is just something very special about Guanajuato. We haven't found anyone yet that hasn't liked it. Glad that we could bring some wonderful memories back to you from your visit.

      Delete
  12. I spent two months in Guanajuato last year studying Spanish at the lovely Escuela Falcon Spanish school. I thought I had covered the city pretty well, but completely missed that library. What a beautiful place and a great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is actually in a little hidden corner. Many of these places we just happen to come by on chance. We are sometimes a little snoopy and when we saw a sign saying Biblioteca then we knew we had to go in and check it out because sometimes the libraries are in beautiful old buildings. We are sure glad that we did that this time because it was definitely well worth it.

      Delete
    2. I studies at Escuela Falcon too! What a wonderful school! I still communicate with many of friends I met there. Small world.

      Delete
  13. Loved your pics. Guanajuato is one of my favorite places. I was in the best shape of my life living there and walking those hills!

    We might be interested in a 4 month tour with you two as the guides. I like your perspective on travel and that you take time to appreciate little things of the landscape and the culture. You all seem to enjoy the little Mom and pop eateries and less inclined for fancy meals. That would suit us. I agree that it’s hard to rush through everything and slowing down could add so much. We would be happy to park at a beautiful beach and have our family come to us on Christmas. We had some good and bad experiences on our last caravan which I can elaborate privately, but I can see us joinging you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cindy! Yes, I think we have to agree with you about Guanajuato, I think it is probably one of our most favourites cities in Mexico as well.

      Good to know that you would also be interested in a 4 month tour. We really do believe that it would give people so much more time to enjoy the country and the extra time at some of the different cities so that people would time to explore them on their own or just an extra day to relax. I can't imagine doing this tour in 62 days like you had done!

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...