Mike and I have enjoyed using the local bus service since we first arrived in Mexico. A standard flat fare of 6 or 7 pesos (28p) has covered a single fare for each journey we have taken.These buses are at the other end of the evolutionary scale to the elite coach described in my last entry. Hard plastic seats and non existent suspension give the impression of a square wheeled bus. Initially I assumed the driver for our return from Tlaquepaque this afternoon was struggling with the clutch as he was accelerating quickly and shuddering to a very abrupt standstill at each bus stop. It didn't matter if an elderly person with a stick was standing to get off, everyone received the same rough treatment. However, when another bus pulled out and cut him up, road rage took over and after our man raced to overtake he stopped our bus to block the other one, taking up two lanes of the dual carriageway. He then got out and he went to punch the other driver while he was still sat at the wheel. Harsh words and raised voices ensued and our driver returned to the bus. This did not calm him down and us passengers continued to be thrown about inside, I was the only one who found it funny, everyone else wore the same deadpan expressions, which made me laugh even more. Their look seemed to say, 'Goddam Gringos, laughing at us all.'
Our visit to Tlaquepaque had by contrast been very restful. A neat little suburb of Guadalajara famous for artisans and craft shops, it provided a very pleasant place for a stroll and for me to try the Torta Ahogada, (wet sandwich). This turned out to be chunks of roast pork in a half baguette with hot chilli sauce poured over, served with raw onions and lime. Quite delicious. Another new taste sensation, experienced yesterday was the Michelada Beer. This was served in a frosted mug with a salted rim and ice cubes. At the base of the glass was about 50mls of black sauce made with Worcestershire Sauce (salsa Inglesa), tabasco, liquid gravy browning (Maggi) and lime. I also enjoyed this, although I know it doesn't sound too good but it took the taste away of the accidentally ordered assorted carnitas, consisting of finely chopped pork from all parts of the animal (brain, trotter and snout included). Suitable punishment for being a carnivore.
Although the urban sprawl of Guadalajara spreads over 100sq miles it has proved to have a fine old city of pedestrian walkways, fountains, churches and plazas. There is even a temporary ice skating rink set up behind the cathedral. The shops are roughly divided into clusters selling the same thing, everything from wedding frocks to boom boxes. The whole city centre has free wifi and the council has thoughtfully provided outdoor electrical sockets for people to use. Tomorrow we're off to Morelia and tonight I will be sampling more delicious street food.
I love travel, any type. There is always a buzz in finding & exploring a place for the first time, meeting and making new friends and if you return things are never quite the same.
Going away? Travel essentials from across Amazon
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