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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 34 Wednesday May 29, 2013

Day 34

Wednesday May 29, 2013

I am now in Dolores Hidalgo. The town is known as the "Cradle of Independence". Its most famous citizen is Miguel Hidalgo, he was a Mexican priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence. As a priest, Miguel Hidalgo served in the church in Dolores, Mexico. After his arrival, he was shocked by the poverty he found. He tried to help the poor by showing them how to grow olives and grapes, but in Mexico it was discouraging to grow those crops because of Spanish imports of the items. In 1810 he gave the famous speech, "The Cry of Dolores", calling upon the people to protect the interest of their King Fernando VII (held captive by Napoleon) by revolting against the European-born Spaniards who had overthrown the Spanish Viceroy.

The church and the mission facing the "Jardin Independencia".

This is the church from which Father Hidalgo gave the speech "The Cry of Dolores" and he rang the bell that marked the beginning of the War of Independence.

This is a replica of the bell Father Hidalgo rang that symbolized the beginning of the War of Independence.....the original bell is in Mexico City.

Statue of Miguel Hidalgo in the Jardin Independencia.

These are photos of the inside of the church. This is the most beautiful church I have seen as yet.

Never let it be said that the Mexican people do not like their ice cream. These are shots of the ice cream venders around the plaza. This does not include the ice cream shops that face the plaza.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 32 Monday May 27, 2013

Day 32

Monday May 27, 2013

I had planned to leave Guanajuato Saturday morning. I packed, moved my things to the lobby, moved the bike to the street, and discovered that the battery was dead. Oh well.....get it out of the bike have it charged and I will be off by 11:00. I take the battery to a shop and have it charged but it is dead and will not charge. So I get the bike back in the lobby take my gear back up to my room and go shopping for a battery. It is Saturday afternoon and business are closing down for the weekend and it is becoming clear that there is not going to be a battery this size in Guanajuato and for the first time not speaking Spanish really is a problem.

Saturday evening I go to a restaurant that I like and sit with my laptop and post to two forums Horizons Unlimited and Adventure Riders about my problem and ask for suggestions hoping someone would help translate and help me find a battery. Sunday morning I had an email from a Mexican guy who was not in Mexico at the time but he suggested I post my problem on a Mexican forum with about 400 motorcyclist from all over Mexico. The forums name is Grupo Touaregs. He said many of the members speak english and he was also a member of the group. Well last evening my cell rang and a man who identified himself as Maroo offered to pick me up at my hotel in Guanajuato and drive me to Leon and find a battery and bring me back to Guanajuato. He had learned about my problem from a friend who had seen my post on Grupo Touaregs. At 9:00 this morning Maroo and Marlenne, Maroo's girlfriend, picked me up at the hotel.  We dropped Marlenne at the University of Guanajuato and set off to Leon. We found a battery and returned at 3:00. I had a great day, Maroo showed me much of Leon and I have a new friend. One of his goals is to see Alaska, and when I told him that I had spent three months touring it on this same bike last summer he was hooked.

This was the first curve the Universe has thrown to me on this journey. I trust it will not be the last. This is one reason I find adventure travel so interesting…the people that are on the same path as I, the places I see, the difference in cultures, and maybe the most interesting is the fact that there is so little difference in people.

Tomorrow I will again attempt to depart Guanajuato. Until then here are some photos from the past few days.

It's parade time again....there have been parades almost every day this week, but this is Saturday and there are lots more people in the centro.

This band set up in the market and played for hours. This couple danced for hours.

My new friends Marlenne and Maroo.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 26 Tuesday May 21, 2013

Day 26

Tuesday May 21, 2013

This is my second week of Spanish language classes in Guanajuato and my brain has had enough memorizing nouns and adjectives.....and conjugating verbos. Three more days of class and I will move along to a different place. From Guanajuato I plan to go the Doloris Hildago to San Migual de Allende. From there the plan is to head for Xilitia.....this is all subject to change. I have not been on the bike since it was parked in the lobby of the Hotel Granaditas on May 11......and I am ready to move along. I continue to find Guanajuato very interesting and I have taken many photos of the city and it's people. Here as a few more of them.

This shot is in front of the Mercado Hildago, the main market in the centro, this dog has found himself a bone somewhere in the market and is laying in the shade enjoying himself. Oh....there is no leash law here. Dogs are just part of the atmosphere here and nobody seems to notice, they never seem to be a nuisance.

Saturday afternoon watching futbol in the market.

Most of the traffic moves under the city in tunnels, this particular street is not in a tunnel. You can see the first row of windows in the photo, they are the first floor in the centro level above.

 Yet another shot of The Don and Sancho.

 The city has over 3000 alleys that can not accommodate motor vehicles. So the burro is used in this case to transport material to a construction site in an alley. This is not an uncommon site, burros are used in daily service to deliver milk to homes in parts of the city, among other chores.

More will be revealed....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 23 Saturday May 18, 2013

Day 23

Saturday May 18, 2013

In one of my earlier posts from Guanajuato I had told of the bronze statues and images of Don Quixote that are all over the city and I would let you know when I found out the connection. Well today I went to the Museum Iconografico del Quixote, and it is devoted almost exclusively to paintings and sculptors of "The Don". The city of Guanajuato hosts an international festival for two weeks each October. The International Cervantes Festival is held every year in Guanajuato. The Cervantes primarily serves to celebrate the contributions of Miguel de Cervantes to the culture of Mexico, although in recent years it has become a celebration of artists and artistic movements as a whole. So Don Quixote has been the official host for the festival since it's founding and a symbol of the citys heritage.

A few more shots of The Don.

The Don himself having a coffee in the Jardin del Union.

The Don adorns the city busses of Guanajuato.

A few shots from the museum.

I was quite amused while going through the museum thinking that I, a 62 year old man wondering around Latin America on a motorcycle, might be viewed as a Don Quixote of sorts.....?......Oh well.