Guadalajara: Touristas

While Tina took some of our youngsters to the waterpark Tobolandia, Everette and I did the whole tourist thing….the bus, the “Peace” photo sessions, the sampling & indulgence of ethnic foods, tired feet and sweaty bodies, markets and more markets, mariachi bands blaring, searching for cold cerveza.  Art, cathedrals, street performers, seedy streets and moments of confusion.

Wonderful day with great company (other Canadians, to boot!)

Collage Bus

Reminiscent of London, UK and Victoria, BC there were both double-decker red buses and horse-drawn carriages for hire for sightseeing.  But here there are statues peeing!  I don’t recall those in London or Victoria but I might be wrong 😉

Collage  Guad

As is common in all Latin America there are large squares with churches or cathedrals facing onto them.  Guadalajara has numerous squares of which we strolled several and poked our heads in a few of the churches.  This one is San Juan de Dios (y La Santa Cruz), built in 1551 as a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross but also operated as a hospital.  It was built in the Baroque style, completed around 1750.  The hospital was later removed to accommodate the growth of the city.

Collage Church 1

Collage tequila

Everette spotted this Tequila Tour Bus but we just continued to wander on our weary legs!

We wandered through outdoor and indoor markets such as Mercado San Juan de Dios and Mercado Libertad, peeking at jewelry, passing on “For you, Amigo, good deal today.  Just for YOU!!”  We investigated various food options and some scouted out steamed coffee.  We passed by goat (skulls) lookin’ at us, and octopus curled up, and all sorts of other seafood.  We watched women stirring hot soups or stews, flipping meats and flat breads in vats of boiling oils.  Overwhelmed by the eager vendors trying to convince us to be their patrons, we finally plopped ourselves down at a very busy counter with a great view of the kitchen.  We eeny-meenie-minie-moe’d the menu and picked 2 meals for Everette and I while Gerry and Dee sought out ceviche and other things then returned to join us.

The burritos where stuffed & rolled on the other side of the workstation from us, then the final embellishments of ham, bacon and cheese were added right in front of where we sat and slid into the oven.  And when I ate my Burrito Especial, I sweat up a storm from the spices of the food and the heat from that oven.  But my, was lunch delicious….and filling!!

Everette’s meal was….I don’t know what it was called 🙂 but he wrapped fresh tortillas around ground (beef?) and beans with green onions, cilantro and guacamole.  Collage lunch

Dee treated us to helado (ice cream) bars for dessert.  See Everette’s Oreo: a version of Cookies n Cream.  And mine was like a bowl of strawberries locked in a wall of frozen whipping cream.  Delicious!!

We spotted several windows up high with little girls in costumes, giggling, waving, running away.  Later we saw them near the plaza where they were having their pictures taken with family and friends while the opera man sang and both Ironman and the Smurfs posed for more pictures.

Collage LIVE Art

We popped into a music store to buy a harmonica for Anders. We were surprised to find mandolins (Everette used to play) were about $45 and up, and guitars (half & full-sized) started at about $50.  Violins were about $110+.  Great buys at least for “starter” musicians like the kids!

The ‘keyboard’ below are the stairs going up!

Collage Music

Very very tempting store, that music store is.  I’m sure we’ll visit it again sometime….if we can find it.

Our day was full of more…..I’ll share in another post.  Hold on till tomorrow!

 

 

Around the Cape

 

We made a longer stop this time through Le Triunfo,

Fabiola Avile

meeting Fabiola Avile who is an artisan and entrepreneur promoting friends’ art and some food items like Liquer de Damiana and Sea Salts with or without seasonings like Pimientas or Chiles along with the coolest wooden salt grinders sort of like a mortar & pestle with grooves on the end of the pestle.

fish trivet

We visited the caffe which is a fantastic bakery & restaurant.

Caffe El Triunfo

The sourdough breads had fantastic texture (& became the basis of today’s lunch) and their sticky buns and white chocolate cookies looked very yum but we skipped those.  The courtyard was very inviting for a casual lunch….maybe sometime Everette and I can stop in for a date.

courtyard

courtyard

Unique art decorated the walls and ceilings.  You know we’ve been traveling awhile when we discuss how nice the bano is……but it would be considered dumpy in North American standards.  Jackpot……they had toilet paper, and it was soft and 3 ply!!!

parasol ceiling

parasol ceiling

art of famous ppl

art of famous ppl

Le Triunfo is a very quaint town in the hills, with beautiful cobblestone streets, painstaking stone/tile handiwork, artists galleries, and fancy false ‘store’ fronts to empty lots.  Anders insisted I see the mision (church) that his dad took him thru last week when we stopped here….its becoming common for him to request a stop at misions he sees in almost every town.

mision inside

mision inside

mision

mision

cross w heart

Our destination today was Todos Santos which we arrived in around noon.  We ate curb side the sourdough from Cafe Le Triunfo then wandered through the flea market.  Mostly clothes, both used and new.  Nothing we were looking for, although we need to find new outfits for Maret as the sun and water seems to have made her sprout!

We headed south to Le Pescadero but thought if the wind picks up any more than what we had already found it would be another sleepless night.  This Pacific coast is not good for swimming but is great for surfing so our water enjoyment would be limited.  We were told that the rocks are very slippery, barnacles plentiful, and rip tides strong.  We watched whales from a distance then moved on.

We drove through Cabo San Lucas & on to San Jose del Cabo and were heading onward to Los Frailes.  We had conflicting instructions on which route was best for us to get to Los Frailes, and dark had fallen.  So we opt for what’s familiar….Agua Caliente.  We can find that in the dark.

 

VIEW FROM THE KITCHEN:

Blue-tailed lizard

Blue-tailed lizard

Bays, Churches & Houses

 

family again

We left the oasis along Laguna San Ignacio to check out the town.  As soon as we saw the town square I was personally taken back to my YWAM trip in the ’80s.  This is the Mexico I remember.  The town square this Saturday morning is quiet.  I remember all the families picnicking Sunday afternoons, playing games, having a wonderful time.

praying

w van

Across from town square we investigate Iglesia San Ignacio

Jesus

corner view

the children discovering an unknown mammal hiding in a square hole in the outside of the church.

stone celtic cross with kitty

They climb exterior stairs (that lead to the interior balcony) and discover a tiny kitten missing one eye.

3 upstairs w kitty

We find hidden gardens and perfect places for tea parties.  Places were fairies might be found.

secret door

secret gardens

People still slip in to pray, meditate or worship in this quiet church

prayerful parishioner

whose walls are 1.2m thick of lava-blocks.  It was located here by Jesuits, but Dominicans supervised the construction of this striking church that was finished in 1786.

info sign

We arrive back on the Sea of Cortez at Santa Rosalia in time to seek out lunch & deal with police directing heavy traffic around this one-way street town centro.  We find parking right in front of Eiffel’s Church where the police man says he won’t ticket us if we are tourists.  We trust the one-armed officer.

Eiffel's church

Yes, the Eiffel, A.G. Eiffel of the Eiffel tower fame, designed & erected this church for Paris’ 1889 World’s Fair.  It was then disassembled & stored in Brussels for shipping to West Africa but instead it was shipped here to Santa Rosalia when a director of the Boleo Company signed for it.

 

inside Eiffel church

The church is considered beautiful more for the prefabrication of the times rather than its architectural style.

Santa Rosalia is an old mining town founded in the 1880’s by a French company to extract copper ore.  Mining lasted until the 1950’s, now the town is a fishing and ferry port (ferry to mainland).  El centro looks like a close knit neighbourhood of houses until you find yourself in the middle of it all.

el centro

We walk through the town, discovering that Saturdays are not good days to require banking services.  We noticed that Fridays aren’t either.  Line-ups are outside the bank doors and down the side walks, as if there’s a premier showing of the newest movie.

We stop to buy fresh baguettes at the well-known French-style bakery Panaderia El Boleo, and get sandwich makings and watermelon at a mercado and head back out of town (no parking ticket), surprised to find this nice looking library

Gandhi library

We found a beach at San Bruno where we could leisurely consume lunch with turkey vultures as company!  Maret started a Watermelon Stand……

watermelon stand

We drive the windy (but good) highway through coastal mountains until we reach Mulege, a town we’ve heard good things about.  We enter town through the big stucco arch

and manuever the one-way streets taking in the view of market stores, open restaurants, a colourful elementary school with playground.

Heading south we come to the Baia Concepcion, gorgeous with islands, multiple stretches of sandy beaches, clusters of houses or RV’s with palapas.

Posada Concepcion

We find our friend’s house at Posada Concepcion and can totally understand why they bought at this location in 1996.

#3

Meralyn & AlMeralyn & Al

Right on a sheltered bay with shallow waters safe for kids. Paradise.  Besides the scorpions, sting rays and such that come with living in a place like this.

play ground

ToveliToveli

We start to ask around about a rental house, something to use as a home-base for a month or more.  What would rent for $500/month for a couple they are asking $800 for our family.  I don’t think so!!!! 

 

We venture the short but difficult climb to Playa Escondida (‘hidden beach’) which is a small isolated beach.  Picture perfect with only 2 other campers at present.  We call this home.

bro's hug

 

VIEW FROM OUR KITCHEN

 ivy boat

lunch at San Bruno