Guanajuato is not a Spanish word, it’s the native American name for the area. It translates as, “the hill of frogs” and most people just call it the City of Frogs. You can find frog artwork everywhere here.
It amazes me every time I pay the bill how cheap everything seems. Yesterday I ate a huge plate of food and drank three tall glasses of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cost? $10.00 USD including a large tip. Keep in mind this was in a touristy area, so they may have charged me too much 😉
When you move to another country it’s normal to feel a little out of sorts at first. After a few days, you start to settle down after you figure out the best way to do a lot of the little things. Today I dropped off my laundry, t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc., ($4.00 USD) exchanged $200 USD into Mexican pesos and I booked my next residence.
I’m in a nice bed and breakfast until the 13th of June. It’s charming, it’s inexpensive, I have free breakfast and they clean my room every day. It’s great. But, it’s a large three-storey house and I have a room off the main living room. It feels just a little too small for me and a little too close to other guests. So, I booked an entire apartment from the 13th to the 27th (14 days). It looks great from the Airbnb photos – of course, photos can lie. I’ll inspect the place day after tomorrow. If I don’t like it, I can cancel, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I’m paying $42.74 USD a night at my B&B, Casa Tepozanes. That works out to an equivalent of $1,282 USD a month. I’ll pay more for the apartment I’m moving to; $48.56 USD a night which is equivalent to $1,456 USD a month. But, like I said, I’ll have more space and feel like I have more privacy. Below is a photo of the place I’ve reserved.
Day 29 of retirement and every day I’m amazed I don’t need to work.
I spent the day walking around Guanajuato. This place is crazy with twisting streets and alleys that snake around houses, parks and commercial buildings. It’s beautiful because there was apparently absolutely no planning involved with its layout.
There are a few people peddling trinkets, candies or a song for spare change. Sometimes I give them what’s in my pocket, sometimes I’m already tapped out.
On one of my walks today I was in a narrow alley surrounded by tall houses. A tiny little girl of about four turned into the alley apparently running ahead of her friends when she suddenly froze. In front of her was a 6’3″ old gringo with whiskers and he looked pretty scary. She meekly let out a small, “hola”. I grinned back and said to her, “Que te pasa, calabaza?” (what’s up, pumpkin)
She laughed. She thought that was pretty funny. Gringos say crazy shit.
The flight to Mexico and getting through immigration and customs was very easy. Now I’ve got a 180-day Mexican visa.
I arrived at the León airport and took a taxi to Guanajuato. It was only about 20 minutes long. My driver kept passing other cars on double-yellow sections of the highway which didn’t make me happy, but that’s Mexico for you. At least the cars we passed slowed and pulled over on the shoulder of the road for us. 🙂
When we got to Guanajuato, I got out of the taxi and started walking. Taxis can’t take you directly to where you want to go because most of the city is blocked off to cars. Guanajuato is extremely hilly. you’re either going up a street or down a street, almost never walking on flat pavement. I had to ask directions a couple of times, but eventually found my destination. My host Roberto Vargas met me at the B&B, Casa Tepozanes. He’s a very soft-spoken guy of about 35 and he told me to contact him on whatsapp if I ever need anything.
My room is about what I expected. It’s small, clean and meets the basic requirements. The neighborhood seems very quiet. We’ll see if it stays that way. I have a great view of the huge statue overlooking the city and just as I arrived a dark storm brought thunder and lightning sweeping in over downtown. An hour later it stopped raining, so I went to dinner.
I decided to try, what I think is, the most expensive restaurant in town; La Trattoria at the Hotel San Diego. They gave me a table on the second floor overlooking the pedestrian street and the main plaza. It’s an amazing place to people-watch; just brilliant. I had a great meal and two margaritas (no salt, please). Total cost with a 20% tip: $20.00 USD. Of course, you can find cheaper meals here, but 20 bucks ain’t bad 😉
This is my 27th day of retirement and early tomorrow morning I fly to Guanajuato, México. I’ve got cash, new underwear and my teeny-tiny backpack will be bursting at the seams. One last check to make sure I’ve got my passport and I’m ready to hit the road.
I feel I’m finally starting to adjust to the Colorado altitude. I’m still getting a light nose bleed, but it’s much improved. Five days from now I’ll be even higher as Guanajuato is far up in the mountains.
Mexico should be rockin’ since the national team is 2-0 in World Cup competition, including defeating the current world champions, Germany.
I leave the U.S. on 28 June for Mexico. This will be an interesting step forward on my journey into retirement. I’ve booked a highly-rated bed and breakfast called, “Casa Tepozanes” in the most beautiful of Mexican cities; Guanajuato.
Casa Tepozanes is located on,”Callejón de perros muertos”; the alley of dead dogs. The hotel just down the street is, “Zopilote mojado”; the wet vulture. You gotta love Mexican humor.
My stay at Casa Tepozanes is for 13 nights and the cost is 11,021 pesos, or $541 USD. At that rate I could stay at this place for about $1,200 USD a month. Keep in mind, this is at a very nice B&B and this is the internet rate for gringos. I’m betting I can find a nice, furnished apartment with two bedrooms for maybe $800 a month? I don’t know. I can’t wait to find out.
My flight from the U.S. ($422 USD) will take me from Denver to Houston (2h 17m), layover of about one hour, then from Houston to León, México (2h 14m). Should be a relatively easy day. I’ll grab a taxi from León to Guanajuato. The ride will take 30-40 minutes and cost me 20 bucks. I should be at the B&B by about 3:30 in the afternoon of the 28th.
I’ll shower, get dressed and head out for a couple of margaritas (no salt, please) and a dinner including lots of black beans because my daughter tells me I don’t eat enough fiber.
Every time I’m in the Union Station area of Denver, I’m blown away. It’s so beautiful. It’s not running on all eight cylinders yet, but in 2-3 years, it will be. The G-Line isn’t running yet. Dairy Block is almost finished. The Coloradan is almost finished, Market Square is still a ways off. IncaHuron isn’t even a hole in the ground yet. The Colorado Rockies Mixed-Use & Hall of Fame hasn’t broken ground yet. But, when all of this comes together, Union Station/LoDo will be insane with activity.
While traveling you sometimes see things that really amaze you. This guy dumped a full container of coffee sweeteners on the floor. Then, he wiped his mouth with a napkin and tossed it on the floor. A few minutes later he did it again.
After awhile, he called a Mexican waitress over to clean it all up. While she was cleaning, I apologized to her in Spanish for my countryman’s behavior, “Siento por el comportamiento de mis paisanos. Unos son puercos.” 🙁
Sunday, 17 June, my sister and I went to a gay pride party and then attended the parade in downtown Denver. It went on forever! Back in the 1970s I remember attending gay pride parades that only lasted a few minutes. Times have changed – for the better 🙂