Last Entry from Mexico

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
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Trip End Jun 20, 2006


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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ohhhh, so sad....we are flying out of Mazatlan tomorrow morning, so this will be our last post from Mexico. We will, however, be posting from LA on both LA and our general thoughts as well as interesting lists from our trip.

After Mexico City, we rode a very nice Primera Plus bus for 5 hours to Guanajuato. The Primera Plus company provides you with a snack bag with drink, cookie, coffee powder (they have hot water in the back of the bus), and an irradiated sandwich. At least, we hope it was irradiated....it was a sealed up sandwich with a small bit of ham, cheese, a bit of mayo/mustard spread, and one tiny jalapeņo slice. It was all sealed up in packaging, no refrigeration necessary, and had a few days on the eat-by date. Frightening, but not as bad tasting as you might suspect. Quite edible, really.

So, Guanajuato. It is a fairly large town crammed into a series of gullys and valleys. The valleys are connected by series of tunnels. We're talking tunnels EVERYWHERE. You can go down one block and come up three blocks later. The tunnels are really rough, just blown out of the rock with no shoring or bolting. Some of the streets are so narrow (callejons) that the balconies of opposing houses almost touch. There isn't one straight street in town. Guanajuato is an old silver mining town, and now houses one of Mexico's better universities. It is very attractive, and has a nice young vibe. We were only able to stay one night, but we hope to come back some other time. Andrew ate a very good torta there, and he is still dreaming of it. He says it was the best torta ever.

After Guanajuato, we took a 4 hour bus to Guadalajara, then switched to a bus to Tepic, another 4 hours. We ended up getting into Tepic about midnight. Tepic is nice because it isn't on the tourist track at all....most people were quite curious about why we were there, including our taxi driver and the men Andrew met at the cantina. We visited there two and a half years ago, on our last Mexico trip. It was nice to be back and see that it hadn't changed much. Tranquil and polite. Drivers actually stop to let you cross the street!

From Tepic, it was a three hour 2nd class bus ride to Sayulita, a nice beach town on the Nayarit coast. We had been to Sayulita on our last trip too, and liked it a lot, so it seemed like a good place to end up. We stayed at the same hotel, Las Gaviotas, and when we were checking in, the owner asked if we had been there before. We said yes, and she said she thought she recognized Andrew by the earrings gracing his ears. She seemed happy to see us, and we were happy that we could still get a room for about $23 only 1.5 blocks from the beach. It isn't anything fancy, but it is clean and friendly and the location can't be beat. Oh, and they remodeled the bathrooms since our last visit, and they're sparkling, though we can't figure out why in the world you would grout your toilet to the floor, rather than bolting it....hope they don't have to do any maintenance on it!

Sayulita was perfect for ending the vacation in Mexico.....beautiful clean beaches, cold drinks, lots of lazing about. We saw lots of good things on the beach....one guy surfing in a Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) mask, and a surfer dog that stayed on the board longer than his owner. The owner fell off about 50 yards from the beach, while the dog rode it all the way in, turning around nonchalantly, looking for his food guy. We rented beach chairs and an umbrella, and yesterday we were treated to a woman trying to camp out next to us without paying. She told the owner that she was a Mexican (so was the owner), dammit, and this was her beach. He pulled the umbrella out from beside her and took it away. His job seemed like a bummer....always having to tell people that yes, you had to pay to sit in the chairs, no they weren't free. We also got to listen to a drunk American prattling on, annoying the Canadians seated next to him. The final straw for them was when the American told the British Columbians that Mexican weed was better than BC weed. Ha.

A lot of Sayulita is the same, but quite a bit has changed. There are a lot more restaurants, a lot more souvenir stands, and a LOT more internet cafes, though the prices are still a bit exorbitant here (we are used to paying less than $1 per hour, not $3 or $4). The churro man isn't here anymore, though that may only be because it is slow season. Also, there are fewer street food stands. Only one taco stand, in fact. Also could be due to slow season here. It is still a laid back, friendly place though. We could easily imagine coming back every year.

And now we have to stop, as we need to get packed up and off to Mazatlan....it'll be 3 hours to Tepic, then 5 more to Mazatlan. Not looking forward to our last bus day.
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