I survived -still alive - thank GOD there is a GOD

Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
1
10
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Trip End Jun 10, 2012


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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/burtonx2/5/1323738234/tpod.html#ixzz1hOp9GIYB

Covered 610K on Tuesday, yesterday, for a total of 4,702K to end my Mexican road trip.
Last leg of the trip was from 6:00 am to 12:30 pm -  6 1/2 hours seems like nothing now...

Drive into San Miguel de Allende about 12:30 pm, in the middle of the noon hour traffic rush.

Traffic was bumper to bumper for the 10K into downtown San Miguel, referred to as colonial San Miguel or San Antonio - the designated world heritage site...

Once in downtown San Miguel, the streets are very narrow and are made of rocks, not cobblestone but rocks, and are very rough to drive on and very rough to walk on, especially in sandals...The sidewalks are about 2 ft. wide, very narrow....The buildings are built right to the edge of the sidewalk and are anywhere from 20 ft.to 50 ft. tall. You feel like you are driving down a tunnel,
and there is lots of people walking on the streets - because the sidewalks are so narrow...
Hence the traffic jam and jams..

Parked on the street - parking is free, no parking meters - parking meters would destroy the old historic colonial appearance of this Designated World Heritage Site - woweee, thank God for small mercies.....

My first mission is to eat something and maybe have a sleep.
My second mission is to find my Condo, the Casita,
that I have pre-rented, move in and go to bed and go to sleep...

Get out of the car, walking is better than driving, and take a bag with a bag of potato chips, a chocolate bar and a coke and go and sit in a nice park and relax (I had been driving since 6:00 am in the morning and had only got 4 hours sleep the nite before and the last 10 K into San Miguel had been one big, long traffic jam) and have lunch....Can't relax, there is a million yelling screaming kids running around (apparently it is the start of their 3 week Xmas vacation from school) and numerous beggars wanting me to give them money. I am in no mood to be charitable. See a very large church a few blocks away that appears to be in the centre of town... All Mexican town's have a town square in the centre of town, which is referred to as the Zocola. It is usually some kind of meeting place and is usually filled with people.The biggest church is usually on one side of the central square, The Zocola, the city hall on the other side and if it is a capital of a state or of the country, a state capital or country capital building (referred to as the Governor's or President's palace) on the other side of the Zocola...

I start walking over to the Zocola and big church, which is difficult because the narrow streets are packed with people and cars, it is the Xmas holidays - or maybe it is just always like this...... it is not an option for me to drive through these very narrow, packed, rock streets, with horrendous speed bumps that hit the bottom of your car no matter how slow you go over them, and many of the streets are one way or blocked off for some reason, when I have absolutely no idea where I am and where I am going. Driving in Mexico with its rock roads, horrendous speed bumps and steep mountain roads and high speeds must shorten the life of cars in Mexico and probably the lives of some of their drivers tooooo...

On my walk over to the Zocola, I see a building that is designated as the Public Library. I have read up on San Migeul and know that this is the largest English speaking library outside of the U.S.A. and Canada in the Western World. It is the English speaking community's cultural centre and meeting place.There is supposedly about 15,000 English speaking people in the San Miguel area.
I go in and check it out. Mexican buildings are often, usually, built like a square, with a large outdoor courtyard in the middle of the square - a little bit of privacy and a private park for the people in the building...

Look around the library's out door courtyard, there are numerous tables and chairs with people sitting at them and relaxing and reading or doing something. They have wireless internet here so that a number of people are doing something on their laptop computers. Most of the staff are English speaking volunteers... Ask where I can get a map of San Migeul - I want to find out where I am, where my Casita is and how I can get there. The English speaking volunteers are not very helpful, or even very friendly...Finally someone suggests that I buy a map at the library's book store. Go to the library bookstore to buy a map of San Migeul - the bookstore is out of maps of San Miguel... big surprise........
The library bookstore person suggests that I try to get a map of San Miguel at the tourist information office, which is across the street from the Zocala, where I was headed anyway.
It is just two or three blocks away - enjoy walking after being in the car for 7 days...

The tourist information office is out of maps of San Miguel - big surprise....
There is a little tiny map of downtown San Miguel - the colonial San Miguel - San Antonio in one of the tourist fliers. I show the tourist bureau person the address of my pre-rented casita, which is 3 Pila Seca No.# 9. He is Mexican, friendly and helpful. He knows where it is. It is off of the map, but the tourist bureau location is on the map and over half of my route to the casita is on the tiny little map. He gives me detailed instruction on how to get to my casita - it is about 12 blocks away.

I walk over to my casita. Prefer to walk over to my casita first rather than drive in case there is problems finding it and to scout out the route to my casita.. After a few relatively minor probleys I find the casita. No one is there. I leave a note on the door that I will be back at 6:00pm.
Note: I had sent the landlord an email from Laredo that I would meet him there at 6:00pm that day.
San Migeul is on the side of a steep mountain - the walk to the casita was downhill - steep and easy - the walk to my car is uphill - steep and hard - I like to walk fast, but find that does not really work when I am walking up a steep hill - pace myself - slow and easy does it - although I do find going slow when I am in a hurry is frustrating....Drive to my casita with a minimum of problems
- I am already starting to adjust and adopt to my new environment...my new reality....
Park the car right in front of my casita door and get out. The landlord drives up behind me - what incredibly good luck - it is just a coincidence - it is 2:00pm in the afternoon and the arrangement was that I would meet him there at 6:00pm..

I move into my casita.... I am completely moved in by 3:00pm..

My landlord is an American from Chicago who has lived here permanently for more then 10 years...
He is very friendly and talks a lot (maybe too much)... hope that he does not read this travelblog
My next door neighbour (actually downstairs neighbour) is a woman from Kansas City, same landlord, who has also lived here for more then 10 years.
She is into Zumba, says that it is her life, is very friendly and talks a lot (maybe too much).....
--- hope that she does not read this travelblog....
It has been my experience that Americans talk more than Canadians
and that women talk more than men...... hope no women read this travelblog.....
They both seem to be very busy - he is a volunteer president, and organizer and initiator of a very ambitious project to educate underprivileged children....I will put the project website in my travelblog when I get time....it is quite interesting...
Anyway, my first day in San Miguel is not over yet - I will continue it in my next travelblog entry....

Adios Amigo's
For Now

Mexico Dave..
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Comments

Randal Marlin on

Great reporting, Dave.
You make the experience vivid and memorable.
So very different from the idyllic picture I had in my mind of San Miguel.

burtonx2
burtonx2 on

Randall

Glad to hear that you are following the travelogue and enjoying it...

Have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year Randall
And Drop By and See Me If You Get A Chance....
3 Pila Seca No.# 9
San Maguel de Allende
Mexico

Simon on

I like hearing of your experience on the ground....very informative and enlightening.
Your writing is direct, fresh and entertaining.
All the BEst...I look forward to further entrees....Senor Dave

burtonx2
burtonx2 on

Thank You Very Much Simon For Your Very Kind Words........
I Miss "Early Birds" But There Is An Absolutely Unbelieveable Substitute
Here In San Miguel That Is Very Similar To "Early Birds"..
I Am A Very Lucky Man In More Ways Than One.......

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