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Published: September 5th 2017
Geo: 20.6736, -103.344
What a difference a room makes! I awake somewhat earlier than anticipated to the ocean waves washing up on the beach below. I lay here for a while contemplating the busy day ahead until the alarm goes off at 8, the official getup time. I'm pretty much always packed, with everything ini my bag except what I'm wearing. At the nice hotel in Tlaquepaque where I stayed for 7 nights, I did unpack the hang up stuff, otherwise I just live out of it. So this morning it was a quick shower, pack up toiletries and dried out clothes off the railing (remember, I have a balcony). A quick check around and all is ready.
Now I stop by Martin & Cindy's room but they're not ready so I go get some coffee and finish posting the last two blogs. The wifi worked fine at the restaurant. When Cindy shows up, I get my light breakfast as more family members start arriving. I hear they went to a disco last night. I wanted to go but it was after 11pm and I still had to add photos to the blog so I passed on it. I hear that they went but didn't go in. Too expensive. Today they have a snorkeling adventure planned around 11 and they're disappointed I'm leaving before then to return home. Sounds fun but I'm not missing that plane. I bid farewell to all those that are at breakfast. It's too bad not everyone is there but I thanked them for the hospitality and for taking care of me while in Mexico. I'm sure I'll be returning in the future as there is always some event going on. I stop at the desk to get my boarding pass printed by the hotel and they call for a taxi. 140 pesos for this trip to the bus station. I'm on my own now as very few Mexicans here speak English once I leave the hotel. A half hour ride to the bus station and bad news. My senior discount of 50%25 off is only for Mexican citizen so I pay full price - $38. They give me a free bag lunch and we're off and it's 11:45am.
Now the bus trip is 5 1/2 hours I'm told, even when I related our recent experience with construction on the road between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. On the road for less than an hour and we stop, I mean stop. Road closed for construction and one way traffic. We creep along forever. The short version is that after the road closing and two accidents, it's now 5:30 and no sight of Guadalajara. My buffer has disappeared and I'm getting nervous. We finally arrive in Tlaquepaque at 7:15. I catch another taxi, this one for 250 pesos which I think is high and I question but I'm more interested in my flight. We arrive at GDL at 7:45pm, exactly 2 hours before flight.
No wait at the baggage check in or security so I arrive at the gate ready for takeoff with over an hour to spare, although I could have lived without the stress. I bought a water since the airline charges for everything and boarded my flight. I can stack my stuff on Karen's seat next to me since she's not here and settle back for the 3 1/2hr flight. In Oakland, immigration was the usual crowded mess, 45 minutes to complete. Meanwhile, my Supershuttle driver got tired of waiting and left. I had to call for another pick up. Finally, home and in bed at 2:30am.. What a day.
Overall, a nice trip but with much more drama than usual and with all the schedule changes, more expensive than necessary. Still, a great experience with my friends south of the border.
Hasta luego, amigos!
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