Sometimes half the fun is getting there…
November 21st, 2006.
It was a chilly morning; winter had finally come to Ajijic on Lake Chapala.
At breakfast Bev Dos commented, “Pity the poor people in Zacatecas.”
“What’s happening in Zacatecas? We’re going there in a few days…”
“Take blankets,” she answered.
It was a long slow road to Aguascalientes, our first stop in the north.
We mistakenly took the second-class bus, a milk run, from Ajijic to Guadalajara. It was 60 pesos vs. 70 for the first-class bus and it landed us in the city centre. Where we had to take a 50-peso taxi to the Central Nueva, the main bus station which is outside the city (and where the first-class bus would have finished its journey).
From there we caught a bus to Aguascalientes.
When we arrived in Aguascalientes I asked the taxi driver, “¿Hacia frío esta mañana?” (Was it cold this morning?)
He nodded, “Bastante.” (Enough.)
He took us to the Hotel Brasil, our first choice from ‘The Book’. It didn’t seem to exist, and neither did our second choice. But fortunately, our third choice, the Hotel Rosales, was there.
It wasn’t pretty: the ceiling erupting in open sores; the wall tiles covered with crusty excretions and paint splatters; and the door squeezed behind a curved staircase making me feel like a hobbit entering a tree hollow.
However, the wrought iron on the door cast mysterious shadows at night (when the general scabbiness of the place was no longer visible) and the TV got several decent stations in English (sort of).
Al wasn’t feeling well so we just had a light afternoon ‘tea’, Al a yogurt with pan dulce, and me a leche con Nescafé and un aligator amande delicioso (a delicious almond alligator).
Map showing where Aguascalientes is located on the old ‘Silver Route’ between Mexico City and Santa Fé in what was then New Spain, and now is New Mexico, USA.
The next day Al was feeling a lot better and after a sustaining breakfast in Sanborns, surrounded by marble and chandeliers, we set out to explore the city.