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Nov. 7 - 20, 2011, Day 28 - 41, Guadalajara, 8 Million People!

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DAY 28 - 41, Temp 28 - 10, Nuevo Vallarta to Guadalajara with Alex and His New Family (300/6725km)

Before we arrived in busseling Guadalajara I had the pleasure of riding Hwy 70, which you wouldn't think was a pleasure from the start of it as it takes a while to get through the pot hole filled road out of Puerto Vallarta.  The first section is a bit rough and full of switch backs as we began the climb from sea level to 1500m (Guadalajara).  NV to Mascote C7/8R4T3V7.

A piece of road somewhere between Nuevo Vallarta to Mascote

Arrived in Mascote leaving the pavement behind for cobblestone streets.  No problem with that, but...

where did the highway go?

After 30 minutes of riding around a
town of maybe 5000 people
 I found the highway out!

Mascote to Guadalajara.  (Mascote to Mixtian C7R5T3V7,  to Ameca's cornfield sweeps C7R6/7R6/7V7)

HIGHLIGHT - pulling to the side of the road to pee 20km out of Guadalajara I heard vicious barking from two dogs when I slowed to a stop.  I looked right to see two mean dogs coming out of the farmers yard and straight for me, FUCK!  I'm glad I still had the engine on (The pee was safely back in side for about 2 more hours!)

Made it to Guadalajara where I planned to learn the entire language of spanish, tune the bike and go to the dentist.  Plus Alex had a bunch of plans for me like going to Wrestling (Luchas), Los Toros and Lake Chapala.

1st Spanish Lesson with Ana.  Man bright lights can be distracting.

Alex's sister Vero was kind enough to pick me up and take me to a Dentist in rush hour traffic.  $90 for a check up, cleaning and x rays.  Apparently Doctor Mario was recommended and spoke english.  He was very nice and pretty good too.  His english was definitely good enough and I helped him out when needed.  There was a discussion about changing a filling, but the risk of opening a can of worms (root canal like years ago) and his hands working like a Mexican taxi racing around Guadalajara helped me decide everything was good at the moment.  May be in Colombia...

How did I get this shot?  Oh, that's right I took it!
Dr. Mario

I may have had a filling or two
over the years

After the dentist it was off to dinner at Vero's restaurant (La Finca de Adobe) and then on to Los Luchas.

The guardian at La Minerva one of the main round-a-bouts in
 the city.  It reminded me of the big one in Paris.

Vero and co-owner Magda, Sweet Feast!
No Chance Ambulance

Luchas!  The Tuesday night action at Guadalajara's Wrestling Arena is awesome.  With two classes of people; the ones who pay for the floor close to the action and the ones who cheap out 30 pesos or so and get stuck behind the cage surrounding the second floor.  Chants of "Take the bus home" to the Second floor and returns of "Your mom drove me here" fill the room when the action is not grabbing attention.  Highly skilled Mexican wrestlers take to the air like Chris Jericho did when he was wrestling in Mexico.  Oh and I shouldn't forget, if you are a pretty girl the crowd will turn on you and ask you to stand up and shake your thing.  A very entertaining evening.

Sorry you can't hear me that well, but I thought the video was worth posting so you can get a feel of the energy considering there is less than 600 people in the place.

Let's get this MOFO tuned up!

Through Alex I met Sergio and then on to his brother who is a mechanic these days after getting out of the telecom world.  Initially I didn't see a smile on Salvador's face, but I think we really bonded by the end of the day.  For his shop and assistance it was $40 for the whole day which included driving around for coolant and brake fluids that Guadalajara doesn't stock.  No Dot 4 to be found!

Rush hour on the The Periferico (Guadalajara's Ring Road C1R3T7/9V2).  What a mess and a good place to get a flat...

A common thing on a bike to ride between cars, but it still took
50 min to get from the South to the North and Salvador's shop
Gas Suckess.  Needed to move tank which was full of gas so a siphon was required.  I took over from Salvador as I wanted to try for my first time ever.  Tip: make sure you put the tube in the gas or you are sucking fumes which is no good unless you are trying to get high.

Fuel strainer, you can guess which one is new.

Pull yourself together man!
Me, Salvador, and Sergio enjoying Wings and 1 litre dark beer.  In Mexico?
Of course right after I tuned the bike and it was all ready to go the next afternoon on my way to meet Kuka for lunch and sort out my Mexican sim card (which was a pain and not worth it for the $15) I got the biggest flat.  As I was riding I heard this explosion below my bike and thought my spare rubber hose had jump through the wheel and was gone.  Unfortunately it was more than that.  I was on the Periferico with no chance of turning around for about 5 km or so.  Long story short, I ran away from this clinic that I originally was getting help at as things got dodgy and limped back on a side road to a Pemex gas station and found a Llantera next door.

Tire Trouble

Emmuel at "Llantera El Rigo" priced the
 repair at $2.50, but after 1 hr of work including
pulling the tire off I give him $4 which is
very close to a days wage.

The team out in Tlaquepaque Town Center

Crocodile and Ostrich boots

After the tequila samples
Big Tequila selection

Seeing the effects of Tequila on me, Alex figured we should probably visit the town that started it all.  About 30 min out of Guadalajara you will find the quaint little town of Tequila where all the main producers can be found.

So, why not a tour?  Why not indeed...

Blue Agava plants get crushed and the juice extracted.  I actually didn't learn much as the tour was in spanish.  But I did learn the importance of exhaling after you sip the Tequila.

AND THEN, the event I had been waiting for since the first time I was in Mexico 13 years before, but was unable to see because it wasn't the season...


Oh what a day, vendors selling all sorts out side the stadium, a high class crowd, with some pretty girls and some fat cats.  $16 gets you a ticket on the shaded side of the stadium on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Three featured Matadors and 6 main fights was a great equation for entertainment.  Awesome!
I always assumed the fighter was too good for the bull and never got touched, but...
Enter Limon

First they get the bull going
with a few pokes
Then they add a couple ticklers

and run!

round 1
And then the Matador does his thing
Round 2

Oh Shit!


The Matador bruised returns for more fight
With sword in the bull the Matador stayed with the bull until the end.

And then there was the TOP Matador, Diego.
This bullfighter has what it takes.  Very entertaining!

The kill.  With the sword already in the bull the fighter commands the bull to go to sleep.  Bullfighting may seem cruel to some, but a better way to go than a slaughter house don't you think?  

A few days left in Guadalajara and my tire was still leaking so I went over to Moto-Chavane to get repairs and hopefully other things for the bike, etc.  Ended up with a Valve check, a fixed tire and tools I will likely not use.  Got to help out with the Valve check which was great.  "Help out" is the wrong word as I took over the valve check when my mechanic went for lunch and didn't come back!  His kid cut herself so it looked like he wouldn't return.  I convinced Chavane that I could finish the job as taking a 1 hr $50 plus cab ride was not an option.

With shop help from the others in the shop I got stuck in.  Cristobal returned to help with the rest of the work and the whole team got in to the beers as we wrapped up.

Moto Chavane Mechanics and friends.  Thanks for the tips and the beers.

A Mexican Wedding (La Boda de Mexicano).  What can I say, I was thinking of leaving when Alex said, "hey man, you got to come to a Mexican Wedding".  Enough said, so I stayed.  Alex and Marilu's wedding, Congratulations and all the best in the future.  BTW this Mexican wedding was very similar to a Canadian wedding except it costs 1/10 the price for the exact same level of service (Ie: $3000 USD to serve 300 people dinner and drinks all night.
Lined up at the church, one wedding after another

Go team, but maybe a little young to coordinate?

Basilica in Zapopan
Red Cake, don't think they do this in Canada?

These guys should be on a Wedding Cake
Wedding Dance floor

Bouquet toss

Last night around Guadalajara before I hit the road Southeast.  We took a drive out to Lake Chapala and I'm glad we did.  Great spot full of life, street shops and restaurants.  Unfortunately the lake is highly toxic according to unfounded sources and is also Guadalajara's drinking water source.  Still nice photos though.

Chapala boardwalk


Other Stuff
Apparently Canadian banks are buying up
  Why didn't I get a Scotia Card?

Finding out why Alex's told me Mexicans are the
2nd fattest country in the world.  I heard it was Australia.
Mariachis standing by the road side looking to make arrangements to come to your house and play for you and your woman.  The street corners are filled with these musical prostitutes.  Guadalajara is home of the Mariachi and holds the international gathering every year.

Tortas Ahogadas only found in Guadalajara.  A baguette with boiled ham and tomato juice.
Tastes better than the end of my lunch looks as it was a bit messy.

roof top at Alex's and the water heating system

crammed buses even on a Sunday night

Crossing Help.  Love how the guy speeds up.

Nice bridge, need a car wash?
Park your car and a guy will wash it for $3 while you are doing what ever it is you are doing.

I think Ana is ready for the sun glass trade
Pet turtles lasting 40 years
Toilets for two.  Love how the guys get no paper.

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