Location Location Location – what more can I say – I know that phrase so well. It couldn’t be better. Our place is 5 minutes walk to the central square where families gather for fun, singing, dancing and daily rituals of Mexican living.
I really wanted to stay in Guadalajara Centro District but struggled to find anything suitable and so it was, I stumbled by accident on a website called Olivia’s Apartments, it was in Tlaquepaque (pronounced Cluka Paakki).
Initially I wasn’t that excited I have to say.
However digging deeper, I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I saw that a 1 bed apartment with a full kitchen and HOT water was just $125 USD a week, and did I mention the Free Fast WIFI. I booked for 2 weeks!
In N Z it could cost $125 a week just for the WIFI in a motel, if in fact you could actually get connected. Feeling pretty chuffed with myself, we arrived at some ungodly hour of the morning and were met by Olivia herself at the airport. After 30 hours traveling we were pleased to meet her, get to our little casita and just go to bed. After sleep – then food and so straight to the local markets, spend a few dollars and fill the fridge literally! Wow this is Mexican living at it’s best.
Let me tell you about Olivia’s – there is 5 apartments, ours is the smallest with the other 4 being quite a bit larger, some with 2 bedrooms and outdoor decks. (translation fresh air) I do wish we had spent a little more for some outdoor space. Our apartment is very adequate, has a lounge kitchen and a separate bedroom, although noisy, it’s right on the street ( I’m practicing being mexican and living with the noise and lack of privacy), we have hot water in the shower but not the kitchen.
We have fans but not air con and there’s not a lot of light or fresh air. We struggle a wee bit with that – but this is Mexico. We can cook, we have gas and a microwave! We have a walk in robe and a huge shower, the water smells funny and my hair is feeling the effects of mexican water.
We have great neighbours – Robert from Texas and Gary and Betty from Portland. It seems there’s quite community that frequent Olivia’s from various parts of the US and already we have joined in neighbourly fashion as you do for drinks, dinner and lively discussions about our respective lives.
To get to Centro Historico of Guadalajara we take local 647 bus for 6 pesos,(55c) takes about 20 minutes, the airport is about 20 mins, or traveling elsewhere in Mexico the first class bus station is about 10 mins by taxi. This place is perfect, not to mention the daily action in the streets, the party in the square every night, we are comfortable.
Tlaquepaque is the major centre for arts and crafts, an historic centre full of colonial era churches, old mansions, colorful gardens, warm and friendly residents, and with spring like weather all year long it’s a lovely destination.
Tlaquepaque and Olivia’s Apartments have been a great introduction to mexican life… I have a feeling we will be back back one day.