10-21-2013, 08:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
16. Guadalajara - Getting Business Done
In the morning I awoke and found birds. Birds? Birds donít live far from land, we must be getting close.
My camera battery was low so I went to swap it with my spare and plug the dead one in to charge. Usually I have it somewhere in my pannier or tankbag. Nope, definitely not in either of those. Yep, definitely left both plugged in to the wall in the Cabo hostel. The cabo wabo haze strikes again.
Because I had no charger or spare battery, this meant the end of my picture taking. When the ferry arrived several hours later I said by to the Dutchies and we unloaded the ferry. I wanted to get to Guadalajara and the Erica and Michel (The Dutchies) where headed some place near Mazatlan for the beach. Guadalajara is about 5 hours east of Mazatlan via the toll roads (cost money but are faster). By dusk I was in town, booked into a hostel, and eating tacos on the street with my new friend Farah. Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico and is very multifaceted in what it brings to the cultural table. For one, itís a historic city. It is full of big public squares, grand old spanish era buildings converted to museums, and lots of effigies to individuals involved in progressing Mexico forward. Itís also a lively place with lots of young and newly employed people which contributes greatly to itís overall feel as well as itís economic potential. In fact, a few years ago it was ranked as having the second strongest economic potential in all of North America and has been called ďthe city of the futureĒ. This has helped bring a large number of recent foreign investment deals (according to Wiki) making it a very attractive destination for people on the up-and-coming and on the grind. The city feels like itís bustling, hustling, and alight with activity. But this isnít New York and people are still really chill and approachable, we are afterall in Mexico remember.
What this meant for me was that I could scope some old architecture, shop for the electronics I need, and feel like Iím a young professional again while reading the paper in a public square and sipping on a chai-latte-macchiato-soy-nesquik-cafe (or whatever it is that the cool kids are drinking now). After a couple days of walking through the city I found the charger that I needed, or a compatible knock-off that would work. At this time the weather showed me what my friends were probably seeing back home and reminded me what rain looks like for the first time since I left Seattle.
I didnít get many pictures while my camera was out of commission, in fact, I got none (funny how that works). I also hate backtracking, so I refuse to go and take pictures of stuff that Iíve already gone to. Thus I only have a few photos to share.
Hereís my bike parked on the sidewalk outside the hostel.
Hereís a picture with some of the common architecture, also horses for bonus.
I spent a fair amount of time shooting the shit while grabbing food and drinks with other people at the hostel. This is a great way to practice my spanish and to get the lowdown on other places to check out in Mexico. I prefer to get my info through osmosis and some light internet research, I have yet to look at a lonely planet or other travel book. I like chatting with locals and other travelers about places they have been and what they liked. After I get a feel for what type of person they are I can then decide how I want to weigh the info they provided. Itís like reading 12 travel advice books rather than one, it may be slower but is more entertaining and engaging.
With all the youth the city is pretty hip and artsy, hereís some cool street art from the trendy Chapultepec area.
I had my camera battery for just a little bit before I left so this is all I have of Guadalajara. Farah, a girl I met my first night told me that I should definitely go check out a place called Guanajuato city. Sheís the first person to mention the place but I trust her taste. Iíll head there next. On the road again.