It´s a long way to Morelia! 7:27 p.m. 2003-07-24

Current Listening: Cold Play
Current Reading: On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Herrmann Loomis
Recipe of the Day: Chapulines con Guacamole, Atole con Cajeta, Mexican Hot Chocolate

So, yesterday was basically "The Day of the Bus". We got up and filled ourselves up on lovely fresh fruit at the Holiday Inn Express in Oaxaca, then took a taxi to the bus station, where we boarded the 9:30 AM bus for Mexico City. It took 6 hours, and 3 movies (Simon Birch, The Scorpion King, and The Heist) for us to get to the Norte station.

From there, we had two choices: take a taxi to the Observatorio station and board a bus that goes through Toluca, or try to find a bus from Norte. I decided to go from Norte, and the young woman assured me that it would only take 5 hours (not the hellish 7 hours it took me one time!). I felt some panic when we headed out the highway to Queretero, the direction that had taken 7 hours before, but despite a vicious rain storm, and some bizarre smaller roads that the driver took, it was just over 5 hours. And, with Primera Plus, we were provided with a meal (okay, a measly sandwich, some peanuts, and a Halls candy!) and a drink. The movies were better, too. We saw Shanghai Knights and Dante´t Peak!

When we drove into Morelia, at 10:30 PM (13 hours away from Oaxaca!), the bus station had been moved! It is now outside of town - it used to be not far from the center of town (actually across the street from our hotel.

Cranky and tired, we checked into our hotel - the Hotel Concordia. Now, let me go ahead and say upfront that we (I) have been spoiled by the Ex-Hacienda San Mateo and even by the Holiday Inn Express. We checked in after a rowdy family with three children, pelting each other with suction arrows - PLUS, the receptionist asked us to wait a minute while she counted the cash drawer.

We went up to our rooms, and I could not find the light switch for our hall. When we got to our room, it was stuffy - no AC, of course! - and the bed was hard as a rock. In order to provide ventilation, louvered windows opened out of the bathroom to the hall, and from the room out onto a walled area, from which you could watch TV in our neighbor´s room. I was not happy! I lamented not getting a room in a nicer hotel like the Virrey de Mendosa or the Hotel de la Soledad.

But, I think that it will be okay - we may even stay there when we return for one night on Sunday. In the City Guide, both the Hotel Concordia and the Posada de la Soledad are given the same 3-star rating. And, come to think of it, the latter probably doesn´t have AC either. It´t just a lot cuter!

After waking, I took a stroll to the plaza, to check and see if I still had my bearings. I then went back to get my husband up and about. We had breakfast (brunch) at the Hotel Casino, and set of to find the Franciscan ex-convent, now a crafts museum and shop. We got a little confused, but I found out later that I was correct in where it was, and took my husband there. The confusion was that there was no longer a street market around it!

We went to find the Instituto Baden-Powell, where I took Spanish lessons for 2 weeks, three years ago. I took my husband around to see the place, then we headed to find an Internet cafe. They seemed scarce, but since then we found the lovely Cyber Cafe, which I had encountered 3 years ago. That is where we are now.

I had a tres leches cake for an afternoon snack, then we went to pick up my husband´s laundry ($3.00 for wash and dry and fold at a local lavanderia). Then I set out for the mercado de dulces, where they do sell a lot of sweets (dulces), but also t-shirts, toys, and all manner of touristy stuff - including guitars.

Seeing that, I went to get my husband. Dad found me as I was on my way back, and we returned to look over some items. I was thrilled to find little mini-molidos (I think that´s what they are called - they are used to churn Mexican hot chocolate). I have a recipe for a Mexican Hot Chocolate mix I found years ago, and I can now make some and package it with pretty little mini mixers! They were only 30 cents apiece, so I won´t be angry that one of them is broken.

Then, we went to an antiques store to do some trading for Dad, and to another store where a woman was selling Talavera pottery knockoffs. On our way, we encountered a downpour, so we ducked into a plaza to keep dry. I hope this means a cool night!

It is our wedding anniversary, so we need to get off of the Internet and go out to eat! Tomorrow, we leave for Patzcuaro. The hotel there sound cuter, at least!

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