Guanajuato, Mexico

Colourful Guanajuato, Mexico

The destination for the next few days was Guanajuato.  I had booked a B&B next to Pipila, a large monument on the hills overlooking the gorgeous town. We were arriving by hire car and has googled it beforehand so knew what we were looking for, and it was a very large monument. How hard could it be to find?

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

Turns out very hard indeed.  The town has a network of underground tunnels which meant just when you thought you’d got your bearings, one wrong turn later you were sucked into the subterranean world of the narrow bricked tunnels and by the time you were spat out again all sense of direction was lost. Even after we’d stopped for directions twice, and had circumnavigated the town several times, we couldn’t find the goddamn Pipila monument – why didn’t they have better signs we lamented? Why the hell couldn’t we see the damn thing? Just as we thought we were finally on the right track we took a wrong turn, found ourselves back in the tunnels, and were sucked out to the road heading back to where we’d come from. This was not a happy time.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

After about an hour or so of this, common sense prevailed, and we called the owner of the B&B. Finally, we managed to avoid the roads out of town, the roads under the town, and found a road above the town which led to the Pipila monument and our destination for the evening. Not suprisingly the first stop was the bar for a well deserved drink!

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

The next day, all our driving trials seemed worthwhile, as Guanajuato is simply gorgeous. Not keen to get back in the car just yet, we spent the day walking the city, exploring the tiny little alleyays, or callejones, the churches, the town squares, some museums, and admiring the beautiful colourful houses clinging to the hillsides.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

We found the birthplace of Diego Rivera, which is now a small museum, the central market, and also went to the Museo Iconografico del Quijote, on the recommendation of Rick, the owner of the B&B. This was a curious place, dedicated to the story of Don Quixote and displays statues, murals and paintings of this famous literary figure.

 

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

Rick was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the local area, and we got a good introductory lesson into the Mexican independence story, including the story of El Pipila, a local hero. He became famous for an act of heroism near the very beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, The Spanish had barricaded themselves, along with $30 million of pesos in silver and money in the Alhóndiga, which however had a wooden door. Pipila tied a stone to his back to protect him from Spanish missile fire and carried tar and a torch to the door of the Alhóndiga and set it on fire, which allowed the Mexicans to storm the Alhóndiga, kill the soldiers and get to the riches. Since El Pipila had caused us such grief the day before, we naturally had to see the monument as well, despite the fact I still held a grudge against him. It helped that we didn’t have to look too far, our B&B was right next to the monument.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico

Despite a shaky introduction to Guanajuato, I ended up falling in love with it.  It was very picturesque, insanely colourful and very friendly.  Somewhere I will definitely  return to.

Guanajuato, Mexico

 

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