Wednesday, 30 July 2003


Well, I left Guanajuato and have spent 2 full days in Guadalajara. My trusty Lonely Planet guidebook did suggest many travellers leave the city disappointed and I can see why, although I liked my stay. It has a colonial centre, but to be honest, Ive already seen a lifetimes worth of cathedrals. It is though a cool place to live, or take a break from roughing it. I can't say I saw anything that made me want to get my camera out, and theres little to write home about either. I had Burger Kings, watched Terminator 3 at the cinema, had a room with a toilet that actually flushed properly and there weren't any bugs on the floor.

The city itself is supposed to be the most Mexican of all the country's cities, but I couldnt see it myself. Home of the Mariachi (small groups of aged Mexicans going from cafe to cafe with their guitars trying to make a living singing for the gringos), Tequila and more it may be, but little of it is in evidence. The one thing that was plain to see was the traditional machismo associated with the country. Cowboy boots, and big sombreros are everywhere, the women man the laundrettes and kitchens, and even the market stalls are filled with manly products....after all, a belt isn't a belt unless the buckle is the size of a dinner plate! The one pleasant change from Guanajuato was the locals....much much friendlier here!

Anyway, I left Guadalajara, and after yet another 5 hours on the coach arrived in San Blas. I make it 3500kms in 55 hours on coaches so far....its just as well Mexico's bus service is comfortable! There is no train network here though, surprisingly, so it has a rather vital role as the country's transportation infrastructure, and is invested in accordingly. For a profitable return though, of course! We went through rolling hills littered with fields of blue agave (the cactus like plant used to make Tequila....the ride went through the town itself) and stopped at Tepic before jumping on another bus to finally get to San Blas. This is a little seaside town and I might well have to stay here a while as it is great!

Its sat on the Pacific coast a couple of hours north of Puerto Vallerta with kilometers of unspoilt white sand beaches, and according to the Guinness Book of Records the longest surfable waves (1.7kms) occur here quite soon. Its a small town, backed by thick jungle and hills, with great seafood, friendly people, and plenty to do. Tomorrow I think I may well go on a tour in a river boat up through the jungle to a freshwater spring for a swim. I am assured I will see turtles, crocodiles and millions of birds (of the flappy wing variety as opposed to the bikini type creatures sadly) amongst the flora.