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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Going to Guadalajara - Part 1

Saturday a.m.
I think I am going to do this post about Guadalajara in sections. Hopefully I’ll get them all done today.
But before I go on – we will be staying here for another week. A couple of reasons, there is really no reason to go back to Mazatlan now as our friend who we were expecting to meet there can not come to Mexico yet. He has had a virus is not up to traveling.
Also we have good friends (John, Carol and George) here to visit with and we have TV here (compliments of John) and there is an important soccer game on this coming Wednesday. Must see it Barcelona and Real de Madrid – two best teams in Spain.
So anyway – we'll eat more good food at Tradiciones and continue to enjoy the sun and beach. And sometime today (or tomorrow at latest) I have to renew my Telcel as it is month to month. Used less than 1GB and we had 5GB available!  Guess I don’t do anything that takes a lot of GBs – what ever they are…..
Back to our trip. Left around 7:30 Thursday morning. It was a 180 mile drive from here to the tannery. Just a morning picture of the sky and hills in the background.
One of the little towns we had to go through going up the hill to Highway 15D (the autopisto). See the nasty tope on the road in front of the car. The unmarked ones like this one are the ones that can do damage if you aren’t watching for them. The kids with their backpacks are on their way to school.
Once on the 15D and through Tepic it was an uneventful drive – but expensive – glad we were in the car. Four toll booths - 346 Pesos – around 25 US$. But it is an excellent road all the way. Into Guadalajara. The lane we were in was marked last year for when the PanAmerican Games were held here. At first I thought they were car pool lanes but then saw the PanAmerican information. Lots of traffic here after being on the beach.
More traffic and some of the older restored buildings along the street.
This is a store of some kind; those are manikins in the window. Had to take a picture of it. Glad we were stopped.
The route I had mapped out was great. We went right from the highway onto the street that took us clear through town and to the street we needed to turn on to reach the Taneria Ibarra. Of course I also had Gertrude – the GPS – as back up. But she tends to get lost with all the one way streets. Made it there okay. The street the place is on. There are homes and tanneries and leather supplies along here.
Some of the hides Bill was interested in. It’s a very small place, long and narrow. Those are leather scraps on the floor and more hides. Bill is talking to the owner, Ramón. He told Bill that business is good the Chinese are buying all the leather they can get their hands on. But they are buying the thicker hides not the thinner, supple stuff Bill is getting.
This is a very old machine that is used to measure the actual amount of leather you buy. The big piece of leather goes through it and the machine only measure the leather. If there is a hole in the hide or where the edges are ragged the machine does not measure it and you don’t have to pay for it. The dial measures area not weight. The hide goes through the very bottom part on the table. There are zillions of tiny “teeth” there that do the measuring.
One of the huge wooden barrels in the back of the shop where the hides are put to be treated – tanned.
After loading up the leather in Willie we went to a store/warehouse where dyes are sold. Bill, Ramon and the owner looking at the colors of dye available.
While Bill was inside making his choices I was outside watching whatever was going on. The kids were playing ball in the street when the sugar cane seller came by. They crowded around him buying pieces of cane.
Either they bought him out or he just like the shade of the tree. He stopped to prepare more cane for sale. First he had to clean the outer skin off. He did this quickly with his sharp machete.
When he had several stalks clean he chopped them into about one inch chunks then put them in plastic bags. He usually sells them by the bag full. Note that he is wearing a white apron.
There is another big tannery a couple of doors up the street. I was watching the deliveries there. This pickup has a load of partially processed hides. First time I’ve seen this. He backed his pickup up the driveway into the warehouse and unloaded.
This bigger truck was waiting in the street for him to leave so he could back in and unload his raw? – fresh? – unprocessed skins. 
Several small sized dump trucks also came with loads. All oozing a white milky looking liquid from there beds. Smelly too. But kind of fascinating. A quick peek into the place. A load of skins sitting on the floor and another stake bed truck inside unloading. I could hear machinery running in there but did not walk inside to see what it was.
The kids that bought the sugar cane were interested in Bill and me and Willie. They were shy at first but finally managed to ask if we were from the US. Gave them some candy we always carry with us and then they wanted their picture taken. So here they are.
After buying all the stuff we came here for we headed back into downtown Guadalajara. Saw a McDonalds – yes Mickey Dees – and a public parking garage so pulled in to park. This parking was different – kind of valet service – leave the car and they lock and park it. While we were eating we decided to stay the night in Guadalajara not make the drive back to Aticama. Romantic and spontaneous yes. But not good planning. No night clothes, clean clothes, shaver, tooth brushes etc. Oh well.
Oh before I forget – didn’t get a picture of this so you’ll have to use your imagination. While eating we were watching the people going by on the sidewalk. A young man came into view. He was wearing a black baseball type hat decorated with shinny rhinestones or sequins – couldn’t tell which. His very tight t-shirt was bright red as were his legging type pants. Black ankle high boots. But the real attraction was his belt buckle. It was covered in rhinestones and the size and shape of a real handgun. Not a pistol like the cowboys used but the kind the detectives use in movies.  It was hard to miss – I wonder if he has manhood issues or if he is just weird.
Time to find a hotel. More later on that and our evening in the city.

1 comment:

  1. I believe your young man with the rhinestones was probably gay. A very brave thing to be so out, even in these "modern" times.