Last week I took a trip to Guadalajara under the guise of work. It was both work and vacation but mostly vacation, since shopping was the work part and shopping is super fun!
I had a wonderful guide, Luis, who is a local (they call them Guanatos) which made it so much easier.
We took the 5 hour bus ride from Puerto Vallarta, which goes up the coast then winds through the mountains. Arriving there late in the evening, and not having a hotel yet, we ended up walking around the plaza looking for a cafe w/WiFi so we could find some options online. We walked to the presidential palace where, sitting against the wall, was a line of young people on laptops using the free WiFi. We joined them and found the cheapest hotel in the area. We stayed there for one night, it was like being in a Mexican jail. I couldn't hang.
We then found the wonderful Hotel Posada San Pablo, right in the center of town, affordable, balcony, cable, WiFi, shared kitchen, and really nice staff.
We walked all around the beautiful center of Guadalajara seeing all the historic places, ate wonderfully affordable and delicious food, went to the downtown indoor market, ate more great food, got drunk in a Mexican bar (I guess all the bars are Mexican here, but this one had the music and the people to prove it), went to Luis' friends Reggae club, went to the hippie/alternative outdoor market (it was like the Berkeley flea market in spanish), spent a day shopping in the amazing market in the colonia Tonala, ate tortas ahogadas (tortas drowned in a chile sauce) and cried and sweated cause they were so spicy, and had a generally great time.
Guadalajara feels like the kind of city I could spend a lot of time in and hope to do so more in the future. I have to say though, on the last day we were telling someone about Yelapa and I started to really miss my little fishy sleeping village. I took a plane back to Puerto Vallarta with all my goods, stayed in Vallarta for the night and went to my favorite taco place, got up in the morning and took the boat back to Yelapa, and was so happy to return home.
The house is looking great and the purchases are perfect. Next time I'm taking a truck and filling it up!