De Canada a Vochorama!
Woke up early to ask a few others for a push start (the long drive seems to have knocked out our starter again) and follow a few other classic VWs over to calle2 (gdl's outdoor convention space). Turns out the two kombis we are following aren't going directly to the show but to a 7eleven to meetup and pre-funk with friends. We took a moment to meet everyone, then continued on. Ended up a bit lost and driving around gdl pre-sunup, pulled up later than planned to see a crazy long line waiting outside. We try to get in the back of the line but realize we are turning the wrong way down a one way and quickly retorno. Since we are heading in the direction of the gate we continue on to see just how long the wait is and get a sneak peak at all the cool cars (10+ huge blocks of two lanes bumper to bumper already). We finally reach the gate and prepare to u-turn when someone whistles, jogs over and tells us to follow them. A few seconds later we are one of three cars escorted past the line, in the gate and one of only a handful of cars setting up inside the show. They point us the direction of a space centerstage, under te awning and among show cars that arrived by truck and are still being uncovered. There may have been some mistake. We totally feel like rock stars, the space is amazing, the sun is rising and the stagehands are actually setting up the music stage 30yards in front of E. Talk about rolling out the red carpet!Over the next few hours the giant empty lots fill in around us with hundreds of cars, from classic vochos and kombis to vanogans and new breeds. Shiny and mirror polish to ratrod with birdnests built in, they come in all kinds. Soon we aren't sure what exactly we've gotten ourselves into- this thing is incredible! We find out later in the day that Vochorama is the world's third largest vw event...outstanding.
Jen spends the morning making dangercards while I try to draw a sign for the bus letting people know where we are from. We blasted through every set of cards Jen churned out and eventually gave up before noon. At one point in the day the entire lot was filled elbow to elbow with spectators walking through, asking questions and posing to snap photos with their favorite cars.
An excellent immersion program for my fledgling spanish skills as almost nobody spoke english, but we continue to be shocked at how interested everyone was in the journey, our backgrounds and what lies next. To a person, everyone here welcomed us as friends, treated us like royalty and generally made us really excited to have made the trip over. We are shocked by how many had already been to the Facebook page and blog and were following the trip since our host, Juan Jose posted a link last week.
By afternoon we are growing weary as we haven't had even a few minutes of downtime without conversation, but the show is turning from gathering to fiesta and the offers for beers y tequilas start coming out. Jen and I take a quick walk around to see other cars and catch our breath, and as we return to the bus one of the staff rushes out to meet us and grabs me by the arm to rush us back to the bus. For a second I panic as karma still isn't feeling well and we have been a bit concerned about her and leaving her alone, but to our (very pleasant) surprise they have named E as one of the finalistas!!
Given ours was the only vehicle we saw with dirt, mud and splattered bugs, I'm fairly certain this was simply a show of friendship and welcome, but it made us feel great on both fronts. We giggle thinking about the fact we push started to get here, I spent part of the day under the bus, and we knew we would be push started on the way out. Either the flashy yellow finalista sticker on the window (or the increase in crowd beverage consumption) led to an increase in requests for us to join people in front of the bus for photos and we chatted a few more hours away while they handed out awards.
By this point we have little energy left and are speaking with the help of a few guys who speak English, and are shocked when they start pushing me toward the stage to collect a trophy. Even with bugs E made the list! We now have a pretty cool trophy to mark this portion of the trip, and a pretty cool photo of Jen receiving it. Apparently custom is for the guy who owns the vehicle to pose for a photo with the Chicas Vochoramas... I don't really need that photo, but a shot of Jen with the Chicas- now that's a keeper.
Jen and I get the crowd to push start us on the way out, find a quiet street in a cool part of town to park and grab a pizza while discussing the last 14 hours. We feel like a huge community of longtime friends got together for a reunion and welcomed us though we had been a part of the group forever. We couldn't have had any more fun if the event was thrown just for us.
For those of you (who I know will write) asking for a karma update, she was wiggling a lot more by the end of the show and even got excited to play with milo the dog before our departure. On the downside- it appears the jen's turn to battle el gripe. :(
Guadalajara, we heart you and your friendly people as much as any of the playas we are so taken with, and we will see you soon.