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Published: September 27th 2018
Today is a move on day. We make a Skype call to mum and dad whilst we are still assured of reasonable WiFi connection! The truth is, the hotel WiFi (which was pretty weak anyway), completely failed a few days ago. But as we passed their main WiFi modem every day on the stairs, we could clearly see their private modem...so we sneakily photographed the password and have been having excellent reception ever since!
Unbelievably there is yet another celebratory procession passing our balcony today. Now we know why they have named this town Mexico’s own Disneyland! Today the focus seems to be on little children...three large cartoon type characters, followed by lots of toddlers - the smallest riding in the back of floats and slightly older kids accompanied by proud parents walking behind.
We decide we had better call our Uber early just in case we run into another procession. The Uber arrives in three minutes and we take a leisurely drive to the bus station - it’s not far but the roads are pretty congested.
We arrive an hour before schedule and now we know the drill. There doesn’t appear to be any security here like
that in Mexico City. Just go to bus stand 7 or 8 ten minutes before departure. We take our seats in a pleasantly clean seating area and wait our bus. Ticket sales here are rather like a stroll through a market - waiting passengers sit in the middle surrounded by ticket counters of all the competing bus companies who are calling out for customers. Meh-he-ho, meh-he-ho, meh-he-ho are the background cries we hear for the next 50 minutes with the volume increasing each time someone walks through the entrance. Not that there are not buses leaving for other destinations, but Mexico City appears to be the most popular!
It’s 1150 and time to board our bus. The same ritual takes place..show tickets, big bags underneath with reclaim tickets issued to prove they are ours, collection of goody bag with drink and snack, hand luggage checked and on to the bus. We find ourselves on the same bus as a very friendly group of young Americans who were also on Alfred’s tour yesterday! Two of them have the seats next to ours so the 90 minute journey passes quickly as we chew the cud over UK vs USA public transport
followed by education, politics including Brexit, house prices and so on...one thing just seems to lead to another.
Before we know it, we have arrived in Guanajuato. The bus station is, as usual, a way out of town. We say our goodbyes and order an Uber. This takes a little longer than expected as the first one declines us after 5 minutes, but another follows fairly quickly. We are getting the hang of the system now!
We arrive at our accommodation which is a small homely b&b located within a reasonable walking distance of the historic centre. We have a choice of two rooms - one on the ground floor with two beds but no window and another on the first floor with a huge super king and our own private patio overlooking the pretty inner courtyard. There is no contest really and Ian is duly despatched to carry our very heavy bags up the wooden staircase to my room of choice :-).
This is a really lovely, peaceful place with a common lounge area with big comfy sofas, help yourself tea and coffee making facilities and the inner courtyard with a water fountain which our room
overlooks. This is the breakfast area and handily covered with transparent roofing since it is now thundering down with rain!
As we have come to discover, the rain does not last long...so now it’s time to venture out to explore the town and grab an early dinner. Unlike San Miguel with its grid system of roads, Guanajuato is more like the UK with roads that meander all over the place. We have found tourist maps to be notoriously unreliable in the past so we set off, iPhone in hand, with google maps enabled! This navigation system is also new to us but we are rapidly getting the hang of it!
Navigating Guanajuato proves interesting but not impossible. It would seem that there are many roads meandering and criss crossing each other, but all leading to the same place! To add to the complexity there are also roads on upper and lower levels! We are on the lower level but Ian is fairly certain that we should be on the one above! No matter, we eventually arrive in the historic centre albeit via a slightly longer route.
The centre is pedestrianised making it very pleasant for wandering. We
are getting our bearings for a long walk around the centre tomorrow. We only have two days here so we need to make the most of it. We pass some impressive statues before reaching a grand looking church and the opera house. Now we find ourselves in the main square which is lined with pavement cafes and bustling with activity. Musicians are playing typical Mexican tunes making it a very pleasant amble.
We locate the restaurant that has been recommended to us by the b&b owner - it’s a typical Mexican joint. We decide on their special set menu for two. We are really not quite sure what is going to turn up! Our meal arrives and we are not disappointed although it’s far too much for us to possibly manage! First, a huge bowl of nachos with a fiery dip and a plate of cucumber slices - presumably to cool our burning tongues? Next, a bowl of bean soup - it’s nicer than it sounds and another giant nacho with a slice of ham, salad and mayo on top...the Mexican version of a Danish open sandwich? Finally, a huge sizzling bowl of steak, chicken, spicy beef, chillies and
fried onions with a big bowl of melted cheese in the middle. Accompanying this we have a basket full of soft doughy wraps. It’s far too large for either of us to contemplate finishing - especially the cheese which will make me fat and probably induce a migraine attack for Ian! We make a brave attempt at everything else though :-).
We pay our bill and head back to the b&b for an early night. One or two drops of rain have fallen so we put our best foot forward, pausing only to admire the statue of Don Quixote which we somehow failed to spot on the way in, even though we did pass this way before. Our route back does take us on the upper roads and, I think, is slightly quicker.
Thankfully, we have arrived back without getting caught in any rain. We make ourselves a nice cup of herbal tea to take up to our room. I think we might be the only people here as it is very quiet. It’s really relaxing sitting in the balcony with the sound of the courtyard fountain in the background.
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