I'm not sure what happened with my ace navigator as we left Guadalajara behind. Or rather, tried to leave it behind. We found our way out of the downtown area with no difficulty and made our way to the ring road which encircles Guadalajara. We decided that we were heading the wrong way. We needed to get to the exit to the freeway which would lead us to Aquascaliente.
After travelling quite a few miles, we decided to turn around and head the other way. Big mistake. It took us almost two hours to get all the way around Guadalajara and to the exit we needed. If we had stayed going in our original direction, we were probably only a matter of miles from the exit we needed. At least we got to see a lot of the area outside of town.
We arrived late in Aquascaliente. It was starting to get dark. By Mexican standards, Aquascalientes, named after its hot springs, is not a small city. It has a population of 658,000. So you would think finding a hotel would be no problem.
We wanted to stay downtown, close to everything and within walking distance. We took the first hotel that matched that bill, since it was getting late. We only planned to stay a couple of nights anyway. We chose the Hotel Colonial (9 out of 30 points!) and were directed to the indoor parking area. So far, so good. Our car would be off the street anyway. The clerk waited for us to park our car and then walked over to our door. Our door opened into the parking garage!
It was a tiny, cramped room with two beds. A single and a double. If you wanted to, you could reach over and touch the person in the other bed. They were that close. The bathroom, while clean, was even tinier. Sitting on the toilet was an endeavor since one's knees actually brushed against the wall in front of the toilet. I tell you that for a reason.
We didn't even bother to unpack but instead headed out for dinner. I don't even remember where we ate. After dinner we walked the three blocks back to our hotel but stopped first for a coffee at the park directly across the street.
I had never seen or heard of a park like this before. Evidently they are quite popular in northern and central Mexico. It was a mariachi park. All kinds of mariachi groups hang out there and people drive up and pay them to come over to their car and sing. Weird but quaint.
While we having our coffee, B announced that he wasn't feeling well and went across the street to our room. L and I finished our coffee, paid the bill and sauntered back. As soon as we entered the cramped little room with no windows, we knew what the problem with B was. It kind of reminded me of this guy.
Poor B. He spent the greater part of the night in that small bathroom. Alternately throwing up and having bad diarrhea. Poor us. We had to listen to and smell it all night. We did not tease him though but offered our sympathy and to get him as many drugs as he needed. I think L was remembering his bout with illness in Patzcuaro because he was especially helpful.
Even though we plied B with as much medication as we thought he could handle, he was trapped in that room for three days. Needless to say, he saw almost nothing of Aquascaliente and we ended up staying there for one more day than we had planned.
Having the extra time, and wanting to get out of the room so B could rest, L and I took off the next morning to start exploring. One of the first things we passed was this funny little locked courtyard.
I stuck my nose right up to the gate in order to get a better look. These things were creepy. Even though they were merely statues, I could vividly imagine them coming to life at night. Thus the locked gates.
I found this one particularly scary. In a good way though.
We continued on with our tour and actually saw some interesting things. I'll share more of them with you next chapter.