Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thank God For Internet Cafes!!!

Internet and cyberspace has yet to gain control of Mexico. Granted many if not most of the kids do know how to use and play on computers. However their families will never have the funds to buy one. Many schools have no computers and there are many rural government offices with a manual typewriter and carbon paper!! :c} Sooo even though we travel with our laptop and wi-fi lots of times it's a nice paperweight or if LW doesn't find out a great place to press flowers ;C} You'll find when the internet is available in a town there are internet cafes on every corner, with a variety of of kinds and ages of computers, and mostly dialup service When we are traveling we try to find someplace to check our mails etc. But we don't spend much time after that. There is usually a line of kids hanging over your shoulder waiting for you to turn loose "their" computer:c} So after a few days of that you can understand why wi-fi RULES!!

Chapter 1 of our trip to Coatepec Mexico. We left home with little Ruby and Charlie (chihuahua puppies) and pointed the car towards Guadalajara, which is 5&1/2 hours away ;c} on the newly finished Maxipista (toll road) Tolls are expensive and at the end of the trip I'll add them up and let you know. But I can tell you that taking the first class bus, which are fitted out better then some airplanes, is cheaper then the tolls and gas cost to drive!:c{. Our plan was to stay at a little hotel in a smaller town just east of Guadalajara, Tonala. This Smaller town of over 100,000 people has a reputation for making and selling "Rustico" furniture. It's the the rustic looking pine with dark metal pulls the is usually thought of as traditional Mexican furniture.

We pass through the lower half of our state of Sinaloa, which is the largest suppliers of shrimp in the country. Most of the shrimp is farmed. ( No political statement here on farmed vs. wild. This is just the way it is) The shrimp farms are in the lagoons and estuaries that line the coast. Many of which have been filled in or destroyed due to over development.
Guadalajara is in the state of Jalisco and about an hour or so north west is the town of Tequila. Yes as a matter of fact it can't be called Tequila if it doesn't come from there. So for miles you will see blue agave fields of verring ages. Tequila is like wine in the need to be patient for the plants to gain maturity. It's takes 13 years for agave to be mature enough to be used for Tequila.
I'm sorry these pictures are not the best stopping in undesignated areas on the Maxipistas is a real no no!! :c{ But the field of blue green is the agave plants they are about 2feet tall and about 5-6 years old. The vegetation here is much more dry forest with more catus type plants. and smaller trees.
This is a shrine build by the family or families of road fatalities. Some are very elaborate others are just little white crosses. In the US west and south west the little white crosses are very common. Here the shrine will reflect the family's standing in the community and their financial success. They are always maintained just like grave sites.
Because the maxipistas generally are outside of the towns places to stop and eat are connected to the toll booth. There will be the gas station, a minimart with a restaurant and then a number of smaller local owned restaurants. Some are nothing more then a few tables and chairs covered by a tarp. These are we stop to eat most of the time. You might get one or two choices for a full meal, or tacos or quesadias, juice and some have sodas. We have yet to find a really bad one. We watch to see where the local workers and the truck drivers are eating and that's the one we head for.

Getting through Guadalajara is usually fairly easy because the Maxipista is still new enough that it's on the outskirts of town :c}. Unlike Mexico City!! :c{ There is only one exit for Tonala and fairly easy to navigate in because the main street is the one on the furniture stores are on. Larry had found a little hotel listed on the internet that advertised their rooms for $320 (pesos) had internet and air conditioning. So that's where we headed for. They did have wi-fi intermittently but you had to sit in a certain spot in the lobby to get it. One thing I should mention is that very few hotels in Mexico allow dogs. So when we travel with the little guys we put them in their carrier ( looks like an overnight tote) and walk them to the room. If like this hotel you have to pass through the lobby to get out we are pretty much confined to our room. Well at least one of us. The kids are the best little travelers and most people have no idea they are even there. But leaving them in a strange place alone is only begging to be asked to leave!! There was a really nice little restaurant/ cafe in the lobby where LW found us a couple of nice gooey old fashion cheeseburgers with fries for $35 (pesos) each that's a bit under $3.50 Didn't need the AC as there was a HUGE rain storm that passed through just as we were parking that cooled the air way down. Off to bed for the next leg of the trip, with the stop that night just on the outskirts of Mexico City. We planned on driving through Mexico City the largest city in the world all 28 million people worth, early on a Sunday morning. Ha Ha the best laid plans of Chihuahuas and their drivers.....


Anonymous said...

WOW!! Sounds like a wonderful Holiday! I just found your blog and have spent the last 1/2 hour reading the entire thing! I have really enjoyed my visit and look forward to reading all about your life in Mexico! Have a wonderful evening.


Nancy said...

Sounds like you guys are having a great trip. See you later!~

Charmingdesigns said...

Your write sooooo well!!! I feel like I'm along for the ride! Can't wait for the next installment!! Take care!!! Laurie

Sandy said...

Wonderful tour, I can't wait to see more!

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