Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Good bye Guatemala

5AM - Good bye Guatemala
This morning our flight from Guatemala City to Mexico City departs at 9:25am. Good bye, Guatemala. We want to see you again!

On this our first trip to your land, we learned a lot about you Guatemala. Your towns are clean. Your highways are well paved and maintained. Your people are friendly. We on the TiogaRV Team like you, Guatemala!

Our favorite place to stay in Guatemala turned out to be the Town of Panajachel, along the shores of the gorgeous Lake Atitlán. We also stayed in San Pedro La Laguna, across the lake from Panajachel. We had good times in Antigua Guatemala, the ancient capital of your land. And stayed for a few days in the highlands of Quetzaltenango, a city also called Xela but pronounced "Shayla".

Bye, bye, Guatemala. We will definitely visit you again!

12:30PM - Hampton Inn/Mexico City
We are now checked into a very nice room at the Hampton Inn located in the Centro Historico of the city. Everything is working. Hot water from the shower. Internet operating OK. On a whim, turned the air conditioning temperature way up to see if a heater would come on. Uh, uh!

At the airport, to get a taxi, you have to buy a ticket. There are several taxi ticket booths inside the airport's lobby. I was advised by the Hampton Inn website that the fare from the airport to the hotel is 150 pesos. The first vendor asked for 205 pesos. So, I walked over to a second ticket booth. 195 pesos! Wow!

I decided to walk out of the airport to where the taxis are parked and see about buying a ticket there. I walked up to one of the ticket booths outside and asked the smiling guy, "Do you bargain?" "Sure", he replied. "How much to go to Hampton Inn?" "150 pesos", he told me. "Sold, no need to bargain.", I told him. And I bought the taxi ticket.

2PM - Bus ticket
First priority this afternoon is to get info on bus service from Mexico City back to Tequisquiapan, where MsTioga is waiting patiently for us to return. The front desk here at the Hampton Inn printed out a bus schedule by using the ETN Bus Company's internet site.

I was advised that the Oxxo Store that is a couple of blocks away from the hotel, would sell me a bus ticket. Turned out that Oxxo could not sell that bus ticket. I do not know why! However, Oxxo could renew my Telcel Banda Ancha service, which they did.

We are using Telcel Banda Ancha right now to send this blog post to you.

Pretty neat, huh!

What about the bus ticket?
According to the schedule that we got from the front desk clerk, a bus leaves from the Mexico City "North Bus Station" tomorrow at 9:15am. We plan to take a taxi to the bus station, arriving at 8:15am. That should give us plenty of time to buy the ticket before the bus departs.

3PM - Pasteleria Madrid's tostada stand
Across the street from the Hampton Inn Hotel is a big store called, Pasteleria Madrid. There is a tostada stand inside this very big bakery that caught my attention. There were soooo many customers crowded around it.

I stood watching customers eating their tostadas. How were they ordering? There was a separate cashier. Were they ordering from the cashier? No! Finally, I had to ask. And after I found out how to order, I ordered a tostada myself.

First you go up to the stand and tell them what you want to eat. They give you a cash register receipt, and you take the receipt to the cashier. Pay for it. Then return for your food.

Pasteleria Madrid was established in 1939. The tostada was very good. So was the tiny donut and cookie that I bought for afterwards.

Note: I did not decide to tell the story of this tostada stand until after I had eaten one. The stand and the bakery fascinated me. Maybe because I was in the food business myself.
Pastaleria Madrid - 1940s

Bakery today

Inside bakery

Tostada stand

My tostada

Partly cloudy