Sightseeing - Prairie SeaShell Sea Stories
Guadalajara here we come! Arrived at the Central de Autobus just before 8:00, and if we hurry, we can still get on the 8:00 bus, so bought our tickets and went straight to the bus.
Panic attack as soon as we got on the bus, I noticed my purse was unzipped, and no wallet. We had just started to move, so I asked the bus driver to stop so I could go back and find it. Fortunately Don kept his cool, and checked the backpack. Instead of putting my wallet back in my purse, I had zipped it up in the backpack.
All's well that end well, and it was a very comfortable smooth ride. The first part of the 5 hour trip was on a windy, narrow road, then we continued on to the toll road, which wasn't really much better, but very scenic, through field after field of blue agave (the plant used to make Tequilla). In fact, we passed right by the town of Tequila which I think might be an interesting place to visit on another trip.
We arrived in Guadalajara around 2:30 in the afternoon and took a taxi to the Hotel Posada Regis that we had read about in the guide book.The first taxi driver didn't know where the Hotel Regis was, but a second one did and proceeded to take us there. He asked us how we knew about the Hotel Regis, and I thought maybe he thought it wasn't a very good hotel. I spotted the Hotel and asked him to stop. He still didn't seem sure that we really wanted to stay here.
The entrance to the hotel had a security door downstairs that lead up a dark stairway. I was beginning to think the taxi driver was right, but then the stairway opened up into a beautiful inner courtyard with couches & tables, paintings on the walls and glass brick floors. The hotel was over 130 years old, some of the windows and doors even contained some original blown glass panels. This hotel is only a few blocks from the main square, and although the traffic here never stops, our room, being an interior one, was very quiet.
After a good night sleep, a big breakfast the next morning, at La Gorda Restaurant (the Fat One) and lots of juice, to rehydrate us (at 2500 ft above sea level, and no humidity, we were feeling very thirsty).
We were off to visit the Guadalajara Zoo. A very big zoo, well laid out and quite reasonable. About $13 for both of us, which included a Safari type ride where the animals were very up close and personal. There was quite a contrast between this zoo and the one in PV which was privately run, but I won't bore you with more zoo pictures.
On our way back to the bus stop, we stopped at a Sears store. A huge, well stocked store, where the staff out numbered the customers by a big margin. I didn't even know that Sears existed outside Canada & the US.
We went back to the hotel, changed clothes so we could enter the Cathedral in the main square. It is not acceptable for men to enter in shorts, and women must be wearing a skirt or dress, not slacks or shorts.
After supper we did a little sight seeing/window shopping and stopped for a bit to watch a mime who was performing in the square. He quickly spotted us , since we were one of the very very few tourists in Guadalajara, and we soon became part of his show.
Although the streets of Guadalajara are much wider, smoother and well maintained than the sidewalks of any other Mexican city we have been in, it is still not easy to get around in the dark, so we made our way back to Posada Regis and watched a little TV ... all in Spanish of course.
Next day we toured Parque Aqua Azul and the Mariposa (Butterfly Garden) and spent so much time enjoying the fragrance of the purple jacaranda trees that it was too late to find the rodeo grounds, so the Charrada will have to wait for another trip.
We headed to Plaza Tapatia and the Mercado Libertad. It's a three storey market, jam packed full of people & shops, with everything from food, clothing, leather goods, tools and electronics. On our way out of the market, we stumbled upon a street that had several hardware type stores where there were selling the fabric tarps/sun shades, and we were able to buy enough to cover our entire boat while it is in storage in San Carlos.
Back at Plaza de Armas we listened to the Jalisco State Band perform, and for the first time since we arrived in Mexico, the music wasn't loud enough to carry across the park and they had absolutely no loud speakers of any kind.
Guadalajara is a beautiful city, clean, extremely friendly, and lots to see. I'm sure this won't be our last visit here, but it is now time to return to PSS in Puerto Vallarta. Stayed for a few more days, met up with Guiding Light & Willow for a quick visit before heading back to Mazatlan. We also took in another excellent free concert in PV, again dancers from many states across the country.
Our first stop after leaving PV was at Punta de Mita, an unscheduled stop, but when we checked our win-link and noticed that there was a new weather report forecasting 18knot winds around 2AM we decided to hold up. Turned out to be a fairly comfortable anchorage, and no 2am blow.
We did wait until after the Amigo Net weather report before we departed, and heard that there was in fact a blow happening on the outside of the Sea of Cortez, but it is coming our way. Hopefully not till the following day.
However, when we requested another win-link report we realized the date on Don's watch was one day out, we could have continued last night. We'll try to make a run for Matachen, and if it gets bad, we'll pull into Guayabitos.
We saw something new today, brown spotted rays, just about a foot or two below the surface. As they heard us approach, we could see them flap their wings and see their white undersides.
We were sailing under the small jib on the inner forestay and a reefed main, doing about 6 kn most of the way. Arrived at Matachen around 7:30pm. There were about 5 boats there, only two of which we could see in the dark.
We anchored in 13.5 feet of water and had a reasonably comfortable night. By lunch time the following day, we had wind over 21 knots in the anchorage, so I'm glad we were weren't out there. The wind calmed down over night, and it was not forecast to start again until afternoon, so we got an early start around 6:30pm. We did however experience 24 knot winds on the nose and big swells from afternoon until about 7:00 pm just before we anchored at Isla Isabella. Although we had our waypoints from our trip here in January, we didn't have to rely totally on them as there were some very helpful fishermen who guided us in, in the dark ... again!
We took a quick hike up the cliff to say hello to the boobies & frigates again. Isla Isabella is a fascinating place. Lots of chicks, now, 2 or 3 per nest and the booby parents are a little more aggressive now and very protective of their young.
Although the bay here in Isla Isabella has a reputation for being an "anchor eater" we were able to weigh anchor without a hitch, and had a very calm over night sail to Marina Mazatlan.
We went for our Easter dinner with Jeff & Janie from s/v Adagio. We tried out the restaurant at the Marina, the Citrus Ocean, and had shrimp tacos, gringo style, on a pastry like taco with creme cheese and a spicy peach sauce. Different ... but very tasty!
Spent the next day tidying up the boat in anticipation of Greg's visit. Julia had given him a trip to Mexico to come and visit us for his birthday. I'm looking forward having company again ... and showing him around our winter home!
Sightseeing Photo Album coming soon.
« Company's Coming
» Greg's visit
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