Guadalajara

Guadalajara was immediately distinct from the previous cities we’d landed in. The roads were good and well-marked with signs, which is fortunate because the number of attractive women walking everywhere would’ve made driving impossible otherwise. Within a few minutes of the city we drove past several strips of bars and cafes that looked promising and it was still only mid-afternoon. We set up shop at the Blue Pepper Hostel and got down to laundry, double-washing my stank-ass threads and leaving them to hang on the roof so I could put on fresh skivvies for the first time in recent memory. We also loaded up on necessary laundry supplies (read: Pacificos and soju). While hanging out laundry we noticed that most of the houses have high-voltage electric fences dividing their rooftops. After sundown they were nearly invisible so we moved with caution.

We hit the strip looking for a happening bar with good tunes, a patio and an open kitchen, and nailed the trifecta with an Irish looking joint called The Temple Bar. Non-stop classic ’90s anthems – Blur’s Song 2, The Vines, Foo Fighters, QotSA – plus some Zep. Still hard to believe Robert Plant lived on Middle-Earth for a stint. Their beer menu was impressive as well, with about fifteen countries represented. Two years ago in the former Soviet republics we’d become well-acquainted with Baltika beer and the three “grades” that range from weakest to strongest, Baltika 3, Baltika 5 and Baltika 7. Here we found Baltika 6, a decent dark beer. We also slammed back a couple of 8.5% Duvels with a tray of meat and cheese and some killer sausages on a bed of fries.

Temple Bar 1

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Feeling fairly tuned up at this point we began wandering the strip but were almost immediately sucked into a bar across the street by a pounding, thrashy version of Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild. Whatever this is, we gotta check it out. We jog up some stairs into a nearly empty bar with a band that’s totally killing it. Get some Jack & Cokes and when the song ends I yell “DANGER ZONE!”, not terribly concerned with whether they’re taking requests. The band gives me a weird look and kicks out some Metallica instead. The only other patrons inside the bar are a gaggle of aesthetically-pleasing señoritas going wild to the music, but there are two serious-looking jefes in their midst. Probably best to keep our distance. There is a patio though, so we check it out. A few more rounds and plenty of good songs later and the bar is shutting down. The band (Rock Station) comes out to hang with us for a bit and then we take off into the night to try to find our way back.

Morning is brutal. Our heads are pounding and I steady myself against waves of nausea. Really overdid it, but hopefully some breakfast will screw our heads on straight. We find a little cafe called Romerita 28 with a saxophonist playing Beatles tunes and get some chilaquiles, huevos divorciados, and several cups of coffee into us.

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The street beside the cafe was packed with people walking, biking, skate boarding and roller blading. We asked our 15 year old server what was going on and he said the street is closed for activities between 8 and 2 on Sundays. After we ate, Murphy seemed a bit improved but this doesn’t help me, and I crawl back to bed feeling worse than before.

While MacKay was off in recovery mode I managed to get some of my laundry done as well. Fearing it might rain later on I opted out of the rooftop clothesline and instead turned our room into a laundry art project.

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I convinced MacKay that a hangover is a terrible excuse not to see a magnificent city, so he rallied up and we took off towards the historic center of Guadajara. The place was just plaza after plaza of spectacular old buildings, museums, cathedrals, statues, and fountains.

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The centerpiece of one of the museums was La Plaza del Mostacho, built in August of 2012 to celebrate an intrepid crew of adventurers known as The Mustache Ride:

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After some very mediocre and overpriced tacos at a fancy streetside cafe (Rule #1 of DFNormal: Always eat tacos made on the side of a highway) we found a cab stand and asked the driver to take us to the Plaza de Toros…

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