The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Sonora, Sinaloa and Jalisco

Three things I've learned about North Mexico:

1. It's really hot.
2. Mexicans are the craziest drivers maybe ever.
3. It's really really hot.

Exhibit A: Heat makes Emily sad. No I'm not sweating, I ran through a fountain to cool down.

Since my last post we've moved through two more Mexican states, from Sonora, through Sinaloa and now were in Jalisco. Luckily for us it's slowly getting cooler and cooler, because (I promise this is the last time I'll say it) it was SO hot, and Emily doesn't thrive well in 47*C. In fact today it rained and I got so excited I ran out in my shorts and t-shirt to soak it all up.

Compare the unmistakable glee with Exhibit A above to understand the extent of my joy.

Our first destination after Hermosillo was Los Mochis, a place we were warned not to visit a little too late, as we were already en route. Apparently we were heading to the centre of narco country, which basically means drug cartels and very few tourists. This is partially the reason why I haven't blogged for a couple of days, as I didn't want to worry anybody, so decided to only reveal our whereabouts after we'd left, safe and sound. Mum and Josie, please don't kill me :D

We actually found Los Mochis to relatively pleasant; true there wasn't much to do, but our hotel was really nice and cheap, and we just wanted to chill out for a couple of days. If you're ever in the area, check out Hotel FĂ©nix, just $545 per night for a twin double bedroom, en suite, TV and room service. That's only £14 for a cockroach free room, which we were happy to find after our not-so-cockroach-free room in Hermosillo. This also allowed us a night in with our first taste of real life Mexican tequila, which Greg loved perhaps a little toooo much. 

Most people tend to use the city as a stop over for the Copper Canyon railway that runs from there to Chihuahua, but due to time and money constraints we decided to give that a miss. Instead, we did our usual meander around before heading to the botanical gardens. Considering there is nothing listed under Los Mochis at all in the Lonely Planet guide, we were pleasantly surprised by the place. The town was small, mostly just shops and school kids but nice enough, and the gardens were really beautiful. Two nights is probably quite a long time to be there but I don't think it deserves all the bad rep it seems to have accumulated.

Arty pictures in the gardens.

I reeeeeally wanted to climb this but I've become considerably more clumsy in my old age.

The flowers there were really something else.

Self-timer photo of us being big kids on the swings. I have dirty knees and everything.

After a 13 hour bus drive - may I just interrupt that it was actually 13 hours, as in the bus company told the TRUTH, a first for my adventures anywhere in Latin America. I was amazed honestly. Anyway, after 13 hours we arrived in Guadalajara, which funnily enough, is another city we'd been told 'wasn't worth a visit'. However we've ended up here, not because I was just being stubborn and doing the opposite of what I was told, but in fact we didn't really have much choice as it is on our route to Mexico City and we didn't fancy doing the 26 hours all in one go.

Fortunately, we have again been surprised by just how lovely it is here. More so than Los Mochis, as it is Mexico's 'second city' and contains so much history and lovely architecture. Really we are very confused about why people be hating on so much of North Mexico (if this still counts as north? I think it does...)

This evening we're taking it easy with a couple of games of cards after a lots of walking and the bus journey. We'll probably stay here a few days then it's off to Mexico City where I finally get to reunite with my old friend Edgar from my first term of university. I'm so excited I might burst.

Greg doesn't like to lose...

So far it's been a great trip, but not without it's minor hiccups. Unfortunately about two days ago I started to get really down about being away from home; I think it finally dawned on me that I was going to be living in this completely alien country for the best part of the year. Of course I am excited for everything this year is going to bring, but no one said it was going to be easy. What terrifies me the most aside from the fact that I reeeeeally struggle to understand the Mexican accent, is the idea of not seeing anyone I love in physical person for such a long time. I even had to change my phone background from two of my besties because it was making me sad every time I looked at it (I'm a very emotional person, OK?) I've cheered up a lot now and Greg has been super lovely to me about it all, even with the crying in public, bless him. As always, onwards and upwards, I mean this country is stunning, I'm sure my time here will fly by, and before long I'm crying about having to leave.

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