20-23 February 2020
Our stop in Guanajuato will be memorable for a few very different reasons. In no particular order, here they are:
- the terrifying, gut wrenching steep drive up to the campsite;
- the discovery of Dorilocos – probably the best ever junk food snack;
- meeting with two fellow ‘shipped van to Veracruz and got robbed’ victims;
- and, of course, the beauty of the city itself.
Here’s the campsite.
It is called Morill RV Park and is in a great location overlooking the town. The reviews about it on iOverlander really don’t get across just how steep the hill climb to get to it really is. It was scary stuff and I still don’t know how Molly made it up there or how Stuart kept on driving. I kept my eyes shut.
The view was worth it though.
Our fellow campers were a lovely couple from Brazil (@Tavapelomundo on Instagram) and ….
… Hans and Sigrid from Germany.
Chatting to them, we discovered we had something unfortunate in common. Both our campervans had been cleaned out by thieves on the crossing from Veracruz. While we shipped with the Orion Highway from Southampton, they shipped their van on the Hoegh Yokohama. There are other differences between us – they were assured (and very luckily insured) that their personal possessions in the van would be safe, but advised to keep everything in cupboards, out of sight. On that basis, they didn’t actually lock everything away, thinking that padlocks would have the reverse effect of attracting thieves. It didn’t work. The thieves who had clearly plenty of time picked through everything accessible from the main door (via the key handed to the shipping line) and took everything of value and some things of little value e.g. their usb sticks with carefully chosen music playlists.
In our case (and do forgive us for going old ground), we had taken the additional step of padlocking stuff away but that proved no deterrent. They just smashed the locks. Talking to Hans and Sigrid brought back all the bad memories yet it was good too to share what happened. Nice to feel we are not alone. And so based on our shared experiences, do we have any advice for anyone considering shipping their van to Veracruz? Go via container if you can – our T25 is too high for one so ro ro is our only option. Otherwise, we suggest you pick up every item you pack on board your van before you ship it and say your farewells. Unfortunately, it may be the last time you see it.
How have we lived this long and not discovered dorilocos before? Maybe it was because we happened upon this stall not long after we had arrived into Guanajuato when we were feeling tired, hungry and ready for a cold beer.
We headed down the hill from the campsite and came to this brightly lit stall selling an intriguing snack which started by slashing open the side of a packet of Doritos, then piling whatever you wanted on top – like homemade salsa with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander, chili and lime, handfuls of peanuts, cucumber, grated carrot, more crisps and other stuff we couldn’t identify. Then your overflowing bag is topped off with chili sauce and lime. Practically drooling now just thinking of it.
Here’s Guanajuato looking like the really hard jigsaw puzzle you never get round to doing.
We saw this view from above when we went up the funicular railway and from below when we went through the tunnels built to divert the Guanajuato river.
We went to the regional museum in the old granary….
… but didn’t do the kissing thing in the Callejón del Beso. That involves leaning out of the window on one side of the street and kissing someone leaning out of a window on the opposite side.
We stayed in the audience. Clearly no romance in our souls.
And that was the end of our Guanajuato stay. We pulled out of the campsite and down the steep slope which somehow looks very tame in this photo.
Next stop Guadalajara, more van trouble and a taste of Tequila.