We met Fred and Sherry and John and Christine on Wednesday at 9:00am and off we went. The four of them in Fred and Sherry's car.
Because of the concerns we had with the PT Cruiser, Fred suggested that they follow us in case something happened. .. Well, it did, about 40 miles from La Penita the "check engine" light came on and the car's power went down. One thing to remember, Tonala is at about 5,000 ft and of course La Penita is at sea level and going up-hill most of the way might have contributed to the cause. But with my trusty 1/2 wrench I was able to quickly disconnect the battery which canceled the computer and the car regained it power.
During one of our rest area breaks we discovered a screw embedded in one of our rear tires. As our tire pressure didn't seem to be affected, we decided not to pull the screw out and get it fixed later.
Fred's usual route to Tonala takes him right through the middle of Guadalajara and the traffic in the country's second largest city is pretty intense. But we made it with no further problems and checked into our motel in the early afternoon.
Hotel Arana is about a block from the main market area and with the cost of 450 pesos per night allows you to park within the motels court yard for your security. You have to like firm mattresses in Mexico as most of the beds in motels are built on a raised concrete base.
As soon as we checked in we walked to one of the restaurants we've been to before and had a late lunch.
Although the main market day wasn't until the next day (Thursday) there was still a lot of stores open and we spent a few hours walking up and down the town's streets looking at things.
On Thursday morning the town's main street and many side streets are transformed into a big market. How the hundreds (maybe thousands) of vendors manage to put up their stalls each Wednesday night and again on Saturday night and then take them down market day night is one of the mysteries of Mexico. (Tonala's market is every Thursday and Sunday)
Using our walkie-talkies..(one each for the guys and one for the girls) we started out Thursday morning, first to a restaurant for breakfast and then wandering through the vendor stalls looking for that thing we couldn't do without.
Pemex bathroom signs
Motel court yard parking
Day of the Dead Male and Female
Street Vendor making hand made Tortillas
Fred walking through Vendor stalls
They do a lot of glass blowing in Tonala and I was able to get a number of pictures of the workers in the Glass Blowing Factory.
Glass bottles made at Glass Blowing Factory
There's also a lot of pottery made and for sale in Tonala. Everything from little things to big things. I heard a couple of ladies laughing and saying that a painted face in the bowl of a toilet would be funny.
Lots of sinks to choose from
Sinks and Cabinets already made up
At the end of the day's shopping we found another nice restaurant for supper. We made our plans to head home in the morning but Fred and Sherry and John and Christine wanted to make a trip to Guadalajara and then to the town of Tequila on the way home.
As our purchases were not large and they have twice the people in their car, we took several of their purchases with us. We hoped that the car wouldn't give us problems but confident that our little 1/2 wrench would solve the "check engine" light problem. I was more concerned about the screw in the back tire but as it didn't affect the tire pressure during the night, I thought it best to leave it alone until getting to La Penita.
The car must have liked going down hill from Tonala to La Penita because it didn't give us any problem all the way home and the tire stayed inflated.
After unloading all our things we called the dog boarding place and made arrangements to pick up Leo and Hayley. They were excited to see us but we could see that they were in good hands while we were away.
By supper time we were too tired to do much else so decided on a treat of BBQ ribs.