Sunday, December 20, 2009

To Guadalajara

So, got the bus to Guadalajara. Got off, and immediately realised that we were thoroughly lost after getting out of our taxi. The driver swore black and blue that we were at the address we pointed him too. The lack of presence of our actual hostel begged to differ. After some directions from a local hotelier, and walking through a few sketchy streets and back alleys, we happened upon our destination. We knew things wouldn't be so easy though, when our friendly neighbourhood hostel manager kept glancing repeatedly from our booking confirmation to his computer records and back again nervously. Turns out our room had been booked out for the first night of our stay due to a lag in the computer system (or some non-sensicle excuse), but that we could have a whole dorm to ourselves for the first night and a cut in the price as compensation. Seeing as we were only paying about AU$25 for the private room per night in the first place, this was not such a great deal.

Anyway, went out and about to see the town after this and knew immediately that we would be in for a treat. Mexico's cities are all about their zocalos - the central squares in the centre of the city where everybody comes to hang out, chat, play chess, smoke cigars, drink tequila or beer, and, of course, eat good food. Guadlajara's zolcalos were many and impressive - they kept going one after the other forever, with a good deal of sculpture, water features, colonial buildings, art work, live music and performance art thrown in to the mix to make it especially awesome. So we spent the first day just wandering around, snapping piccies, sampling the food and beer. You know - enjoying life and soaking the place in. Of course, it almost goes without saying that there were many impressive cathedrals, monuments, dedications, government buildings etc etc. to check out. We called it a night on day one with a sense of excitement about the place.

Day 2, we got up and headed out again to see the place in some more light and to check out some museums. All were interesting, but the highlight would have to have been one that contained a fully recontstrcuted whoolly mammoth skeleton inside. I don't have to tell you that it was pure awesome. Next, on to the cathedral. Let me just say that it was impressive. Damn impressive. However, it has become apprent that, in mexico at least, catholics (of which the country boasts an 85% subscription rate) are into some odd, and let's just say, plane freaky stuff. In this particular cathedral, a little girl who died about 100 years or so ago is a revered figure within the church. They have this doll, all dressed up in white modelled on her, lying in a glass cabinet in the church. What is truly freaky is that a) the paint is all faded and pealing off the doll, making it look more than a little menacing, if not downright scary, and b) that they HAVE THE ACTUAL BONES OF ONE OF HER HANDS IN A HAND-SHAPED FISHNET GLOVE PROTRUDING FROM ONE ARM OF THE DOLLS DRESS, ALONG WITH A POT OF HER BLOOD SITTING IN THERE WITH THE DOLL. It is literally the scariest thing I have ever seen, and surely in poor taste. Yet there it is, and the people of guadalajara absolutely adore it. Anyway, that pretty much filled in that day, along with a lot of other walking around seeing the sights, eating good food and finding a few cool little bars.

The next day we did a tour out to the town of Tequila, famous for, yes, being the origin of the drink Tequila!! We did a tour around the Jose Cuervo distillery, where we learnt all about how the drink is made, sampled some tequila at various points alongt the production line, and sampled some very very nice stuff that I had no idea existed at the end (Anejo Tequila, anyone?) We bought a bottle of some of the nicer stuff we tasted there, and then went out to another tequila producer to sample their wares. Then home again, when we went to a little restaurant that got a shining review in the lonely planet guidebook (also up the road from our hotel, and busy every time we walked past it). It was a tiny little out of the way and unassuming place, but I can honestly say that the food we ate there was trancendental. Easily the best mexican we've had in mexico, and easily the best mexican i've had ever. Possibly the best FOOD i've had ever, damn it all! Pure awesome.

Anyway, Guadalajara was awesome - could have spent a week there easily, but we decided that we needed some time at the beach. We flew to Puerto Escondido the next day, which was possibly even better - heaven on earth. But that's a story for the next post, isn't it?

i love this city

possibly the worst drink in the world - food is suppose to be spicy and salty not drinks. also the worst photo of brooke.

not the best photo but the creepy bone hand and blood viel.

the mamonth

the magic agave fields in the magical town of Tequilla - they actually called it the magical town of tequilla which was strange.

Brooke's commander in chief;

Brooke'll be back tomorrow.


ron_vic said...

Sounds like you are having a great time. Can't wait to see lots of photos

Clare said...

very jealous! Merry Christmas and see you soon! Clare and Shane