Another fine day in Mexico. Time for a little lunch y un cafecito con leche 🙂
I’m running a bit low on two prescription drugs I take. So, I figure this is going to be a minor pain-in-the-ass. I’ll need to make a doctor’s appointment, pay for that, get a written prescription and then go buy my drugs, right?
I did some reading on the internet web machine and it tells me you can get almost anything you want by simply asking a pharmacist. Really? I tried it. It works! No prescription needed. Wow! What a country! Great!
I’m also running out of cologne. My favorite is Allure by Chanel. So, I hoofed it all over town looking for a perfume shop. The one I found was fairly large, but it looked odd. All the bottles lining the walls were the same color; blue. I asked if they had Allure. The young girl said yes, how much would I like? I said about 150 ml. Okay.
She pulls out some chemicals and starts mixing them. No need for measurements, we can just eye-ball this. I’m thinking I should just walk out, but I’m intrigued. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I let her do her thing. Apparently, in this shop you can order any cologne or perfume you like. They can satisfy any request. They even mix it in front of you – kind of like fancy restaurants where they cook your food at your table. She finishes up by shaking it well and putting it in a nice-looking blue bottle with a spray-top attachment. Price? 10-times cheaper than the real thing. What a deal! I sprayed some on me back at the B&B.
I’ll keep looking for the real thing
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.
Such a lovely mountain city.
If you don’t like to walk or climb LOTS of stairs, you should stay away. It’s difficult to find a flat street here. I like it, but it may not suit everyone.
I was in a Guanajuato neighborhood today that had signs warning of thieves. Hmmm, interesting. Apparently, this small square warrants two posters 😉
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.
Let’s do this!
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.
Elevations above sea level
Abu Dhabi 89 feet (27 meters)
Ft. Collins, Colorado 5,003 feet (1,525 meters)
Denver, Colorado 5,280 feet (1,609 meters)
Boulder, Colorado 5,430 feet (1,655 meters)
Guanajuato, México 6,600 feet (2,000 meters)
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.
My backpack and I are sooooo ready 🙂
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.