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Old 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #178
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 523

I lack the words.

It's been three weeks. We plan to stay another week. If I stay here much longer, I may get stuck for a long time.

The architecture is beautiful. Like Zacatecas, Guanajuato is built in a narrow canyon. However, they routed much of the street traffic into old tunnels under the city and blocked off most of the surface streets to vehicles. The centro is large, dense, beautiful, and incredibly friendly to pedestrians.*

There is no question that this is a university town. Young, beautiful people are everywhere. Everyone is friendly! There are endless bars and clubs and plazas and sidewalk restaurants. Almost every night of the week the city becomes a huge party, and live music is everywhere. There are three karaoke bars, and we gringos weren't the only ones singing the (handful of) english-language songs.

The second best thing in Guanajuato is El Corcho de Baco, a wine bar and charcuteria on the plazuela San Fernando. They have some *great* wine from Baja as well as numerous Argentinian and Chilean options:

Gavin and I have made this place our second home. It helps that the cafe next door has free wifi.

When Gavin and I were in Zacatecas, we met about a dozen US foreign-exchange students studying in Guanajuato. The first time we set out on foot, we bumped into several of them on the street and immediately celebrated our reunion over micheladas. They gave us a great orientation to Guanajuato and recommended this cool hotel above a cafe:

In order to get the bikes parked here, we had to ride up some stairs. I LOVE RIDING STAIRS! Although, I need to drop the gearing if I'm going to do this regularly - I'm currently running one tooth short of stock on the rear sprocket; one tooth higher than stock would probably be perfect.

Gavin's Multistrada isn't equipped quite so well for this kind of hooliganism. He scraped the bike undercarriage going up. Inspecting the scratches, I discovered that the oil filter (yes, the one made of cheap chinese pot metal) is placed in the WORST POSSIBLE LOCATION for an adventure bike, perfect for catching rocks and other sharp objects:

Notice the nice dent in the filter. We're going to have to be a lot more careful with this bike offroad than either of us realized. Gavin is emailing the Terramostro people to find out if their bash plate can be adapted to the 'strada, but I doubt it will be ready for this trip.

The very best thing in Guanajuato is Guille:

We met randomly in front of my hotel a couple days after I arrived. Because she spent several years on the US, she's finishing her university program later than most and has another year or two left here. I'm going to be heartbroken when I have to leave.

* There is one caveat to this. The surface streets that do exist downtown are narrow and the sidewalks even narrower (when they exist). On one occasion I physically grabbed (a now, much more cautious) Gavin and yanked him out of the street before he got sideswiped by a bus turning around the corner he was standing on. "I rode a motorcycle through Mexico and got killed as a pedestrian" wouldn't make a very good tshirt.
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
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