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Saturday, February 14, 2015

San Juan de Dios Central Market

I now know for sure what all the stages and tents downtown are for. They are celebrating the founding of Guadalajara on Feburary 14, 1542.
The rest of this blog is mostly about the Mercado Libertad, also known as Mercado San Juan de Dios. This huge covered central market is the largest in Latin America. The site has been a market plaza since the 1500s; the present buildings date from the early 1950s. We were there in 1978  on our trip to South America. This is where our youngest son Gil had his bloody nose. 
The ramp down to the next level of streets where the market is located. That is the market on the left - all three stories of it. 
Another look at it from the street. I would guess it is more than a city block in size. 
The horse carriages all lined up waiting to take someone for a ride. We took a ride in 1978 and Bill and I also took a ride a couple of years ago. Lots of fun. The horses wear a sack under their tails. It has to be emptied in a certain receptical. If a driver is caught empting it in the wrong place he loses his license. 
We went in door #7 - good thing to keep in mind if you want to come out some where close to where you went in. Then we walked almost a block up one of the aisles to this courtyard in the middle. The famous "nose bleed" area. 
Just another angle of the central courtyard. Fruits and vegetables surround these two sides. 
We went up the stairs from the courtyard to the section that sells leather items. Just one of the vendor stalls. Coats, boots and belts.

Some of the belts for sale. Leather with gold thread, silver thread and white thread designs. 
A close look at one belt with silver thread design. Wow.
And then we saw this saddle - all hand carved [for lack of a better word] leather. Each piece was cut out by hand! Came complete all sorts of accessories. That is a machete holder in front. It was kept under plastic. 
The big saddle horn that is popular with the cowboys here. Soft black leather padded seat. Lined with thick sheep wool. 
Just a look at the detail. It sells for 80,000 pesos - he would come down to 60,000 pesos -around US $4,100.00
Here is another one. Black leather with stitch design and silver horn. Deluxe padded seat. 
And of course they sell fancy sombreros. 
And cowboy boots. All different types of leather. Different designs and colors. 
With these you could really squish that bug in a corner. 
We spent a lot of time in the leather section and barely touched the other sections or floors. Did walk by a lot of the beautiful fiesta dresses, but didn't take pictures. 
Back out into the main courtyard. We didn't go to the top floor. It has lots of electronics, CDs, DVDs and regular clothing. 
Now how about this for a little girl?
And these for the same little girl?
Another saddle behind glass - silver thread stitching. 
Just one of the many aisles looking from the courtyard towards the door we came in. All kinds of things for sale: jewelry, pots and pans, trinkets, religious statues, candy, roosters - if you want it you should be able to find it here.. 
This guy was selling toilet paper to the vendors by the package. 
An older couple with a little stall in the courtyard. Looks like yams or sweet potatoes. They have a scale there to weigh the purchase. 
I think we could spend a week in this market and not see everything. But by then the sky was getting pretty gray so we hurried to the car and home - just got home when the skies opened up and it didn't stop raining until after we were asleep. 
Friday morning it was still raining but it let up a little and we went out to breakfast at Applebee's and then to Sam's Club to see if they had the orange chicken we bought in the Guaymas Sam's Club. But they didn't. What they did have were ARMED security people. We saw about 5 or 6 of them, inside the store. With BIG guns and bullet proof vests. Somehow it didn't make me feel secure. Bill asked one why there were there. His reply, "For your security." Hum...The guard said WalMart hires them as private security. The WalMart next door doesn't have guards. And we were walking all over downtown without security. Go figure.
Spent the rest of the day at home. So far no more problems with the electricity going off. And I fixed a good roast with potatoes, carrots and onions for dinner. Fed us and heated the RV. Bill did the dishes and turned on a soccer game. 
At least it is not raining this morning but it will be a cool and cloudy day. 

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