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We are traveling in Mexico again this winter of 2012
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finding Tanneries and visiting Guadalajara

Thursday a.m.
It is nice in here this morning, remembered to set up the little electric heater before turning in last night. Makes a difference – don’t have to sit on my hands to warm them up to type.
Tuesday we went into the downtown area of Guadalajara to look for and hopefully find a tannery or two for Bill. We had looked up the area on the “Streets and Trips” map and we pretty sure we knew where we were going. It was actually a pretty straight forward drive. East on the highway the campground is on then south on Hidalgo. Hidalgo is a one way street through a residential and small business part of town. A pretty tree lined street.
four lanes of one way traffic
As we neared downtown we got a glimpse of the Cathedral.
Just past the main square we had to turn left and luckily the street I had picked to take was one-way the right direction. And we found the street one of the tanneries was supposed to be on and headed down it. Found the address – oops – just an abandoned building. Bill asked a man on the street where the tannery had gone. Turns out just around the corner. Walked over there but they didn’t have what Bill was looking for but the worker knew who did. Just a short walk a couple of blocks away. Away we went. And found the right place. Teneria Quintero. It was not what I expected. I had expected a big building but it was like a short alleyway with open rooms on both sides.
As Bill checked out the leather I took a couple of pictures. One "room" had two or three of these big wooden drums. They are used to process the leather. The hides are put in them with various chemicals – depending on what needs to be done – and tumbled.

One thing they are used for is taking the grease out of the leather – another process is dying the leather.
A smaller tumbler.
Back along the wall are big metal drums of chemicals.

The owner was telling Bill that there used to be hundreds of tanneries in Guadalajara but the government has stepped in and made them clean up their wastes so many couldn't afford the changes and have closed down. Now there are only a couple left in his neighborhood.
Some of the leather in a store room.

Bill and the owner went up to a second floor. I waited wasn’t about to climb the open metal stairs. And Bill picked out what he wanted but we would have to come back later to pick it up as it was still being dried.
As we got back in Willie I set the GPS so we could hopefully find our way back without problems.
We headed towards the historic district downtown. Just made one wrong turn ending up on a dead end street getting there. Passed this plaza with big monument where all the Jacaranda trees were in bloom. They are all over the city.
Purple trees
Parked in the lot under the Plaza de Armas and set out walking to the big central market. Passed the clown – don’t know where he was going. The bell towers of the Cathedral are poking up in the background. And the big building to the right is the 19th-century Teatro Degollado.
Just one of the pretty fountains and old – 1800s – buildings we passed as we walked along the Plaza Tapatía a long pedestrian walkway.

We stopped at Chavas ‘n Charles for lunch. The building was a home in the early 1800s that had 48 rooms. Sixteen of them faced the street.
Inside it is interesting. Lots of Mexican flavored murals and decorations. And it’s a big place – has a play area for children in the back.
We tried Orchata for the first time. Compliments of the waiter as we had asked him what the pink drink the people at the next table were drinking. It is a drink made with rice water, milk, sugar and flavorings. Ours was strawberry. Pretty good – more refreshing then soda.
After eating we walked down to the big central market. This picture of the inside courtyard is for my youngest son – remember the nose bleed? Link
We spent a lot of time in there last year so this time we just wandered around a little. We did pick up a DVD of the King’s Speech and I got a crazy t-shirt. Lots of bling on it – and a picture of Maria Sabina – the Priestess of the Magic Mushrooms on it. Don’t know if I’ll ever have the nerve to wear it – but I like it. Will add a picture of it sometime.
As we headed back to the tannery we passed these carriages. I like the purple one.
Saw these guys using a shovel to fill the baskets with oranges from the back of this pickup.
And this shop that buys gold. Don’t know what the manikin that says “Want More?” has to do with it.
Gypsy was a good girl and took us right back to the tannery where we picked up Bill’s stuff. Then off towards home.
Guadalajara like many big cities in Mexico has an excellent rapid transit system. The bus lanes run down the middle of the road.
The stations are big.
The very modern buses outside of a station.
Just some graffiti I thought was cute.
And passed these two (one is behind the other) walking along with their wares suspended from poles over their shoulders.
When we got back to the RV park we discovered a Big Red Bus had come in. These are tour buses usually filled with German tourists. Called Rotel Tours. Link  A very interesting way to travel - don't think I could do it.
The bus
They cooked dinner now they are eating it.
They were back on the road first thing in the morning.
Wednesday, yesterday, we went to the town of Tonala for the day. Will try to finish that post later today. If we don't go to Ajijic to visit Jeff that is.


JLS said...

Would you mind telling me the address or GPS coordinates of Teneria Quintero?

JLS said...