Loma de Flores, Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mèxico
I’m in the Cleveland, Texas, of Mèxico. At least, Cleveland, Texas about sixty years ago…
Funny, yeah? At least to all my friends who know where the hell the Cleveland I’m talking about is. Here is a classic small town, in the middle of nowhere, and everybody’s family lives within shouting distance of each other. At least there’s no trailer houses, although trailers do traditionally have actual showers, hot water, less flies, and complete roofs (at least before the hurricanes.) Despite all this, I’m lovin’ this little town.
So here’s what’s happened since my last posting: I ended up leaving Leòn on the twenty-sixth of December, after attending a very fun Christmas Eve party (though admittadly, parts of it are hazy…I do recall getting my ass handed to me in chess on several different occasions.) I even got a gift from Manuel, which made me feel bad because I didn’t get him anything. I got a neat little glow in the dark scorpian trinket for my necklace. It’s pretty tight. It came from Mèxico City.
Christmas Day was spent doing….absolutey nothing. As I was up until about seven in the morning, I spent a large portion of the day in blissful sleep. When I woke up, I did some laundry in preperation for my departure the next day, (the old fashioned way: bumpy board, cold water, and clothes line-dried)ate some tacos (new staple) and, well, went back to sleep. Insachiably exciting, I know…
So then came the twenty-sixth. The day of my departure had finally arrived. Though it’s not to say I didn’t have the time of my life in Leòn and Mèxico City, I was SO ready to continue my adventure. The open road was calling my name (he must have very good hearing) and I was ready to hit it like a punching bag with a picture of Paris Hilton taped on it.
I wanted to leave early, but Manuel insisted on I staying for some lunch. I grudgingly obliged, and then I finally was back on my beloved road!
So here’s what I don’t like about Guadalajara and Leòn: in order to get anywhere south of these cities, you must first head in the direction of Mèxico City. No matter what. The town you want to get to could be a mere 50 KM south of you, but you first have to got 100KM towords Mèxico, then 65 KM southwest to your destination. There’s an old saying that goes, “all roads lead to home.” Here, all roads lead to Mèxico City.
So I needed to get to La Piedad, which is only about 80 KM south of Leòn. But apparently, according to every singe person I talked to (contrary to what the map says) in order to get there, you must first head about 70KM southeast (but mostly east, towords, you guessed it, Mèxico City) to Irapuato, and then from there head the 100 KM southwest (but mosty west) to La Piedad. Fucking retarded roads.
So now I’m headed to Irapuato. I leave Leòn around two in the afternoon. Manuel gives me fifty pesos as a going away present, which was nice. I bought chapstick and a pack of Lucky Strikes (they have them with the fiters here in Mèxico!) and then was off.
After walking for about thrity minutes, I got a ride about thirty or forty kilometers in a CR-V. Two cool dudes were headed to Guanajuato, the capital city of this state (in Mèxico, most states are named after their capital cities) and they dropped me off about halfway to Irapuato. I walked for awhile, and then camped out on the side of the highway with my thumb out. After an hour and a half with no sucess, I decided to start waking again. Immedietly, a car pulled over, which is kind of wierd, since usually, cars pull over more often when you’re standing still and facing them or walking backwards and facing them than if you walking with your back to them. Wierd day.
The people in this car were suprising, not because they were wierdos or anything, but because they were two women (a girl of about twenty, and her mother) and a young boy of about seven. Usually, that sort never comes near hitch hikers in the USA, but that’s Mèxico for you. So they drove me the rest of the way to Irapuato. They were super cool, gave me a torta and a coke, though they spoke less Engish then I speak Spanish, which is saying something.
At the end of the ride, the twenty year old suprised me by giving me two hundred pesos! I wasn’t expecting any kind of monetary compensation, (not that I ever do,) especiay after the free food. Rock on, though!
So then I started towords La Piedad, (which the road sign read patronizingly: “100 KM”…farther than it was when I left Leòn.) I walked for a long time down this long road, (with “Hakuna Matata” stuck in my head the whole time…hope no one heard me singing) getting shit for rides, until I came to a gas station just after dark. I decided to try for an hour or so to get a ride to La Piedad from there, and if I had no sucess, I would simply go to bed.
The first guy I asked told me he was not headed to La Piedad, but to Salamanca, which was totally in the opposite way that I was going. So I thanked him, and tried somoene else. And someone else. And someone else. No dice. I was getting ready to call it a day when the first guy I talked to (named Jorge) pulled back up to me and told me that, though he wasn’t headed to La Piedad, he was willing to give me a place to stay for the night at his house once he returned from Salamanca in about an hour and a half. I told him that would be just dandy, and promised to wait at the gas station for his return.
Whilst I waited, I broke into my two hundred pesos and got some grub. I had an unsatisfying salad (I didn’t trust the looks of the seventy-peso buffet) and two much more satisfying Indio beers. Upon finishing, I went back outside, lit up a Luckie, and waited for Jorge.
I hadn’t take three drags when he pulled up. I quickly stubbed out my cigarette, grabbed my pack, and hopped in. He drove me about fifteen minutes into the country (about the same distance Tarkington is from Cleveand, for all my friends from T town) and told me on the way that he used to do work in Salt Lake City, but this is where he’s lived for most of his life. The litte town is called Loma de Flores. It’s got all dirt roads (save for the main one and speed bumps, which seem to be on every singe road thats not a freeway in Mèxico,) a few small little stores (only one of them sells cigarettes,) a couple eateries (one of them owned by my friend Jorge,) and a handful of houses. I get to stay at the “Pollo Charbon” (blackened chicken?) the resturaunt owned by Jorge. It’s a pretty decent place (save for the fact that part of the roof is missing for inexpicable reasons) and I get to stay there for the night. Jorge tells me that, despite the town’s small-ness, New Years Eve is the biggest party ever…a mere five days away…
Then it came. The offer. ” You should stay for New Year’s! It’s so much fun! Theres a huge party, pretty girls! You can stay here at my resturaunt, eat all the chicken you want!”
Huh…party, you say? Girls, you say? And most importanty…free chicken, you say?
Well what the fuck would you have done?
So yeah. I’m here until January second. *Shrug* What the hell, right? As I’ve said before, it’s not like I have a schedule to keep or anything…
So that night, before bed, I took a…I guess you could call it a shower. More like a bath. In a five gallon bucket. But hey, at least the water was warm…or more like scolding, melt-your-fucking-skin-off
So then I went to sleep (but not before scarfing up four or five chicken tacos.) This morning I woke up and went to Jorge’s aunt’s house (next door) for some tamales. Delicious, to be certian, although since they are cooked with lard, and not the American traditional vegetable oil, my stomach didn’t like them too much. This is apparently because it’s not adjusted to the lard. What a pussy. Those things are so damned delicious, I resolve to keep eating them until it gets adjusted.
It’s gonna be a long week.
Over and out,
The Modern Nomad