Thursday, March 31, 2016

Texas Has Speed Traps

So here I was doing 66 (cruise control) in a 70 or 75 zone near Catarina, TX when I saw a huge "Slow Down For Corner" sign a block or so ahead. I took my foot off the gas to slow down for the 90 degree corner and suddenly there were flashing lights in my mirror. The young cop pulled me over to tell me I was still doing 61 when I passed the 45 speed limit sign he was hiding behind! I have to wait 10 days and mail in a money order for $238.10 US. Ouch! If I was doing 15 MPH over the limit it would have been less. You would think he could have at least given me that break!

The system is designed to make it difficult or impossible for travelers / tourists to defend themselves. First they make you wait ten days before they will even acknowledge the ticket and secondly, any dispute must be made in person. So to argue it I would have to either stay here close to Dimmit County for ten days or return in ten days to fight the $238 fine. It is simply not worth it to me and they know that. It would cost much more than that to stay or return (plus all the inconvenience).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Back In The USA!

Back in the USA! Crossing went quick. Only got lost once getting out of Monterrey when the road split but Ms Garmin wouldn't say anything. No problem, just a five minute delay finding Av. Universidad again.

We checked into the Red Roof Hotel in Laredo where we stayed on the way down. It is a nice hotel, clean, quiet and a good bed for $56 USA after taxes. We did not feel like going out so we had buns, cheese and left over salad for a quick dinner in the room. Not sure how far we will get tomorrow but it will be west.

Final Glimpses of SMA

First, a car wash. 60 pesos ($3.50 US / $4.50 CAN). It took two people almost an hour to make it spotless inside and out.

Next a walk to the "Gringo Market"

Smoked salmon on a bagel! That looks like a good snack.

Get that one Norma, it will be good with cheese.

Salsas and fillings for our Gorditas

This is how you eat it Norma!

Dr. Juan added a taco to his order.

Everybody smile! Say Queso!

A final (and best) view of La Parroquia de San Miguel Arc├íngel

Monday, March 28, 2016

SMA Vacation Over!

Our week in San Miguel de Allende is over too soon. We got up early on Sunday, loaded the car and headed out by 7:30 AM. It is Samana Santa (Holly Week) so traffic was heavy and there were many inspections along the way, all of which we were waved through. As we approached the turnoff for Linares the traffic came to a stop. Impatient drivers immediately took to the shoulder and the ditch turning the two lane road into a four lane! We sat in line for two hours before making the turnoff. It was 7:30 PM when we pulled into Chris and Juan's driveway! 12 hours on the road!

We will take advantage of our friend's hospitality for a day or two before heading back to Mesa, AZ and our motorhome.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hot Springs and Revolution

We picked up Steve and Robin at their RV Park this morning and headed for a swim at La Gruta Hot Springs. It is a holiday here so it was crowded but the people were friendly and the water hot. We had breakfast in their restaurant and then soaked and socialized for a while and then headed into the dark tunnel to the Grotto. You feel your way along the wall, rubbing shoulders (at least I hope they were shoulders) along the pitch black passage into the much hotter grotto. It was so humid in there the water was dripping off the ceiling causing Robin to comment that she never realized it was possible to sweat in a swimming pool.

Next we headed for the nearby town of Dolores Hidalgo where, at 5:00 AM on September 16, 1810 Father Miguel Hidalgo rang his church bell, calling his congregation to hear his “Grito de Dolores", the call to arms to end the Spanish occupation of his beloved Mexico.

His Church in Dolores Hidalgo is recognized as the birthplace of the Revolution and is the destination of millions of Mexican people who make the pilgrimage to see where it all started. If any of you think that Father Hidalgo was acting on behalf of the Church or that the Church had any sympathy for the millions of aboriginals tortured and murdered by the pious Spaniards, you would be wrong. The "Holy Church" supported Spain in their conquest and enslavement of the Mexican people and quickly excommunicated Hidalgo when they heard of his revolt. Today Hidalgo is honoured as the ‘‘Father of the Nation’’.

The Grotto

Father Hidalgo's Church

The Potter

Ice Cream!

The Bell!

Last Night We Were Gringos

Chris said, "Let's splurge a little tonight. We have been good so far, lets get dressed up a bit and go to the Rosewood Rooftop Bar for ONE glass of wine!" The Rosewood is popular amongst the expat community and it's prices reflect this fact. We took a taxi, went to the desk and were told there would be a half hour wait but we could sit in the downstairs bar until they called us. Wine was the same price downstairs (140 - 250 pesos per glass) but with no view.

Finally we were escorted to the elevator and taken to the rooftop where we sat and ordered three 150 peso vodkas and another 140 peso merlot (me). The views were wonderful and the sun was going down which brought out the colours of the city. The rooftop bar was full, mostly tourists talking like, "George, I like it here. They speak American!", along with a very few Mexicans. The light was perfect so we took a few photos.

Then we left in another cab, stopping for a very nice dinner at Pegaso. It was much more expensive than the normal evenings have been but sometimes you just have to Put On The Ritz!

Norma, Strike A Pose!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yesterday in San Miguel

We had a lazy morning with a light breakfast and then went to La Aurora, an art gallery where we met Steve and Robin. Norma, with some encouragement from Robin, talked herself into a very expensive pre-birthday gift. We all then stopped at the gallery coffee bar for some specialty coffees, caught a bus from the gallery and headed downtown to meet blogger Barbara (Babs Of San Miguel) for lunch. You do not want to drive a car downtown with it's narrow streets and rare but expensive parking. Buses and taxies are cheaper and convenient.

We joined up again at the rental for a wonderful dinner of salmon, shrimp and salad. Oh yes, and some wine. It was a great day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Market Day

There is a Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Yesterday was Tuesday so why not?

Group Shot - San Ramone

Group shot from last night. Steve Johnson, Terri & Mike Church, Chris Bauer. Robin Johnson, Norma, Croft, Juan Manuel Guerra — with Chris Bauer and Juan Manuel Guerra.

We had an unexpected but pleasant visit from Mike and Terri who wrote the Mexico travel 'Bible' and who happened to be staying at the San Ramone RV Park with Steve and Robin. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016