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Independence Trail

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Re: Independence Trail

Postby jamie » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:13 pm

Too bad about your car problem because if you missed Bernal you really missed something amazing. Bernal is a beautiful pueblo magico at the base of the third largest monolith in the world (arguably). The rock is awesome. I have climbed Uluru (Ayres Rock) in Australia so I know what I am talking about. It is one of those places that just blows you away because it sneaks up on you and then there it is in front of you and it is huge. The town is gorgeous and it's only an hour or so outside of Queretaro. Some readers here might remember my post about getting my licence plate taken by the police for a parking infraction. That was in Bernal and it was a really great experience in the wonders of Mexico.
A friend in San Miguel directed us to it and I will be forever grateful.
“Charity should be blind to everything but need. Our personal feelings should not determine whose starvation is legitimate.”

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Re: Independence Trail

Postby rafter » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:31 pm

The theft happened after Bernal. I did see it.
May 25,2015
Left Guanajuato around 9:30 and stopped to see one of The Virgins in San Juan de Los Lagos.This city has more pilgrims visiting it than Talpa de Allende and people walk from very long distances on special feast days. You can see two big towers from the church as you are entering the city proper as the church area is in a valley. There are more vendors in those streets near the church than I have ever seen in an area that size. I parked (80 pesos) and walked to the church where there was a mass going on at 11:30 am on a Monday. It was packed. I waited and walked around the pretty plaza and fountain and went to a museum where they had religious artifacts and a beautiful replica of The Virgin. There were quite a few pictures of Pope John Paul around as he was beloved by the Mexican people. After mass I went in and there were still a lot of people congregating around the altar and The Virgin. Lots of flowers and quite a few walking on their knees down the aisle. Definitely worth visiting.
I bi-passed Leon and you could see all the smog.
Guadalajara is a different animal altogether. It is huge. You could get lost trying to find the city center. What an impressive city center! The very large cathedral is impressive. There are many large plazas with street entertainers and monuments all over the place. Some of the murals are must sees. Jose Clemente Orozsco's Man of Fire in the old orphanage museum and his Hidalgo mural in the Palacio. The immolacion de Quetzalcoatl statues are modern and large. A large and spread out museo is in the grounds of an old orphange built by the Catholics after the Independence movement because there were so many children w/o parents. A man from Mexico City (Pedro Ramirez Vasquez) has a very large section dedicated to him. Wow! Was this man talented in a lot of areas. I think he was principally an architect but you won't believe all the things he accomplished. And the Man on Fire mural with other interesting murals are in another section. And of course the giant indoor marketplace "San Juan de Dios." Very interesting but would not spend too much time around there late at night.
In the morning I took a cab to the bus station and it took me about an hour and a half to get to Guachimontones. That is a unique site of ruins above the pretty pueblo of Teuchitla. Closer to Tequila than GDL. The pueblo is very neat and clean and it is obvious from the looks of the town and the site that the people there take great pride in what they have. Up at the site is an informative and well done little museum. And the site is an easy walk from there. I took the bus to the entrance of the pueblo...walked around the plaza and then took a taxi to the site. The pyramids are round. Very different. Not a real big site but interesting and worth seeing. It also had several ballcourts. It is possible the site is much bigger than has been excavated. On the way back I had the taxisti take me to their main church to have a look. It was interesting that they had modern paintings around the walls e.g., a picture of Jesus morally assisting a doctor during an operation. The pueblo has an approximate population of 10,000.
One weekday night at around 11:30, I took a walk around the plazas in GDL. Hardly anything going on. A few people out and about. Some people sleeping in doorways. Actually, you need to be careful around there. Probably things are happening later on weekends.
I also spent a night in Tepic. I stayed in a big hotel that looks out over the plaza and the cathedral. There are always things going on in the busy plaza. There is a good sized indoor market nearby that is interesting to walk through. There are some Huichol people selling their wares in one of the walking alleys next to the plaza. The prices are about half of what they are in PV though the selection would not be as extensive. Just outside the center there is a large hill with a crucifix up top that you can park at and then walk up to. It has a great view. Tepic is an easy weekend trip and worth visiting. But you would want to stay near the main plaza I think.
The drive from there to PV was uneventful and luckily I did not find myself behind some slow truck through the pass. btw I think if you do go to Tepic; you might as well check out the old plaza in Compostela. I believe that city was once the Spanish capitol in New Spain.
next a kind of short overview
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Re: Independence Trail

Postby fmr pnw » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:36 am

Hi rafter,

I am sorry that your Independence Trail stories are nearly at an end. I have enjoyed reading about your travels immensely.

with kind regards,
fmr pnw
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Re: Independence Trail

Postby rafter » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:00 am

Thank you Gayle. I appreciate your comment.
I thought I might have a lot to say to wrap it up...but I don't. I am very glad I made the trip. I think I chose the right time of year for it. I would say that many of these big cities are well worth visiting. San Miguel de Allende, Quetetaro, Guanajuato, Morelia, Colima...actually quite a few. But of course they can be visited by flying there. In talking with a few others and in my own experience, I would stay away from flying Aero Mexico when I could. They are almost always late and that is stressful...especially when you have a conection to make. And you almost always have a connection to make since you almost always have to fly to Mexico City first. One other suggestion. When you drive to or from the border. Plan some extra days if you can to stay in some of the major cities. Thanx for reading. I enjoyed sharing.
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Re: Independence Trail

Postby Claymore52 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks Rafter. I really enjoyed your trip report. Gives me a lot to think about.

Much appreciated.
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Re: Independence Trail

Postby Macuardo » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:58 pm

I will echo what Don (claymore) said! You have shared some great information and I hope to do at least parts of what you have experienced along your travels!! We are in PV from Nov. to April, hope we can hook up???

Thanx again,
"...It's not whether you win or lose, It's how you lay the blame!!..."
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Re: Independence Trail

Postby ELLABEAR » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:35 pm

Thanks for taking the time to share your journey.
I enjoyed it!
How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?
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