A 5 hour drive north from Patzcuaro took us to the Unesco World Heritage Site and colonial town of Guanajuato. We had heard romantic musings from fellow overlanders about how much they loved this city. We agreed. It was so easy to stay, and we did, for close to three weeks.
We spent our first week at the Morrill RV Park which had epic views of nearby neighbourhoods, with their multi-colored houses and winding streets. The road from town took us up an extremely steep hill, which left us breathless, but more or less jusitfied the myriad of chocolate-filled churros, ice cream, tacos, and many other sugar laden and deep-fried treats.
Morrill is also famous for its noise pollution. Dogs barking, fireworks blooming, and music blasting. Bring your earplugs because you’ll need ’em.
After our week at Morrill we rented an apartment just off of Plaza de Baratillo in downtown Guanajuato for 10 days. The kitchen, hot showers, wifi, and close proximity to Escuela Falcon (our spanish school) made the $24/night justifiable. We enrolled at school for beginner spanish classes and, although we were overwhelmed at first, we definitely love being able to communicate more effectively after just a few days.
We were connected with a local family from Leon through one of Ash’s friends from high school. Since Leon is only a short drive away from Guanajuato we joined Ernesto’s large family for a fabulous evening at his uncle’s home. His entire family was extremely gracious and friendly. They served up some of the best food we have had on our trip and we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks Ernesto and your family for treating us like family as well!
So, after three weeks in Guanajuato what were our favourite hangouts? We definitely discovered some great places to drink coffee, eat tortilla soup, and try micheladas and mezcal.
Road construction and plastic sheets almost hid this coffee shop from us! Cafe Tal has a great atmosphere and fantastic lattes. This coffee shop/Spanish studying spot was conveniently located on the way to the panaderia that had tasty and daily made empanadas, the roasted chicken place, and the fresh fruit and vegetable market further down the road where we picked up groceries.
Ice Cream Guy
We may have stopped here for ice cream every day after walking back from Cafe Tal…
33 Pesos for some of the best tortilla soup we’ve ever had. Yes, that’s less than $3 per bowl of deliciousness.
This little cafe is on the same street as Truco 7, making it very tempting to sip herbal or black teas with some chocolate cake after a tasty bowl of tortilla soup. Everything in the cafe is piglet-themed (le chon = pig in espanol) including the little cookies that come with your freshly steeped tea.
Newly opened by a chef from Nelson, BC and his wife, Los Campos has great food at very reasonable prices. We loved the ambiance and the mediterranean/mexican food was delicious. We had a very nice dinner out with our Vancouver friends Sarah and Wilson and split a bunch of tapas and a salad between the four of us.
This is a classic, old bar serving Mexican tapas. It is in a little quirky old building filled with antiques and vintage photos hung on the brick walls. It is hidden in a tiny alleyway. We had great Micheladas here, as well as Ash’s first taste of Mezcal with Toby of Carpe Viam. #partyface (We’ll have to get the photos from Toby and Chloe!!)
As much as we love Mexican cuisine, it is nice to switch it up once and a while. We made a couple of trips to Habibti Falafel to remenice about our past travels to Israel and Jordan while eating falafel and hummus. This is also a great place for drinking te chai (chai tea). Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Our morning walks through the smog-filled tunnel connecting our area of town with the downtown core always ended on a bright note: the smell of roasting coffee beans emitting from Cafe Conquistador. It was a challenge not to stop here on our way downtown, back to the campsite, in the morning, evening… Richard shed many a tear when our Conquistador coffee bag became empty hundreds of kilometres away from Guanajuato. We spent a good amount of time studying Spanish at the tiny wooden tables, practicing by ordering coffee (and even second cups of coffee if we wanted the extra practice), chatting with the fellows behind the counter, and eating delicious chocolate cake. On the chilly nights we would pick up a cup of their hot chocolate dusted with cinnamon – the best we’ve ever had.
While we were at the Morrill RV Park we ran into a few other travellers:
Arthur and Vonnie built this 4×4 conversion Toyota Pickup/Sunrader RV. Richard totally wants to build one of these… just need to find one! Arthur was super kind and we were always excited to listen to his stories of the truck and their travels.
We’ve been chatting with Toby and Chloe from Carpe Viam since before any of us left on our trip south. It was great to finally run into them. Can’t wait to take a trip into the mountains with you guys!