The Other Mile High City, Guadalajara

Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please join Bruce and Mary as they journey to and explore the second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara.

gdlpart1-002Mary is at the entrance to the Primera Plus bus ticket agency in Old Town. We’ve been motivated to take a trip to Guadalajara, GDL, for quite some time, just for the fun of it, but now we are also looking to buy a car and everyone says GDL is the place to do that. We shall see.

gdlpart1-004The muy amable Carmen has processed our tix, making sure our INAPAM (Old Age Card) 50% discount is applied, reducing our tix to 250P each. We could have gotten an additional 10% off for round trip tix, but we’re really hoping to drive back.gdlpart1-013It’s Monday and we’ve just taken a 100P taxi ride to the Centro de Camiones, the bus station.

gdlpart1-017It’s time to board the bus. We get a complimentary soda or agua, muffin and an apple.

gdl2-097Unfortunately for about an hour’s ride beyond Nuevo Vallarta we see a lot of the invasive scourge called Kudzu.

gdl2-096As we gradually climb to the valley of the southern altiplano, high plain, where Guadalajara is situated, there are great vistas but they are a little hard to capture, especially with our smart phones, but we did get this decent shot of one of the hundreds of Agave fields that dominate the countryside between the city of Tequila, naturally, and GDL.

gdlpart1-026We’ve finally arrived in GDL, debarked at the Centro de Camiones, Zapopan and are taxi-ing to our hotel which is pretty close to the center of the city. I had negotiated our taxista down from 170 to 150P as that just seemed too much but we easily got our money’s worth as it is at least a 20 minute ride, in minimal traffic, at highway speeds. Man, this city is huge!

gdl2-091We are checked into Hotel Estancia just in time for happy hour.

gdlpart1-030After sleeping in (we are on vacation) and breakfast, we take a 100P taxi ride to the GDL branch of our Banco, Intercam. Michele, Edgar, and Luis are eager to please and tell us that they would be happy to oversee any car transaction, in this office, and help us pay for it by wire or cash, whatever the dealer requires. So, armed with that…

gdlpart1-036We take a rather long hike to Ford Country Motors. They actually do have a few used cars, but the only ones in our price range are far too small.

gdlpart1-034Remembering that we are on vacation, we take a break at Union Cerveceria (there is one in Vallarta, as well). These chorizo/pastor tacos are quite good. I especially like the chicharron garnishing.

gdlpart1-033Mary, take it away, “I wanted to try the gazpacho they listed, but it wasn’t available. Instead, I chose the trusty sopa de tortilla, which always suits me to a T.”

gdlpart1-037Time to get back to work. Suzuki store? Nada.

gdlpart1-040This is one big Toyota store. As we wait for a sales person I wander around the show room and am struck by a curiosity: None of these new cars have window stickers. I sold new and used cars for twenty years and back in the States it is illegal to display a new car without its original factory generated window sticker. Oh, BTW: Nada.

gdlpart1-039Next, the Nissan store. Here, used cars have such a priority that they have one sales person devoted to it, and… he doesn’t come in until 4:00. So we leave our wish list with the receptionist and await a call, well, not really.

gdlpart1-049Next, we take another 100P taxi ride to the largest used car dealer in town, he’s got over 400 cars on two lots. After looking over all his inventory we’ve boiled it down to this 2004 Honda Accord LX. I ask the questions and Mary takes the notes. That being done we take an 80P taxi ride back to the hotel… just in time for happy hour!

gdlpart1-052It’s Wednesday and we are back at Humberto’s car lot to talk about that Honda. I’d done some research on Libro Azul and found the car to be dramatically overpriced. Humberto was not surprised. He dug out the book that he uses and it showed even lower values than Libro Azul and then he explained to me, like I had many times to my prospects, that that is not the market here. He did come down a little bit, but not nearly enough to satisfy us. But I will say this, Humberto is one heck of a nice guy with a lot of credibility, we recommend him highly. Oh, you’re wondering his source of cars? He buys them from the new car dealers.

And that my friends is the end of our car adventures in GDL. Next week we will take you to Centro Historical.

Thanks, for visiting, gentle reader. Hasta proximo Domingo!

October 16, 2016 · Bruce · 6 Comments
Posted in: Life in Puerto Vallarta