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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Mexican High Sierra

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Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Famous and exciting colonial towns are to the north of Guadalajara so we took ten days to visit them. Our trip through the High Sierra in Central Mexico brought us through 4 Mexican States: Jalisco, Zacatecas, Aguas Caliente and Guanajuato.

Leaving the Guadalajara bus terminal this time on a 1st class Ejectivo Bus with movies, comfortable reclining seats and refreshments made for a hassle-free journey to our first stop, Zacatacas.

 

320 Pesos each bought us tickets from Guadalajara directly to the illustrious colonial city of Zacatecas. Leaving at 9 a.m., we arrived at our destination 5 hours later.

 

Just north west of Guadalajara is the town you've all heard of, Tequila. These rolling fields are filled with the bluish agave cactus plants used in the production of this notable beverage bearing the same name as the town.

 

40 Pesos for a taxi took us to Hostal Colonial, centrally located in the city of Zacatecas. We paid 250 Pesos for a decent doubles room with private bath, cable TV, wifi and use of kitchen. The attractive upstairs terrace gave us this spectacular view of the main Cathedral. A small kitchen is on this floor as well. Downstairs there was a sitting room and access to a full book exchange.

Not bad, hmmm?

 

Taking the 27 Peso Teleferico ride to Cerro de la Bufa's summit will give you a full view of Zacatecas city. At almost 8,000 feet in elevation, the weather is much cooler than what we are used to in Chapala.

 

Zacatecas is known as 'la ciudad de cantera rosa' or 'the city made of pink stone'. These rose colored stones make the town's architecture most unique and eye catching.

 

After 3 days, we moved on to the much smaller and more manageable city of Jerez. A surprisingly delightful country town, Jerez is about as traditionally Mexican as it gets.

We were continuously impressed at the friendliness of the natives as well as the pride they took in Mexico's customs. Here artisans make the embroidered piteado belts coveted by traditional Latino men all over the world. The art of piteado dates to the last decade of the 19th Century, and a good quality genuine piteado belt can easily cost several hundred dollars.

 

Our hotel, El Jardin, located right on the main plaza, had a lovely restaurant with excellent food. Here we are taking a lunch break, catching up on email and looking through our guide book for places of interest.

 

One of the things we enjoy doing in a new city or town, is to simply hop on a local bus or two and ride through its entire route. We see people and places that otherwise we would have missed and this costs a fraction of the price of a scheduled tour. Of course we have no idea where the bus is headed but that's all part of the adventure. And, it gives us a sense of the whole town and how it's laid out.

 

After a couple of days in Jerez we made our way to Guanajuato where Akaisha found a friend.

Guanajuato is charming, with art, theater, cafes and bronze statues everywhere. Simply captivating!

 

Stunning architecture is throughout the city, with beautifully decorated Plazas. All of this is within easy walking distance of everything you might need or want.

Free tickets for performances were being given out to people on the street so the theaters would be filled. We also enjoyed a free orchestra concert in the stylish plaza in front of this theater.

 

One of the many attractive Plazas in Guanajuato. This plaza is in front of Teatro Juarez and is where the orchestra played that afternoon.

These appealing places are perfect to sit and people-watch, listen to music in the central gazebo, or have lunch in the many cafes that line the square.

 

Letting off a little hot air!

Led by the local fire department, these guys were driving through the street promoting the hot air balloon festival that weekend. The heat from this burner could be felt 50 meters away.

 

We spent 15 Pesos per person each way to go up the Funicular Panoramico to see the monument to Pipilo.

Pipilo is a revered revolution martyr who tied a stone slab on his back protecting him from Spanish bullets and crawled to the grain-holding building they were occupying during the Mexican Revolution. He set fire to the gates and while the Spaniards choked on smoke, the rebels moved in to take this military stronghold.

What a view of the city from this monument location!

 

For us, ten days is not a lot of time for a journey. We were pressed to make only a day visit to the famous city of San Miguel de Allende, which is considered a Mexican playground for foreign retirees. Regular festivals, fireworks and parades dominate activities here.

 

The city itself is tidy with cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. However, economically, this is no budget destination with prices far above what we found in the other cities on our trip. Fancy shops, sassy B&B's and cosmopolitan restaurants will beckon for your dinero. The temptation and attraction is strong, so it will take discipline not to spend.

 

Notice again the lovely pink stone so amply used in these parts, this time for the cathedral in the main square.

Arches, cafes and churches were abundant in San Miguel de Allende, but time was a constriction and we needed to head back to Chapala, our current home town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
 

Aaaaahhhh.... the simple life!

Walks down the newly updated malecon which imitates the European Riviera,
Chapala is a city where pricing is within reach of any number of retiree expressions of paradise.

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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