Casa Rodante: Guadalajara to San Miguel de Allende


We spent 10 days in a row in a hotel because of John’s injury. It was just too hard in the camper to deal with trying to keep things sterile and the walk to the bathroom was way too long. They were not easy days. I'm cleaning and changing the dressing twice a day, and applying suture strips to try to keep the wound together since the stitches didn’t take. John can't walk far. It’s no joke. So we splurged a few nights on a nice hotel and then got the cut looked at again. The doctor said it was still not looking good and John was not ok to travel. Back to another hotel (a downgrade) close to the hospital. When we were finally cleared to travel, an earthquake shook the hotel as we were checking out. We took it as a sign it was time to leave Puerto Vallarta.

A few days in a nice hotel in PV. This photo sums it up.

Rooftop pool

beautiful sunsets

We headed to Guadalajara to get our computer fixed and we resigned ourselves we needed another couple more nights in a hotel. John still couldn’t drive so I drove the 6+ hours from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara through the mountains and towns with those flippin’ topes (speed bumps). I find driving here exhausting. John does not. I think he thinks of it as sport. I feel I have to be hyper focused every second and it’s not my favorite activity. The Guadalajara metro area has a population of over 4 million people so John took over, and after mucho traffico we made our way into the center of the city. Finding a hotel proved difficult. We don’t fit in most underground garages, and in big cities most decent hotels only have underground parking. So after a couple of attempts at larger hotels, we ended up in a motel that could accommodate Lojo’s girth and height. We got the last room. It was dark with no heat, and we’ve seen better bathrooms in campgrounds. We were hungry, tired, and John was seriously hurt. Then it started raining, and with John’s foot we couldn’t really walk to find food. I went to camper to get our own blankets and pillows - and I think we hit our low point of the trip. Or I thought we had. In the middle of the night we sat straight up in bed from the sound of a train that rattled the walls of the room so loud I thought it was coming right for us. The next morning we realized our hotel was literally on the other side of a fence from the train tracks. I struggled through these days because when we envisioned this trip, we knew there would be hard days. But once you’re in them, struggling with the language and your health, you don’t really feel like you’re livin’ the dream. This injury threw us a curve ball. The next morning over our soggy motel eggs, I asked John if we had the wrong rig if all we were going to do was hotel hop our way down to South America. And then I asked if he wanted to go home. I knew the answer to both of course. But I needed to hear it. I knew the answer was an unequivocal no, because the freedom we have with this lifestyle far outweighs the struggles we have dealing with life in the camper. We have no pressure anymore. Every day is our own, and 99% of the time we just marvel at how lucky we are.

We managed to have a good day in Guadalajara. We went to the Apple store, had a leisurely coffee at Starbucks, went to a nice long lunch, and hung out in a bookstore. Just like at home. The next day we headed straight to San Miguel de Allende because I had a friend, Andy, who was on holiday there with her husband and a few friends. San Miguel de Allende is high in the mountains and filled with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. About 20% of the population is expat, mostly artists and writers.

Dinner with Andy & Jojo, & friends

San Miguel colors

Street art

Street life

Still so many of these on the roads here.

Street sign

On the weekends, it also fills with affluent Chilangos (Mexico City dwellers) who frequent the good restaurants, wine shops, art galleries and boutiques. We rolled into town to the only campground, behind a gate and across from a church in the quaint neighborhood of San Antonio. This campground is small, and only a 10-minute walk to the main square. It’s one of the nicest we have stayed in, so we felt we could finally get back into our groove in the rig. There were also three other Overlanders we know camped here, so we had our rolling posse back together for a few days.

(not pictured: Jenine and George ,Traveling the Americas)

Ben & Emma (Flightless Kiwis)

Simon, Karie, Ty, and Jamie (OurRoadLife)

With Simon at the main square

Lots of big European overlanders here. We finally felt small.

We really liked SMA. We had quality time apart and John had time to heal. We spent the week taking Spanish lessons, and on the first day we learned that the term for our kind of living is a Casa Rodante (Rolling House). I don’t know why but that term resonates with me. It is our rolling house. And we’ll experience many highs…and lows with it.

#mexico #LoJo