After an adventurefull day and and Oscar filled night (yes, we watched the Oscars in our hostel, we were rooting heavily for Alfonso Quarón and tweeting about it!), we woke late in the morning ready to take on the next city. With one last meal in the Zacatecan mercado, we took a bus out of the city and walked to the farthest gas station, and after about twenty minutes of waiting with our thumbs in the air we managed to win the mercy of a driver who was going straight to Aguascalientes. Unfortunately we were only able to make it about a fourth of the way, because after crossing the toll booth his car proved that the last appointment with the mechanic hadn’t been the end of his troubles. The natural heat combined with the car’s heat was just too much. So our ride apologized as he had to make a u-turn back to the mechanic, and we waited once more for a ride.
A month or so had gone by since we started our trip, and we were starting to feel the weight of being a traveler, not that I mean it in a bad way, but having to make backup plans from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ is something that DOES in fact requires improvised and smart thinking, rather than spontaneous choices as some might imagine a traveler does. But we were also starting to feel how far our ripples of excitement for discovery were stretching.
Our second ride was with a nice couple with whom we exchanged our blog info and who immediately went home and liked our page (bless them). So even though we are rushing through our travels, we are making connections, in a constellation sort of way. Hopefully by the end we’ll create a nice picture to be admired by whoever we tell our tale to.
Aguascalientes was a tough place to waltz through. Like I mentioned, we were starting to feel the weight, and in this case it was not having a clear Couchsurfing host and having to improvise by thoroughly searching for the cheapest accommodation without knowing the city and relying on people’s hunches of hostels that once existed. During that search we DID get a good look at most of downtown Aguascalientes and its night life, which I kind of liked. It has a bar-hopping feel to it like in Tijuana, but it also tries to appeal to all drinkers with different themed bars.
A day later we got a response by the best Couchsurfing host we’ve had had yet. Kind, sweet, generous, and a traveler himself, he tried to make our stay as painless to our pocket as possible. Plus we had a lot of stories and experiences to swap, which made it our first Couchsurfing experience where we made the connection we were missing, or more specifically, a connection I was striving for.
I was beyond giddy about this, I really was. When connecting with other travelers I feel like I have been given a laminated pass to that not-so-secret-society to which all travelers belong. And after a time of people asking how long we’d been traveling and feeling childish and inexperienced by saying “”two weeks, three weeks””, saying “”a month”” felt like reaching a milestone. We are growing up, and with that growth came a lot of stories to tell. As a once traveler, our host had questions to ask that most people we met never did, and with that came my own self-discovery of the fact that we DO have things to talk about. Strange things, curious experiences, interesting people, interesting culture, bad reception, good reception… I was very pleased.
I have to be honest in confessing that we didn’t really get to know Aguascalientes (word from our host and his friends is that there isn’t much to do there anyways). We walked around, admired and philosophized around old buildings, got to know a little bit of the night life, saw its people and asked for directions, and… That was it. So to me Aguascalientes was a city where we could pause and take in all that we had done thus far, and trade values and lessons with a fellow traveler. It was all about the self-discovery that we are not able to fully appreciate when rushing through cities and states in the attempts to reach our goal.
One day I might return to Aguascalientes and have a better clue about where to go, what to see, and who to meet up with. So far I’ve been able to make friends in each state with whom I keep in contact and often promise to go back. If I can’t go back, I sure hope to bump into them on another adventure.
P.S. This city has a HUGE bicycle community!