Sep 17, 2005
(DM) The tequillas, beer and posturepedic mattress all resulted in a great sleep last night. We reluctantly packed our bags as time is not on our side and Guanajuato is a city we really want to see. It was Imelda's birthday today and we both gave her a big kiss and hug went she emerged for breakfast. It is amazing how quickly a connection can be made between strangers. Both her and Señora were sad as we left and told us we had to return. We enjoyed our stay with them immensely.
The rest of the day was spent travelling south towards Guanajuato. We left the house at 10am and arrived at our destination at 5:30pm. The bus driver from Zacatecas to Silao was a champ and helped us out with the changeover of buses. I sat in the co-drivers seat for the last hour of the journey and chatted with him. He spoke really quickly, but did it with a smile and I understood most of what he was on about. I didn't hold it against him that he thought Australia was in Europe.
The streets of Guanajuato were packed with people and we began to worry when the first 8 hotels we visited were full. We got lucky again as one of the hostel owners helped us out with lining up another homestay for us. Maria came around and met us and showed us the way to her home. It was a great room and again the family were very welcoming.
We spent the early evening walking the streets of Guanajuato. The city is truly gorgeous. It is crammed onto the steep slopes of a ravine, with the narrow streets twisting around the hillsides and then disappearing into a series of tunnels. Much of the fine architecture and splendor of the city is thanks to one of the world's richest silver veins that was found here in the 16th century. I thought that it would be impossible to find a city that would top Oaxaca, Puebla or Zacatecas, but I can comfortably say that Guanajuato is the prettiest city I have seen this year (maybe ever).
The room and bed that we have secured at the homestay is again very comfortable. We normally never sleep in, but the relaxing feel of staying in a home helped us again catch up on some overdue sleep.
We were invited to join Maria Cruz and Manual (the owners of the house) for breakfast. They are very nice people and were very interested in our travels. The next 2 hours were spent chatting and showing them photos from the website. They also had great coffee and the toast was enjoyed with real blackberry jam and peanut butter (very exciting for us poor backpacker types).
The next 5 hours were spent just walking around and admiring the city. After nearly 9 months of travel you would think that we would have seen enough colonial architecture, but the beauty and character of this place was impossible not to love. The photos will not do the place justice. There is not a great deal that can be said without going overboard. Kim and I will both remember this city as one of the best we have visited.
The evening was spent hanging around the house. Kim has begun making jewellery with the beads she has bought. She is really enjoying it. I found a Robert G Barrett book at Zacatecas and I am enjoying the adventures of Les Norton once again. The Aussie humour is hard to beat and something that I have missed this year.
(KtH) We decided to stay an extra day - great place to relax and just wander.
After a huge sleep-in (a sleep-in to us is like getting up at 9.30am) we went back to the Alley of the Kiss. We had visited it yesterday but the tiny alleyway was swarmed with weekend tourists. There isn't that much to see really. The balconies of the buildings separated by the alley are only a few cm's apart. The story is that the daughter of a family fell in love with a common miner. The family opposed to this and forbid them seeing each other. The miner ended up renting the house next door and the lovers resumed their relationship by sharing kisses from the balconies.
Our next stop was the Monumento a el Pipila. We weren't that interested in the monument itself (it honours a hero of the Independence movement) but the hill on which it sits offers great views of the town. The walk up was through narrow, stepped alleyways.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and chilling out. It felt great not to be in a rush, We went for another early evening stroll to enjoy the night atmosphere. It was actually a lot quieter than it was on the weekend. The mariachis had no where near as many potential clients to choose from.