Road trip to Guadalajara

1Last weekend we rented a car with another couple and took a road trip to Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.  Guadalajara, sister city to Portland, OR (thanks Holly!) lies about 175 miles inland from Puerto Vallarta.  The drive climbs up through verdant green mountains and winds through sleepy villages with cobblestone streets.  The road is “challenging” 2in spots, with frequent landslides and numerous potholes, but a beautiful drive none the less.

We booked at room at the historic Hotel Morales in the central historic district. 3 This is the heart of the city, filled with shady squares, fountains, cathedrals and tons of colonial architecture.  Guadalajara was founded in 1542, and remnants of its history abound.

Hotel Morales

Hotel Morales 

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Governor’s Palace

We visited the Governor’s Palace where the entryway is graced with a giant mural by Jose 6Clemente Orozco depicting the struggle of the Mexican people over communism and fascism.   We watched street acrobats and puppeteers, 8and people watched.  We heard live rock music, saw lots of street art (graffiti) and marveled at the number of hipsters.  Who knew? They are apparently everywhere.

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Having had the good sense to leave the rental car in the hotel garage, we took a bus to the district of Tonala, where hundreds, maybe even thousands of artisans churn out every conceivable product.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the pothole with a car fender sticking out of it – it was at least 3 ft deep.  The bus drivers are amazing, weaving 11through the potholes and clearing parked cars, power poles, and horse-drawn vehicles by inches.9We shopped for hours and made sure to try the local favorite, tacos de chivo – goat tacos.  No part of the goat is wasted.

Another happy shopper

Another happy shopper

After a hard day of shopping, we managed to find the oldest continuously operating cantina in Guadalajara, and sidled up to the bar for tequila and beers with the locals.  We had a great time – even with limited language skills. 13 We were asked several times if we were worried about being raped or murdered, and if all Americans thought this of Mexicans.  The answer was no – we have yet to feel unsafe any where we have gone.  We did not see any other gringos during our visit to Guadalajara, but we did see Japanese tourists at the ultra-swanky Santo Coyote restaurant where we ended the night…

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It would have been nice to have a longer stay, but it is hurricane season and we are hesitant to leave the boat unattended for too long.  The tenth tropical storm of the season is forming to the south, and it is expected to combine with the westward-moving remnants of Hurricane Earl which is currently making landfall on the Yucatan peninsula.  Looks like it is going to be a wet weekend…

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3 thoughts on “Road trip to Guadalajara

  1. Love your pictures Tammy, and looks like you two are enjoying Mexico. BaHaHa is getting close and as of now I plan to make the trip and start south. Who knows I might catch-up with you guys, that would be great. Be safe.

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