Friday, March 02, 2007

From Chacala to Tonala/Guadalajara

This is one of the months I make my semi-annual pilgrimage from Chacala to the Frontera, the U.S./Mexican border. I have to get a new tourist visa every six months. I made my quickest, cheapest trip yet this week. I will write more about that later. On the way back I spent the night in Tonala, a suburb of Guadalajara that's famous for it's tianguis, street markets. They are held of Thursday and Sundays, year around.I have been hearing about the shopping in Tonala every since I arrived in Chacala. And yesterday I got a chance to check it out. Sweeping the Plaza at Tonala, at 7:30am
I am not a big shopper. Not because I don't like buying things. I just don't like spending money, or don't have enough to spend on stuff, or whatever.Anyway. I arrived back in the Guadalajara at about 10pm, after going up to the border via plane and bus. I shared a taxi ($3US) with someone else who was heading to Tonala.
Hotel Meson, my room was on the right, #14
The driver suggested the Hotel Meson, which was a block from the plaza, and only $16US a night. Very nice, quiet, clean, with TV and ceiling fan. In the morning I walked over to the Plaza. I bought some delicious rolls, some butter from the Pharmacy/drug store, and some orange juice.
I watched people doing whatever and took photos of the two churches. People were setting up their booths, and cooking food, and kids were running around, and working too.Then I spent about three hours wondering around. I looked at all kinds of stuff, all very very affordable. And I spent a little money on inexpensive gifts for some of my favorite people in Chacala. People often bring me little gifts when they go on trips, so I want to do the same in return.The tianguis was huge!!!! Really, really large. It seemed to be centered around the Plaza and and out the the highway and to the main street. Block after block after block of booth. Luckily the tarps kind of stretch across the street and make things shady. And all the little stores were still accessible too. Plus, the town is full of shops of craftspeople with small workrooms and shops. And there are manufacturers of ceramics and other stuff. I had a great time wandering around for about three hours. I bought a piece of oilcloth from this guy, who was fixing his hair before I took his picture.
His buddies were all teasing him.
Then I got my bag from the hotel and walked back thru the market to the main road, where the buses comes. The Tonala streets themselves are mostly too small for buses I think.

While I was waiting for the TUR bus, I saw a KFC store. Really strange. I needed to use the bathroom, so I went inside. It was very nice. I ended up having a chicken breast sandwich and it was delicious. The last time I had a U.S. fast food meal (I am not counting McDonald's because I eat there occasionally) I got food poisoning (Pizza Hut), so I was kind of nervous. But no problem.Then I caught the TUR bus (regular city busline with reclining seats and aircond for 9pesos (85centsUS) to new central bus terminal and came home to Chacala.

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