land cruise to Guadalajara
09 January 2009 | Guadalajara
Since I last reported we rented a car at P.V. and headed eastward; ultimate destination Guadalajara. Our first day was a pleasant drive into the mountains; we stopped for lunch at a beautiful, out-of-the-way, quaint and little known town of San Sebastian. There was hardly a gringo there, and not much tourist trade either, but the village, homes, and helter-skelter cobblestone streets look like they haven't changed since the 1800s. The road to this town was a side trip off the beaten path, parts of it unpaved and very rough, including fording a stream.
After that we drove through Mascota and then to Talpa de Allende. This town reminded me a bit of Santa Rosalia, with its "old west" and Spanish colonial architecture. We had dinner in the best restaurant in town, which turned out to be an open air talapa on a hill overlooking the town.
The next morning, we drove across about 200 miles of arid mountain landscape; at times the scenery reminded us of California's Sierras, at times of the hot, dry Mendocino National Forest between Maxwell, CA and Lett's Lake (one of our favorite summer destinations), and at times, of the California Great Central Valley. All this, however, with colonial Spanish architecture.
We arrived at Guadalajara (pronounced "wa-da-la-HA-ra") around 2 PM, and toured this city of 8 million people, had lunch at a hotel, and then searched for the perfect hotel for our stay. We took a horse drawn carriage to tour the town and to deposit us in front of the Hotel Morales. This is a 4 star hotel with gorgeous 18th century stone architecture.
Dinner at the hotel this evening was wonderful; just appetizers (smoked salmon platter, and mushrooms cooked with chili peppers and garlic), and two servings of tortilla soup. There was an excellent 3-piece band that plays beautiful Mexican music (accordeon, guitar and bajo sexto).
We'll post photos soon, when we can.