Yeah, I´ve been a bad blogger. I set this thing up to write when I travel, and then ignore the poor thing when I do hit the road.
And even this is just gonna be a quick hello world, I´m in Guadalajara safe and sound.
This is a fun city. We´ve pretty much stuck to the Historic Centro. His hasn´t been gentrified and cleaned up like the historic districts and old towns further north - this is the real in your face México. It´s brick streets and adobe buildings, endless plazas and non-stop traffic & people everywhere and at all times. The whole district is dominated by the massive 16th Century Cathedral - you can see the spires and domes from almost every street and alley.
And there are almost no tourists. Or at least, no gringo tourists - thehotels are full of other Latin Americans and Mexicans visiting the city.
And no tourists means no English. I´ve had to struggle through with Spanish, and even though I studied hard it´s a battle - and people are suffering. There´s no other way.
Thursday I went for a wander. I wanted to get some leather boots, & I wanted a good pair that would last for a couple decades. I was worried that they would be hard to find ... but people here like to shop. There´s a lot of Italian fashion stores near the main plazas, and show stores everywhere. Literally - there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of them within walking distance of my hotel. I think these guys have a bit of a fetish going on.
Thursday night met up with Ron and we went dancing at Caudillo´s. It skewed young, but it was a fun crowd. Friday morning we met again for breakfast and a road trip. I had chicharones, which amounted to chunks of pork fat sauteed til it was melting in a ranchero sauce. Hard to believe that when I was young I refused to eat any of this stuff - I had fully absorbed the teachings of America´s food fascists. No more. This dish was damn good, and I´ll be having it again.
Friday afternoon we took a bus to see the Virgin of Zapopan. It´s basically a small blue statue of Mary that the priests bring out to ward off pestilence and disaster, shrined in another massive cathedral. It was all so pagan. I don´t think the Aztec and Huichol religion died out at all. It feels more like they said, ok we´ll call our gods Mary and Jesus if it´ll make you happy & then they just kept on with the old ways.
Hollis arrived sometime that afternoon and went promptly to the gym. We all met up for a wander through the Plaza des Mariachis and for dinner, but couldn´t find anywhere good to eat. This isn´t like Mexico City where every cantina has amazing food. You have to hunt for it here. That night Hollis was a good boy and went to bed. I went out for a drink with Ron ... which turned into another night of tequila, cerveza, and dancing.
This morning I was hoping to hike into one of the canyons ... but I cannot organize gay men if my life depended on it. Ron caved, and Hollis took a long run. Hollis and I ended up visiting the Hospicio Cabañas, which is one of the largest colonial buildings in the world. The main dome is covered in stunning murals by Orozco. The rest of the complex consisted of dozens of courtyards and small rooms, each dedicated to a different modern Spanish artist. It was stunning.
Hollis went to the gym, I took a visit to Guadalajara baja (as one guy put it), and now we´re all set to meet up to dine at Sacromonte ... which is said to be the second best restaurant in México.
Tomorrow Hollis and I take the early bus to the coast, and then a boat to Yelapa. We´ll be completely cut off from the outside world until Tuesday, when we take a boat into Puerto Vallarta and meet up with the main gaing. SO no pics until then, sorry. Ron is staying here, Nino caved, and we haven´t seen any sign of Alastair or Sean yet.
Hasta Luego, chicos!