Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well this will be the last post about our trip to Mexico for 2012. We are now back home so cheers to all our friends and followers.
Well its time to head back to the boats. We found this sign in one of the cafes and thought it was amusing.

As we left we were able to see the monument that marks the geographical center of Mexico.

The Town of Leon is one of the major manufacturers of shoes for Mexico and North America. Numerous small trucks drove by our bus with their boxes full of moulds,for shoes, boots and what looked like boxes of shoes that were going to be shipped. No matter how Debbie asked the rest of the crew always responded `no we will not stop so you can buy new shoes.


Finally the last transfer,  Debbie is looking forward to getting back to the boat and not worrying about keeping the group of 6 entertained and on schedule for tours, meals and buses.

Got back to the boat to find we needed to wash a few items before we could start heading back to Mazatlan.  Hand washing was not in the job description on the lastest job posting for crew on the boat. Except we were not happy with the laundry lady so out come the bucket and plunger.

Did we eat we ate on the street, we find that if its been bbq and a little burnt looking it will be ok.

Some places as we ate we had people singing their hearts out to be paid 10 pesos which is about .70 cents. Some are good and some not so good.

Deep  Fried pork skin  with hot sauce Lynn and I passed so did Tom and Pam

 Hmmm  Hmmmm Good!!

Fine dinning  with live Jazz band later in the evening.

We all tried the green Yucca( Bread Plant fruit) non of us liked it to much but the banana, coconut and water melon were always a hit.

The bus trip from Guanajuato to San Miguel was about 2hours. Debbie had booked us in to a hotel that fronted onto the Plaza Principal. Here we were able to walk to most museums, numerous shops and just enjoy the people that were in the Plaza.   Lynn and I think this pink Church of St Micheal Arcangel is more ornate on the exterior when compared to other churches in Mexico.

The bells seem to ring non  stop as it was lent and services were being held ever other hour and if these bells were not ringing  then others were.

 The Statues inside the church and other churches  were very life like.

No matter where we have been in Mexico there is always someone touching and praying in front of a Saint.

The town of San Miguel is home to numerous expats that are very artistic. We found numerous stores selling the artists paintings, statues, hand woven clothing, home furnishing, ladies clothing, jewelery antique stores as well as the normal  Mexican tourist stuff.

Now we are not sure what men do for clothing as we never found any men's stores.  We also found that because of the high number of non-Mexicans living here that prices in all the stores are very high.

The square had the normal colorful Mexican items for sale.

We toured a couple of museums including one about Old Toys of Mexico

 Most were made out of wood or paper-mache, but quite a few had movable parts and they never seemed to mix  boys and girls on the toys.

As we sat around watching the people in the square we could have enjoyed the famous San Miguel Ice Cream which is sold on many corners of the city, but the weather was not really ice cream eating weather. We will tell you that,they have flavors you would never have thought of.


Thursday night we headed out for supper with plans to follow the musicians as they played and danced through the streets. then Friday we were going to visit a few more places and then head out to the next town on Saturday.  Well they say sailors plans are written in sand at low tide. For you land lubbers it means plans can change.  We had a great meal but missed following the musicians.

Lynn and Tom heading up before the night excitement, Only 3 more flights to go

So we headed back to our hotel
around 9:00pm. Lynn and I watched a movie till about 11:30pm and then put in our ear plugs as the Karaoke bar across the street from our room party till 5:00am. Well around 12:30am we hear a lot of banging going on outside the hotel room.  We finally get out of bed to find Ted pounding on our door.  It seems a propane line ruptured and was burning down the line. We quickly gathered up our belongings and headed down the 4 flights of stairs in our bare feet.  Now we should mention that this building was the original mint so its about 400 years old walls are made of stone. The roof had some type of cloth over the courtyard areas and some stairs and fixtures were made of wood. So we were not in that much danger. At least that what we told our selves.  The stair cases did not wind in a normal fashion so you had to cross over from side to side in the building.

We think it took them about 20 to arrive. It is probably a volunteer fire department. 

Ted and Lynn speaking with one of the top hotel men, He was explaining what had happened and what the plans for us would be.

Aren't we a happy bunch at 3:00am. Lessons learned from this experience.  1. Do not have stuff all over your hotel room. 2. Make sure you know how to get out .  3. Do not assume that old buildings have smoke detectors, emergency lights etc. 4. When asked to leave and no one knows where you will spend the rest of night, it is probably just as easy to  find a place on your own.

Needless to say we moved to another hotel around 4:30

Our only injury was a large bruise on her arm.

We were all up for breakfast at 9:30 and buying bus tickets to move on to the next town at noon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

We hired a tour guide and headed to Dolores Hidalgo. This where the planning all began for the Independence movement ,for it was here that Father Hidalgo gave his historical call for  Freedom or as the Mexicans say Grito. Along the way we stopped at a wood furniture shop and then on to one of the world famous Talavera pottery shops.

Our guide pulled up to the parking lot we all piled out and headed into the back of the building where the factory was located. No one stopped us are asked us any questions as we wondered around the factory.

Here the items have just come out of the forms and then they are sanded down one by one

Once there are no rough edges they are sent over to where they are dunked into a glaze that will accept the paint for the designs.

Here there were over 50 people hand painting the designs not s stencil in site.

 There were 2 large semi- trailers parked out in the lot waiting to be loaded with pottery to head north

We noticed that there were a lot of frogs, that were being shipped out ,we found out that frogs are considered lucky.  Next we headed to the tile factory where there was not a sole around, so we were not sure where they were making the tiles.

We then toured the Famous Atotonilco Sanctuary  it`s a beautiful 18th century Church known as the Mexican Sistine Chapel. This church is still used by the monks who will come out here for months on end , praying and what ever else is expect of them.

Just down the street was a row of little shops selling anything religious that you might like to have or leave behind as you prayed to god for what ever you might need help with.

The ceiling was covered with painting and phases, in another section there were statues of the killing of Christ and painting that dated back to the early 18th century. This area was very dark and a no flash area so no pictures were taken.

We do not think that we have been in a church yet ,that did not have at least one stained glass window some are very old while others are new. Yet they all catch your eye when you are scanning the Churches. Now it might be because they are so colorful while usually the rest of the church will be very ornate with carving either in straight wood or painted gold.

We took tours, and explored by ourselves some of the sites we saw.

We wonder how clean these clothes will be once this man is done spraying black paint on the metal railing

Hoping to grow up to be a miner

This was the store room for the old Bocca mine it has now been turned into a bar area

Beautiful old wagon that was used rather then installing a power pole

We toured Deigo Rivera Museum , the house he was born in

These two jokers felt they had waited long enough and need $$ for coffee if we were going to be much longer

The former Granary was the first victory of the rebel war. Tthe rough spots on the walls are gun shot holes,
 Once the Spanish captured the four leaders of the revolution they were decapitated  and their heads were hung on each corner of the building.