Tuesday I had a short ride to Chalmita, where I am staying on a farm, WWOOFing for a bit. I also had my first road stop inspection! I answered all the questions well enough and my could find both identification I have, and they allowed me to carry on. I am in a beautiful valley place with lots of fruits and vegetables. I work a bit and hang out and talk to people and eat many things. Still getting the hang of the routine here, more next time. For now, some pictures from the last few weeks:
I stayed, in Guadalajara, six weeks in part of a house that I did not need the key to leave but did to reenter, in a house which did need the key to leave. I am very pleased with myself for not once forgetting my keys and trapping myself between these doors. In my last bit of time in Guadalajara I explored some more of the city, finally got to Tlaquepaque and Tonala; got and applied new connectors for my rear light, which had stopped working; was the second person on a bicycle, which was scary, but so common here that I’m sure it was an important thing to try; and probably some other things which are or are not worth mentioning. I was starting to feel restless. There is a lot of cool stuff going on in Guadalajara, and many people I like a lot, and much I was only just getting to know, but that will be true everywhere. I left feeling a sufficient mix of well liked and appreciated, unimportant, and encouraged to go.
The second day had a lot more climbing. It was sunny and hot, And I felt a bit out of practice for travel. I stopped in Union de Tula in the afternoon, which seems like a lovely town. First thing when you turn off the main road into town is the Casa de la Cultura (where there are dance, music, art classes, theater rehearsals, etc). I talked a while with a guy in the office there, who let me take some water, told me I could camp there, and gave me some route advice.
A farm project I’d been in touch with is in Concepcion de Buenos Aires, which happens to be only about 100km south of Guadalajara. I hadn’t heard back from the guy in a while, but decided, since it isn’t so difficult to get to, or far off the route on to other places I want to go, to stop by, at least visit and check out what they are doing… As I got into town someone stopped to talk to me, and invited me for dinner. He later accompanied me to the Presidencia (municipal sort building) where I asked and was allowed to sleep. Someone who came in later, who works sometimes in town something government and was also excited to talk to me insisted I go to the hotel on the corner. He was also staying there and paid for my room in spite of protest. I accompanied him to eat, though had to explain repeatedly why I wasn’t hungry. We talked about many things, (traveling and a real answer to why I am out here, problems in the world, etc) and I felt really good about my Spanish this night. Turns out the guy from the project here was in Guadalajara then, and I was feeling impatient so moved on.
Our continent is kind of funny, in its triangleishness(I know it isn’t exactly)… So big and spread out up north and compact here, I picture it like a funnel, and the flat ground gets lost as it is compressed towards the bottom. I remember being taught in school that North America is just Canada, USA, and Mexico, and have always been a bit confused as to where Central America is supposed to be. Continental lines are physical, right? I think maybe all the Americas move together, even, but I could be wrong. I am sure that Central is not its own continent, is all, and so is probably also North America, I’ll not make any claims in this moment about South.. As for terrain, though, I can only imagine Panama is just a solid line of giant mountains.