It's the people you meet...

Published: May 2nd 2018
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It's been some time since we last posted a blog, largely because we've ended up staying in San Miguel de Allende for the last month! We unhooked Tortuga from the truck and did a couple of short day trips in the surrounding area, and we also took a bus to the astonishing city of Guanajuato, where we spent a couple of days ambling around the historic centre, but otherwise we've been quite sedentary for a change.
When we first arrived in this beautiful city, we planned on staying for just a couple of nights at the central campground, but before we knew it we'd been here for a week, then two...and then we discovered that if we stayed for 3 weeks we would get the fourth week for free, so it seemed crazy not to! On top of that, we knew our friends Jen and Gav would be passing through San Miguel at the end of April, and we had such a great time with them in Mazatlan, Morelia and Patzcuaro back in Jan/Feb that we really wanted to meet up with them again before they head back to the UK after a 2 year adventure in their Land Rover, Ruby.
Callejon del Beso, GuanajuatoCallejon del Beso, GuanajuatoCallejon del Beso, Guanajuato

The Kissing Alley - so named because at just 67cm wide you could kiss your neighbour across the street if you leaned out from your balcony!

The campground we've been staying at is located just a short walk from the historic centre of the city, and is actually part of a tennis club, so we've been sandwiched between three clay courts for the last month and are usually awoken around 8am by the pitt-patting of tennis balls just a few feet from Tortuga! We've ended up playing quite a few tennis games ourselves, but after decades of no tennis at all, our skills are pretty questionable. The main reason that we've loved staying here is because of the other overland travelers we've befriended: a Swiss couple, Robert and Melanie, travelling for a couple of years with their adorable 4-year-old son Colin; and a German couple, Joachim and Bärbel, who have been in San Miguel for many years and ultimately plan to travel down to South America in their overland rig. Other travelers came and went, but our three groups remained a constant and we now feel as though we have a little family here, and we will be really sad to leave them. We've spent many hours playing football with Colin, having bonfires and BBQs together and the highlight of the last month was celebrating Colin's fourth birthday with a treasure hunt and Spiderman piñata!! We have both commented that while San Miguel is still one of the loveliest places we've been to in Mexico, it's the people we've met here that have really made it such a memorable experience for us. We also found a delightful little café in town where we have become frequent customers and developed a lovely rapport with the staff there - despite an awkward moment when Ken inadvertently implied that there might have been dog meat in his sandwich!! - who delight in mocking Ken's inability to roll his 'R's in the Hispanic way!! With all these lovely people around us, I think we would have had a great time no matter what city we had been in. Having Jen and Gav arrive on Sunday has really been the icing on the cake, and the perfect way to finish off our time in Mexico.

During our many weeks here, we've been trying to work out what to do next, and we've finally settled on a semblance of a plan (we think!): since our house in Colorado is now on the market and still full of our personal belongings,
Posh dinner in GuanajuatoPosh dinner in GuanajuatoPosh dinner in Guanajuato

We were substanially scruffier than any of the other dinner guests...but the food was great and still cheaper than a meal at Denny's!!
and given that we're now almost as close to Colorado as we are to Guatemala, we will make our way back to the US over the next week and empty out the house before we head to South America. We were pretty reluctant to do so, especially as it's frustrating to be heading north again when our final destination is so much further south, but it makes logistical and financial sense to drive back rather than fly, and once we're done with house stuff, we will ship Tortuga down to Colombia from Houston and then fly down there ourselves. At this point it looks as though we will be flying to Colombia sometime in late June, though of course it's all dependent on shipping schedules and availability. Luckily, once our house is empty of our stuff, we'll be able to complete any future sale remotely and won't need to pay for expensive flights between South America and Colorado! As always, our plans change frequently and who knows where we'll be when I write the next blog....

So we leave San Miguel tomorrow and will head slowly towards the Mexico-US border with Jen and Gav, before parting ways in Texas. Mexico has really been a pleasant surprise for both of us, and we never imagined that we would spend almost 4 1/2 months here! Almost without exception, our interactions with Mexicans have been positive and enjoyable, and it's a real shame that there is such a stigma attached to travelling in this wonderful and friendly country. That's not to say that serious problems don't exist, and the much-talked-about cartel violence, while being over-hyped by cable news channels, is definitely an issue that affects the whole country and destroys thousands of lives. But as an exciting destination for travellers wanting to discover the rich culture, history and landscapes of this diverse country, I can't recommend it highly enough. Thank you to everyone who has made our time here so enjoyable, and although we may not have found a place to call home in Mexico, we will surely return in the future to explore it some more....there is so much more to see here.

Thanks for taking the time to follow our trip!

~ Fi and Ken

Additional photos below
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Guanajuato cityGuanajuato city
Guanajuato city

Unlike any other place we've visited in Mexico.
Brasilian cafe in GuanajuatoBrasilian cafe in Guanajuato
Brasilian cafe in Guanajuato

Fi was thrilled to hear some bossa nova and samba music here!
Spiderman pinata!!Spiderman pinata!!
Spiderman pinata!!

Melanie enlisted our help to decorate Colin's pinata but we just ended up making it look like a hairy monster!!
Jen and Gav with their lucha libre masksJen and Gav with their lucha libre masks
Jen and Gav with their lucha libre masks

Good luck crossing the US border, guys!!!
Cafe ZaguanCafe Zaguan
Cafe Zaguan

Our favourite place in San Miguel.

2nd May 2018

Come for spinach quiche when you are back
Patty and I would love to see you again. Your travels helped inspire me to buy a small rv. It is named Zoey.......but really “The Zombie Apocalypse Escape Vehicle.” Patty’s first trip is this weekend to Navajo Lake State Park. Safe Travels.

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