Guachinmontones

by spaghettipirate

Saturday was the trip (and a nod) to my history.

Well, in the Spanglish snese of the word, at least.

Rememeber how I said that there were few and far inbetween archeological sites in Guadalajara?

Well it turns out that since 1979 I have been wrong. This is a brand new site in terms of archeological discoveries and timelines, but if today is any indication to go by, it will go far and do well in the coming years.

The site, as the title of this post may tell you is called the Guachinmontones. Pronounced in a garbled the Spanish way – and you “Gwa-chiin-mon-ton-es” The name comes from a mix of Spanish and Nawatl which means the mountain of the “guachines”; which are a type of tree.

While the ticket is nothing like the tickets they give you in Mexico City or Cancun, their museum far outstrips any of the other arechological museums I have been too.

The whole family – save for one cousin – came along for the day trip, and my grandmother was able to hang out in the air conditioning while my aunts and I took our somewhat leisurely stroll around the site.

Which is nothing simple to get to, because after the 20 minute documentary of the site that the museum screened, it was a mere 350 meter climb to get to the site.

My grandmother was given permission to take a car ride to the top – the rest of us had to hoof it.

While Aunt 2 and Uncle 1 were in no mood to listen to the tour guide – Aunt 3 and 1, cousin and myself all stayed to listen to the half truths of the tour guide that was provided.

I only say half truths because the site is new and while they say things like the Guachintecos (i kid you not with the name) did not make human sacrifices and played the ball game to resolve their disputes, I beleive that we’re all human at heart, and we all need to and like to make war.

The tour guide also did not include a session about the astrology/numerology of the site, but I would find it a very hard pill to swallow if they too did not have superstitions about the number 52 and Tlaloc and Quetzacoatl – as it has been found in every (count that six) different site.

Still, she gave a good 50 minute tour and answered all of our questions as best as she could. Because the site has not been given full funding for restoration, we were allowed to climb one of the pyramids to take in the landscape.

Unfortuantely this pyramid was brought to its knees in the 1950s when the Mexicans were building their highway that cuts through the town of XXX. they stumbled across this big pile of rocks and thought, “hey free!”. At the moment it provides us with access to one of these cake layered pyramids, but on the other hand, its impressive to see the cut out of the stone. I also have a hard time beleiving these 1950s people didnt see the stairs and carefully placed stone surrounding the pyramid.

Or if they did, they just didnt care enough to do anything about it until the government stepped in.

The pyramids look like a lego cake, but circular. They are surrounded by 10 to 12 square platforms, which they say were other temples surrounding the major one, to get closer to their gods.

Here, the big god is not of rain, but of wind. And I do wonder why. (Questions, questions, always questions)

My theory is that Tlaloc stil reigns supreme.

So after our snapshots, (and as it turns out we were up there for almost 2 hours), we came down to a hungry family, who while we were drinking in the architectural history of Jalisco, had gone out to buy an assortment of goods.

We settled on a place by a lake not to far from the site and in town. They served seafood, and because I was feeling gutsy and because I believe you must try everything once with an open mind (and in this case mouth and stomach) I ordered frog legs.

And they were tasty!

The meat feels more like chicken, but while this doesnt say much, its a soft flavor that only comes through in the end. And with the garlic seasoning, I found it delicious. They are light and not greasy, and it turns out uncle 1 too loves them. the one odd thing I found was that the taste was more of fish, and a little damp, but in no way overwhelming or unplesant.

So now I can say that I have knocked that off my list of foods to try, and that it was for the better, and I would happily eat another plate. The best dish by far, however, was my aunt’s “coco salmon” which ate almost like a dessert.

We all piled back into the car and those in my car went to eat ice cream.

Specifically, gelato.

And specificaly a portion size equivilant to that found in Italy. (Huge).

Happy and full, I came home to a phone call with the parents, and would spend a good while talking to them about the last few days, and my impending departure to home.

The rest of the evening would be spent watching movies from “Calendar Girls” to “the Quartet” and rounding out the evening (at no less than 02.00) with “the best exotic marigold hotel”

if you notice a theme, you’d be correct, but I can say that while the British like to recycle their 20 different actors (and I feel sometimes its less than that haha) they are all splendid movies and I reccomend them to those who have not yet seen them.

turns out Aunt 2 has pretty good taste in movies,

and so sunday would bring our departure from Guadalajara.

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