Some Downtime in Mexico
So our next trip we flew to Manzanillo and then took a 4 1/2 hour bus ride to Guadalajara. That was an eye opener. First the bus ride, ETN buses. Wow, cheap efficient and luxurious. Then Guadalajara where we stayed in the Hotel Francis for a few days. Cool, very old hotel that I think was built around 1610. Guad has several million people, it's got lots of history, a huge market (Mercado Libertad) and a bustling economy. We then bussed back to the coast for a few days in Manzanillo and then a week in an AI. Btw, weve gone back to Guadalajara a couple of more times.
A few more one and two week vacations to Manzanillo and also Puerto Vallarta, sometimes AI and sometimes on our own. We've stayed a few times here at a cool little place Hotel La Posada.
This time we're in a condo for several weeks. Doesn't seem right to call it a vacation or a holiday, so I'll just call it downtime.
Here's a bit of info on what we've observed and experienced.
Manzanillo it's now a huge port city catering mostly to container ships. Due to Los Angeles being plugged solid, the overflow now comes here. They also handle oil tankers and bulk ore carriers. Consequently the city has grown, no apparent unemployment.
The People When people say Mexicans are friendly, it's very true. Walking down the street and acknowledging or saying hi to a local always gets a big smile in return. Every single time. But not always from the tourists! Mexicans are so laidback compared to us.
Surprisingly I saw very few people with tattoos, maybe two guys with a lot and a couple with maybe one. And no body piercing. Very little smoking and lots of places with No Fumar signs. I think i've counted less than six people smoking. A pleasant surprise after being turned off by the smoking in the Las Vegas casinos. Absolutely revolting!
Law Enforcement First thing that comes to many people's minds along with CARTEL. Colima got hit last year with a big increase in CARTEL killings so the government responded. Manzanillo was targeted due to the cartel trying to control the port, so now a large hotel not far from us has pretty well been taken over by the Policia Federal. They are constantly driving up and down the main streets and along with Policía Estatal and the municipal boys, no bad guy is likely to show his face. Oh, and there is also a naval base here, so always a few Marines cruising the streets in their trucks.
There are always a number of the Federals standing around their hotel entrance when we walk by, and I wish my Spanish was better as they are very friendly.
Transportation Along with the ETN bus line, the best for long distance travel, local buses are a breeze. 9 pesos will get you anywhere. Buses will stop pretty well anywhere, drivers give you change and many of the drivers have their own stereo blasting out the tunes. Can you imagine the outrage back home with a driver doing that?
I got run. My wife needs a cerveza in order to start cooking.
I'll add more later if anyone is interested..