Guanajuato, Tepotzotlan, & No-Tell Motels


We arrived at camp in Guanajuato City and stepped out of the truck to find hills of beautifully colored buildings.  Another far-off place we read about was now our temporary home.  We walked through the town for hours and decided we had found a special place.  Miles of tunnels under the city…wanna get lost?  Street food…very very important.  Alleys and walkways strewn together like a maze…no grid system here.  A huge market….did you say carnitas tortas?  Tourist offices that don’t speak English…muy bien!  Random outbursts of drunken song where everyone knows the words…except us.  Spanish classes…sure, why not?  Local baseball games…buy me some peanuts and…tacos?  A festival of flowers where the locals give away ice cream and beer…are you kidding me???  And we did it all.

We got lost under the city, entering damp dark tunnels that opened into the light of new neighborhoods.  We ate the food…ALL the food.

We wandered the streets, alleys and hills finding mezcal bars, a brewery, museums and overlooks.

We visited the market frequently and indulged in our favorite carnitas and cubano tortas.  We caught two buses each morning to wind our way around the panoramica and improve our spanglish at school.

We took a cooking class where we made gorditas, sopes and Jamaica water.

We caught the local ball game where we learned the real way to heckle.

A video posted by Josh & Jenna (@travelamateurs) on

We experienced dia de las flores, finding the free ice cream but not the beer, and pushed our way through crowds of people smashing confetti-filled eggs on one another.

And we did it all with great friends!

On our last day in town we thought we had found a straight-shot bus from school to camp.  When the bus took a left instead of a right, we thought we were taking the long way.  When the bus left town, we knew we had screwed up.  When the bus emptied and stopped an hour later with the two gringos still on board, we felt like idiots.  When the driver allowed his trainee to get behind the wheel and subsequently slam on the air brakes, skidding to a stop and slamming our knees into the metal bars, we just wanted to be home.  And when we arrived after a two and a half hour ride that should have been 15 minutes, we vowed to never take a bus again…maybe.  Oh well, we still love Guanajuato.

Travel Amateur - Mexico -209

San Miguel de Allende

On our way out of Guanajuato we stopped into San Miguel De Allende.  We’d heard it was touristy and full of gringos, but we also heard it had great food and that was enough for a pitstop.  The food was great, the town beautiful and we didn’t feel like it was all that touristy….south we go.


We weren’t sure if we wanted to spend time in Mexico City, especially during Semana Santa.  Jenna and I aren’t really city people and the idea of crowds and traffic was off-putting.  During our two trips around Italy we found Rome to be our least favorite of all the places we visited, so it was nothing against the Mexican capital.  Mexico City is supposed to be an amazing place for those willing to put forth the time and effort so we stopped into a town on the edge of the city to decide whether we’d make the push.

Tepotzotlan was in full celebration mode for Semana Santa, but we lucked out on a relaxing campsite.  In the end we opted to stroll the local markets, practice our salsa verde skills and hang out with a furry friend, instead of heading into the city and trusting another bus ; )

No-Tell Motel

On our way to Oaxaca, we stopped into an “Auto-Hotel” to break up the drive.  For those not familiar, these are hotels that have garages or discreet parking connected to rooms for rent.  This particular Auto Hotel had 3-hour, 6-hour, and nightly rental rates.  As you can imagine, these rooms are generally used for children’s birthdays, romantic picnics and Avon parties 😉  We snagged a room to use the shower/bathroom and slept in the rig, but were impressed with the above-bed sound system and peek-a-boo shower window.  The room also had a lazy susan pass-through on the door so we wouldn’t have to put on pants when the grey poupon was delivered.  OK OK, to be fair we had been told that these places also help family members looking for a bit of privacy.  In a country where it’s common for several generations to live under one roof, getting alone time might be a bit difficult.

Next up….Oaxaca City!

By |2017-03-22T08:09:29-06:00July 23rd, 2016|Mexico, The Trip|2 Comments


  1. Dad July 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Wow! Amazing pictures. Great Blog too. You guys are covering some ground now.

  2. Char August 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    IMHO you’ve got the right anrwes!

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