Life on the Isla

In picking a path through Mexico this winter, the northbound option had an extra plus in the pro vs con analysis…getting to visit with my friends Contessa and Colin.   I’ve been a follower of Contessa’s blog for years.   She is yet another example of how my life has been enriched by meeting people through blogging.  We first met when I visited the Isla back in 2013, and have kept in touch regularly since, even meeting up in the desert on Continue reading

Tlaquepaque: As Fun to Say as it is to Explore

In my previous post, I mentioned the grand bargain of Guadalajara, the Tapatio Tour bus that offers three routes of touring, all for the low price of 70 pesos, or $3.50.   One of these three routes travels just about seven miles away to the nearby suburb, Tlaquepaque, pronounced “Tuh-lacky-packy.”  Try saying that without laughing.   Of course, we English speakers can’t resist putting a syllable after the “T” when it should not be separated from the “L” but still you get the general idea.  The name just sounds like fun.  And I figure if Tapatio Tours offers a separate bus there, well, it must be worthy of exploring. Continue reading

Guadalajara: Mexico’s “Lower East Side”

As the week comes to an end in Zihuatanejo, it’s time to say goodbye to my brother Don as he heads back to Texas to pimp out his Navion and get her ready for her maiden voyage into Mexico.  Meanwhile, I plan to keep on meandering…

I’m at a bit of a crossroads in leaving Zihua.  Do I continue south along the coastline, or head north?  Going north would mean retracing a familiar path, but experience is the only substitute for the guidebook I am lacking on this trip.  Continue reading

Amor por Morelia

I’ve written about the merits of Morelia before.   It’s a great city that offers an abundance of options for many.  But Morelia gets a bit of a bad rap as a tourist destination with “guilt by association,” being the capital of the state of Michoacan where cartel activity has been reported in the surrounding countryside. Even the scariest piece of non-fiction you will ever read, the US State Department travel warning excludes the city of Morelia from its state-wide Michoacan warning.  So worrying about being targeted as a tourist by cartels in the historic centro is like my worrying about getting tetanus from a scraped elbow. Could it happen?  Yes. But not likely. Continue reading

Getting the Shot in Guanajuat-Oh!

Just about an hour drive west of San Miguel de Allende is another UNESCO World Heritage town, Guanajuato.  But unique from every other town you will find in Mexico, Guanajato is more “European” than Mexican.   The town was originally founded all the way back in the 1500’s.  Having been built around the silver mining trade, the town still has some active mines.  These mines lie buried within the steep hills, flanking the main thoroughfare.  If you’re looking for a destination to stay fit, this is it!   Most of the roads Continue reading

Closing Doors

In years past, San Miguel de Allende has been a regular destination for National Geographic’s week-long photography workshops. While buildings in the main section of historic “Centro” in San Miguel are restricted by the Regulation of Construction to shades of ocre and earth tones, vivid accent colors abound in the form of bougainvillea, hibiscus, and greenery planted in brightly colored pottery. But no accent is more intriguing than the doors of San Miguel. There’s even a book of photography featuring only photos of the ornately carved doors. Continue reading

Dear Mr. President…Come Take a Ride with Me

For the past month, I’ve been traveling across Mexico, hitting a few places I’ve never been. Riding on Mexican buses is one of my favorite pastimes of Mexico, particularly the “in country” buses. They defy all stereotypes of the Latin American “chicken bus.” Instead they are luxury buses with reclining seats, elevating footrests, AC power ports, seat-back video screens showing movies, documentaries, and video games. The one I rode yesterday was a giant double-decker with three seats across – one on the left and two on the right. It even had suede leather seats, cup holders, and wood grain accents. Less than thirty bucks will get you a ride between most cities, including a ham and cheese croissant and a coke. Continue reading