After six wonderful days in Guadalajara it is time to move on. After some questioning of the hotel staff as to where we need to depart from, we catch a taxi to the central bus station. Since Tapalpa is a small city of 17,000 it did not warrant a fine bus line, so we get on a bus, Sol de Jalisco, and do a “milk run” stopping almost every 10 minutes to let people off and pick up more for the next three hours up into the high mountains to reach this town which has a designation “pueblo magico”, and an elevation of 2040 meters or 6637 feet.

As we are leaving Guadalajara we pass through university areas, rich neighborhoods, middle class neighborhoods, every kind of shopping you can imagine, and every kind of industry you can imagine. Mexico makes it all. Then we go through suburbs on into agriculture country with greenhouses for kilometers and orchards and sugar cane, corn, sorghum, pineapple, and irrigated fields of vegetables and alfalfa.

Climbing up out of the valley on steep switchbacks
Climbing up out of the valley on steep switchbacks

As we climb into the mountains there is less irrigation, so the crops change to agave for tequila and another cactus for some fermented drink. This is cattle country too and every once in awhile we pass rodeo grounds.

Arrived in Tapalpa. Note the cobblestone street.
After much back and forth and climbing the bus finally arrives in Tapalpa at a simple bus station. Tapalpa is a Mexican resort town for people to get away from the heat down below. It is situated in a pine-forested, high mountain valley. The streets are narrow and steep and all cobblestone.  So the scene is an antique town with tiled roofs, white stucco, wood-pillared verandas, all lined with small shops, half of which are designer clothing and rich consumables and rich restaurants and bars. The inevitable beautiful central plaza in front of the cathedral is a haven for people to play and sit, and pass through to their favorite shops,  or stop for a shaved ice fruit syrup cone.
The ranchers come into town in their big 4 wheel drive Ford or Dodge pickups and the locals run around the steep streets in their SUV’s or 4 wheel ATV’s. Also there are lots of young people here with their mountain bikes taking advantage of the terrain. All very interesting. It is fun to be sitting on an upstairs balcony eating breakfast and watching the town wake up.
Coming back with pan dulce to go with the espresso
Coming back with pan dulce to go with the espresso
I would post more photos here, but you may as well check them out on Flickr.

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