Trip Start Aug 31, 2009
40Trip End Aug 31, 2010
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Where I stayed
The celebrations started on Thursday night in "Mutualista", where I saw a number of familiar faces from both CEPE and last week's trip to Michoacan. After a couple of poor attempts at salsa dancing I decided that it might be best to take some of the lessons available in the bars here. We arrived back late so the next morning I decided to skip classes in favour of a birthday lie in. This gave me plenty of time to catch up with a few friends from home and recover in time for the festivities that night.
Alba is an extremely liberal hostess; kindly allowing me to throw a house party here and invite whomever I pleased
As my 21st it was always going to be an unforgettable night, but it was given a unique twist thanks to a couple of strange Mexican traditions. When my cake was brought out I was introduced to a local custom which I had not been previously made aware of. After blowing out the candles, Alba appeared behind me to plunge my face into the cake! Apparently this is standard practice on birthdays here. I also had a Piņatita, a small piņata we had found in a local market, which we took outside so as not to cause any damage inside the house. I was blindfolded - and armed for some reason with a stolen road sign - and proceeded to destroy the piņata in a shambolic process which descended into something resembling a game of baseball.
The night finally wound down around 6am and I spent the majority of the next day in bed or watching the football. But by Sunday we were back in the party mood, so I set out for Lake Chapala with Isobel, a friend from Minnesota called Antonio, and a group of Mexican amigos
Armed with several crates of beer, we took an exhilarating speedboat ride out to the "Isle of the Scorpions" in the middle of the lake. We had a great time despite not actually seeing any scorpions there, and as ever in Mexico, the drinks kept flowing. After a couple of hours we returned to shore to fill up on pizza and replenish our beer supply. We eventually returned late that night, with the party continuing throughout the drive home (I have learnt that drink driving here is the norm rather than the exception). Thankfully the next day was a public holiday, but the parade in Guadalajara began around 7am which proved far too early for us after the previous night's events.