Monday, September 15, 2008

Road Trip!!

There is nothing better, in my opinion, then hitting the open road for a trip. Flying is great, you get there fast, but I like driving, seeing the scenery, checking out the local eats, and meeting people. Last week, David and I made a REAL quick trip to Guadalajara. I mean real quick....we drove down Sunday, came back Monday. David needed to go for business reasons, and I tagged along and did a little PR for my job. We took the toll part of highway 15 and it was an effortless cruise the entire way. Of course it cost about $1000 pesos each direction, so in my opinion, it should be pretty damn smooth! We had good front doors and managed to make it in about 4 1/2 hours. About an hour out of Mazatlan, you hit the Caminero Esturary. We rolled along that for about 15 miles and wondered how many and how big the shrimp were that lived in it! I am not sure how much of that is normally there, but it was, without a doubt, rain swollen. A few miles out of Tepic, I remarked about alot of rocks in a field when we suddenly realized that we were driving through a lava field! It was from an eruption in 1879 from the Ceboruco Volcano. It was a really neat sight and I have a thing for rocks. I really wanted to stop and grab one but a couple of things held me back;

1. it is illegal, and

2. I remember the Brady Bunch episode when the boys found something in Hawaii and angered the volcano gods. I certainly did not want to do that!!

Back on the road, we drove through some of the prettiest country I have ever seen anywhere! the Sierra Madres were spectacular, we saw waterfalls, blue fields of agave, and canyons. The trees started out as mangoes and coconut trees and by the end of the trip we had also seen firs and oaks. At one point I told David that I could almost think we were in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia if I just squinted my eyes a little! A good ways after Tepic, you see a large statue of Jesus Christ with his arms spread, up on a hill overlooking a town and you think, "Wow! We must be in Rio!". Well, you are. You are in Ixtlan del Rio. Ixtlan del Rio is where the archaeological zone Precortesiana, which is considered the most important in the country, is located. In the center of this archaeological zone you can see the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god.

Once we got to Guadalajara, we definitely knew we were in a 5 million inhabitants worth!! There were shops selling anything you could imagine! I am not normally a shopper, but I was salivating and whimpering in the passenger seat the whole time. I will assume it was because the shopping here in Mazatlan is not really good. Anyways, it was busy and confusing, but we managed to get around and accomplish what we needed. Every few blocks there were these roundy-round deals that would shoot you off in any of 5-6 directions. We did the Griswald loop a few times around a couple of them until we figured out where to go.It was also pouring rain, so we had that to contend with along with our lack of Guadalajara knowledge! Usually we try to eat at local places when on a trip, but we got there on a Sunday night, it was raining hard and most places were already closed. We looked for about an hour for a Cuban place that came highly recommended, but could not find it and we were starved. Soooo.......of all places, we ended up eating at Chili's in the mall. We felt a little odd at first until we realized that we had not eaten at a Chili´s in 3 years! Somehow that made us feel a little bit better. I will admit though, it was good! When we came out, the rain had slowed and as we got into the USS Ford, we realized that we parked less than 30 yards from the Cuban place and it was open.

The next morning we ran the last of our errands and headed back to Mazatlan. It was pouring rain almost the entire way, but we still made it in about 5 1/2 hours. We made a quick stop in Tequila and poked around for a couple of hours, luckily the rain held off while we were there. We did not spend alot of time since we were on the road, but it is a very, very picturesque town. (as it turns out, it a "Puebla Magica", as designated by the government.) One note of special interest (at least I thought so) all the trees around the main plaza and cathedral were lime trees! You could buy your tequila in one of MANY stores on the plaza, pick a couple of limes and you are in business! How handy is that??!!

Still no camera, so still no pictures. Hopefully that will change soon!


Paul and Robyn said...

We have taken that drive many times from Platanitos, it is a beautiful drive. If you ever need to go to Guadalarja to shop we have a wonderful man there that helps us. we have all used him for the building of our homes. He is trust worthy and speaks english. He has become a trusted friend.Just let me know and I will send you his info.

Sans said...

Thanks so much! Next trip I will contact you!