[Originally posted January 22, 2008]
I rolled into Talpa around dusk. The first thing I noticed about Talpa de Allende is that every third building is a hotel, most with dozens of rooms. This place is not on any of the tourist maps and isn't even in the index of the Lonely Planet, yet this town could seemingly house half the population of Guadalajara. Talpa is clearly a destination for Mexicano tourists, but there are no beaches or lakes or even attractive scenery to be found. However, Talpa has an enormous and ancient-looking church:
Apparently Talpa de Allende is a destination for Católico-tourism, and this is off-season. The town was cheerful but placid. However, it provided me with my favorite hotel experience on the trip yet.
A short digression on The Perfect Hotel Room. The perfect hotel room has the trifecta of:
* Less than $20 per night
* Agua caliente
* Internet access in the room
I have yet to find The Perfect Hotel Room. I'm lucky to find just one of the three, and hot water has been the most rare - even in $80 rooms. Mexicanos apparently enjoy tepid showers.
My room at the Hotel Chuyita was priced at 100 pesos (about $9) and for the first time ever, produced nearly scalding-hot water.
Mine was the top-right room:
The view of "downtown":
The room itself is little more than a door, a bed, and a combined bathroom/shower. Perfect:
The vendors were more interesting than the usual tourist-bait of zapaterias, electronics, and beachwear:
In line with family-oriented tourism, most stores seemed to make and sell candy. The yellowish bottles on the shelves contain rompope
, Mexican eggnogg. It usually contains rum and Claudia once told me that it is very popular with the kids in Mexico.
[Claudia is an ex-girlfriend, her father is from Mexico City]