Friday, October 28, 2011


We arrived yesterday in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. After a lengthy bus voyage we have both decided that bus travel was definitely the right choice. After a slight delay at the border due to a drug sniffing dog having a lot of fun with an orange t-shirt, we passed into the Estados Unidos de Mexico. Once in Mexico we were able to stop on the way to Chihuahua at Villa Ahumada, a small town famous for its cheese and rumored to be the birthplace of the burrito. Obviously we ate a burrito and a quesadilla, both of which were quite Delicioso. Also, in Mexico various vendors take the liberty of boarding the bus briefly to sell their items, we were offered a variety of things ranging from pumpkin candy to homemade potato chips, or papas caseras. We shared a large container of papas caseras con todo which came with a few sauces poured on, as well as a lime. Due to our delay at the border, we arrived at the bus station at about 5PM. While we were wandering around the bus station, which is quite a distance outside of the city, a friendly local saw our obvious confusion and offered some advice (which we ignored, but he was still helpful). There are numerous people in this area who have lived or worked in America due to its proximity and many people speak a little English, regardless, everyone we have asked for help has been very friendly. Back to our situation in the bus station, we decided to get on an urbano, or city bus, of which there are many that basically drive around in circles around the city. This one dropped us off at the Catedral de Chihuahua which is about five blocks from our hotel. Unfortunately my trusty compass failed me, and we walked five blocks in the wrong direction before asking a friendly young man carrying a machine gun (Policia) for directions, he told us that it was ten blocks in the other direction, so we got a nice tour of the town square on the way. We checked into our room at Hotel San Juan, for which we had no reservation, and the room, although basic, is much more than you could expect for about $12 US (150 pesos).

Our adventure really began after we checked in. We decided to walk around the town square and outside of the Catedral there was a military band playing, at this point we aren´t sure if that´s a nightly occurrence for lowering the flag, or if that was a one time thing. We wandered over to the local TelCel shop and purchased our SIM card, here called an AmigoChip. We also partook of some local fare, some gorditas de nata which were a sweet bread, but not too sugary. It looks like corn dogs are very popular, however we have not yet partaken. Getting the phone registered later last night was quite an ordeal, it would appear that Sra. Rodriguez left me woefully unprepared for actual communication in Spanish as after five or six frustrating minutes I asked to speak with someone in English. The only information they needed was my name, birthday, and where we lived in Chihuahua. Might have to brush up on our Spanish. We ended up watching some TV later that night, and went to sleep with the noise of a friendly soccer match in the background.

This morning, after our first good night´s sleep of our adventure, we decided to take a walking tour of the city. We originally were in search of a small coffee shop, but somehow the directions were lost in translation and we ended up about a mile out of the way and on the other side of a major freeway. We walked through many parks with trees, fountains, and statues. Notably we came across a statue of Anthony Quinn (prounced like Queen) and we asked someone who that was. Turns out the person we asked had lived in Minnesota for a time. We eventually found our way back to the downtown area and found a different coffee shop, Cafe Imperial, we each had a coffee as well as a rebana de pay de piƱa(think slice of pineapple pie). It tasted more like a danish and was very tasty. We continued our walking tour through the city, attempted to pay our immigration fee at a bank, but the line was too long, so we continued. For a late lunch we found ourselves at a small "hole in the wall" type of establishment. We each ordered a burrito, however burritos here are very different than the large Chipotle-sized burritos we are used to. It was essentially whatever meat we ordered wrapped in a tortilla. We decided to top it off with two tacos each and a soda. Total bill was 52 pesos, or about four US dollars. We headed over to the Plaza de Armas, and then went into the Casa Chihuahua. Casa Chihuahua was originally a Jesuit school, and over time was once a military hospital, a prison, the mint, offices for the federal government, and now a museum. It was the prison that housed Hidalgo. The museum had a lot of information about local art and history. It had large exhibits for each of the three major regions of Chihuahua state, llanura, sierra, and desierto (plains, mountains, and desert). In addition, there is one pilar that remains from the original Jesuit construction which was also Hidalgo´s cell. All in all, it was a very educational 2 hours, and all for 20 pesos each with student ID.

We have had a few "lost in translation" type of moments. When we were eating lunch, Sarah asked if there is anything special going on for Dia de los Muertos, and it was interpreted to mean that we were asking if the restaurant was doing anything special. At first we were both a little shocked to hear that nada happens on Dia de los Muertos. Upon further explication, we realized our misunderstanding. Also, many people have stared/commented on our shoes, they seem to be a hit with the locals! This is a place that likes the production of cowboy boots, I´m trying to convince Sarah that she needs a pair in purple.

At the moment, this hotel does not have wi-fi so this is being written on a computer someone threw away in 1994 so no pictures for now. Hopefully when we get to Mazatlan we will upload some. Tomorrow we are planning on taking a ride on the local Trolley Turistico, so check back for more!

1 comment:

  1. Shame on you, Sra. Rodriguez.

    Don't drink the water :)