November 28th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Val at the Juarez memorial

Were awoken by the prod of a broom – the stationmaster (I think) was sweeping up, + gave us our peremptory cue to leave.  Our first real view of Queretaro impressed us – the streets were clean, narrow + quaint, the morning was yet cool, + we had the place to ourselves.  The first call was for coffee – I had a delicious café leche (rapidly becoming my favourite breakfast drink), while Val contented herself with a common or garden “negro”.  We were stung tho’ – 30 pesos.  2nd call of the day, a panaderia, + we sat in a pleasant square to consume our buns.  The tourist office, next – not an easy place to find, + a bit of confusion about whether they were open, but some useful information, along with a useful list of hotels.  A list that proved useless, however, since all of them were full or expensive or both.  The search just about killed us tho’ – the sun was now up + ready for business, + our bags grew heavier with every step.  Eventually, we put our bags into the left luggage at the bus station, + then set out to see a little more of the town.

First of all we strolled out to the aqueduct, a magnificent piece of engineering, with 63(?) arches, built solely, it seemed, to serve one convent.  We took a short tour around that too – tho’ since it was in Spanish, I understood little or nothing, (and Val a little less.)  The markets were the next stop – isn’t it funny that the foreign markets are more interesting than English ones, even the food depts.  We strolled over to the town’s other convent, which wasn’t open – then continued on to the monument to Juarez, a Mexican lawmaker.  It’s a huge statue. Set up on a hill.  Strolled back to town along the river – merely a trickle really – + then renewed our attempt to find a place to stay.  After much effort, discovered a casa de hespuedes – a boarding house – for a mere 150 pesos.  Then, en route to fetch our bags, visited the museum.

The aqueduct

Come evening, set out to find a bar – fruitlessly.  In a little plaza, found women selling cooked food – we had a sort of crispy pancake with syrup.  Then, finally getting into a bar, informed we couldn’t be served, Val being female.  Understandably, she was pissed off. (Me 2.)

Really going to town on ticking off the tourist sites – as is our wont.  We rarely just lazed, nearly always making sure we saw what there was to see, and then being anxious to move on, to the next town, site, temple…

Usual problem finding somewhere to stay.  In that pre-internet age, it meant physically walking around and knocking on doors, rather than doing so virtually… which is what we do now, of course.


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