Swearing off San Miguel

YEARS AGO a friend said we were in a rut, that the two of us rarely did anything different and new. He was correct.

He was referring to travel, but the accusation likely was accurate in other life activities. I attribute it mostly to age. I used to enjoy travel far more than I do now.

I wonder if I’m becoming as big a fuddy-duddy as was my father all his life. He thought if you’ve seen one city you’ve seen them all. He didn’t want to go anywhere. Of course, that’s ridiculous. There’s a huge difference, for instance, between Houston and nearby New Orleans and even San Antonio, Texas.

I’ve never been to Omaha, but I bet it’s quite a switch from San Francisco.

I was sitting in the central plaza of Mérida years ago, or was it Puebla? I recall looking around and thinking that I could be sitting in the plaza of any Mexican colonial city. Why did I blow airfare and hotel costs to come here?

Colonial Mexican cities are indeed quite similar.

But I have decided to branch out a bit, travel-wise. Not to do it more often, but to go to new places. Part of this change is the decision to never, ever visit the silly city of San Miguel de Allende again. Never, never, never.

It had become a habit, a pattern, on deciding to get off the mountaintop for a spell, to go either to Zihuatanejo on the Pacific Coast or to San Miguel de Allende. They are about the same distance from the Hacienda, but in opposite directions. We were in a rut. Didn’t really give much thought to other options.

With rare exceptions, when we travel we drive. We don’t fly. If memory serves, the last time we flew anywhere, it was to Mérida in 2013, just a year after we flew to Havana for our 10th anniversary. Both jaunts were on Interjet, a nice airline, by the way.

I’m not going to swear off Zihuatanejo because a beach is a beach, and it’s the nearest beach. We’ve gone to Zihua so often, however, that it’s getting a bit ho-hum.  And you’ll sweat your ass off. We haven’t been there in three years.

But we’re swearing off San Miguel. No more. Enough is enough. In spite of having some great restaurants, places you don’t easily find elsewhere in Mexico, it’s just a laughable town inhabited by some Mexicans and lots of goofy Gringos who parade around in funny clothing. It’s amusing at first, but that wears off.

I’m making a list of new places to visit. We’ll be driving, and they are either one day or two days away. We’ll spend one night en route for those two-day spots.

Having just begun this project, the list is short:

  1. Guadalajara. Oddly, we are a bit closer to Guadalajara, Mexico’s second city, than we are to Mexico City. Yet we’ve been to Mexico City a thousand times, and I’ve not been to Guadalajara in 17 years, and just briefly then. My child bride and I have never been there together.
  2. Xilitla, San Luis Potosí. This idea came from one of The Moon‘s frequent visitors, Peggy Langdon. She went to Xilitla once, and I saw her mention of it on Facebook. There’s a place called Las Pozos in Xilitla. I want to see that.
  3. Zacatecas. I’ve been there just once, many years ago. It’s my wife’s favorite Mexican city, and she’s been to most of the biggies. She’s visited every state save one, Quintana Roo. She racked up those trips as a result of her 14 years working as a civil engineer for the federal highway department. She loves Zacatecas, and we can visit Aguascalientes at the same time. Trivia Department: Zacatecas is Mexico’s northernmost Colonial city.
  4. Tequila, Jalísco. This idea came from Steve Cotton who visited there recently. It looks like a fun place. This would be a two-day drive. We’d likely overnight in the Gringo-infested town of Ajijic or nearby. Ajijic, like the aforementioned San Miguel de Allende, is always good for eye-rolling.

That’s the entire list for now. I’m open to suggestions. New places would have to be within a two-day drive. My ideal one-day drive is six hours max. More than six hours turns a drive into an ordeal in my book.

Don’t suggest places that require planes. If I get on a plane, I’m going to Colombia, not to the other side of Mexico.

As for San Miguel, I wish you well, amigos. Try to get on without me. I won’t miss you, but thanks for the hilarity you’ve provided through the years.

58 thoughts on “Swearing off San Miguel

  1. I have been to both Omaha and San Francisco. Lots of difference in those two.

    Please add one more MX trip: Oaxaca. I know, too far. Just get on the damn bus. They’re great in MX. We rode from MX City to Oaxaca City and would do it again. Pick the Ejecutivo class bus. Take some snacks. They furnish the music. Talk to some Zapotecs. I know a couple if you want suggestions.

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    1. Last January. we flew on Interjet from MEX to OAX. The flight was just over an hour and pleasant. The lovely flight attendant ladies made the flight very pleasant. There was free, ice cold beer. The downside was that we got to the airport hours ahead of boarding. The check-in line seemed endless, but after an hour or so, we got checked in. We still had excess time before the call for boarding.

      For our return to CDMX about 3 weeks later, we decided to take an ADO bus. We paid full fare as there were no INAPAM discount buses departing at a civilized hour.

      We prepared for the 6-hour-plus ride by buying some Subway sandwiches in the Oaxaca ADO terminal. Don’t sneer: They are tasty and wholesome (depending on which you choose). As usual, the scenic parts of the journey were in the first third. There are dramatic canyons and wild mountain peaks.

      The circuit around Puebla is industrial. The final approach to the TAPO bus station in Mexico City is dreary.

      Note that the guy who leads you to your official taxi expects to be tipped. You might not find the taxi stand without a guide. This does not occur at Terminal Poniente/Observatorio. You gotta know the territory.

      Saludos,
      Don Cuevas

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      1. Don Cuevas: Free beer on an airline? Jeez, where was that back in my drinking days? Just as well, I guess. But you describe some of the very reasons why I’ve avoided airports for years now. If I get on another airliner, I’ll be headed to Colombia. And a bus ride of six hours is a bit extreme for my long, aging legs. I find the four-hour ride from Morelia to Mexico City a physical challenge.

        Sneer at Subway sandwiches? Not a prayer. We buy them at the Central Norte every time we return from Mexico City. Best option in the bus station by a mile. Sneer indeed. Remember who’s the foodie here (prone to food sneers) and who’s the regular guy. That would be me. Big Subway fan. I was saddened when the Subway closed here in town.

        I’ve never set foot in the TAPO station.

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    2. Ricardo: You lost me when you said they furnish the music. I don’t even like live music in restaurants. If I want a concert, I’ll go to a concert. If I go to a restaurant, I just want to eat. If I want a bus ride, I want just a quiet bus ride where I can read my Kindle in peace. Of course, doing anything in peace in this country can be a challenge. We are noisy people.

      Back to Oaxaca, a word I rarely can spell without checking elsewhere, I have long wanted to visit there. I have not for two reasons: One, the distance. Two, it seems to be almost always in a state of civil unrest. Blocked roads, you name it. Protesting leftist teachers. Of course, I realize that most of the time it’s not like that, but you never know when it will be like that. And … it’s a long way off. Maybe one day.

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      1. Señor, the music is controlled by you, including selecting on or off.

        Subway sandwiches are great. Which Wich are even better, but I never saw one in MX.

        Just get out of that deep rut ya’ll live in and go on over to Oaxaca. It’s almost always spelled the same. And, it’s one of the most unique and interesting areas of that big country you live in. We will be going back — Interjet from San Antonio, TX to MX, then Interjet to Oaxaca City. Bus rides can be great, but one is enough.

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        1. Ricardo: Never heard of Which Wich. I see it was formed in Texas in 2003, a few years after I abandoned the United States, so that explains why I never heard of it. As you note, it does not seem to exist in Mexico.

          I’ve been a little surprised after writing this post to remember all of the places we have visited, but they were mostly years ago before my wife started her pastry business. That’s what’s slowed us down, travel-wise. She can skip a week with no problem, but since she goes at it regularly it’s been kind of a psychological brake on traveling. Need to get out of that.

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  2. Interesting you mentioned Colombia. I’ve been doing some research into other places to go besides Mexico. After 10 years and over two years total spent in Mexico we need a break. Isla Mujeres used to be quiet, uncrowded and relatively cheap. Not anymore. The place is overrun by day-tripping idiots. I had heard that Medellin, Colombia, was very safe now compared to the Escobar cocaine cartel days. It’s a toss-up between there and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Long and expensive flights to get there but, as you say, time to kick myself in the rump and see more of the world while we are physically able to. Good luck wherever you end up going.

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    1. Brent: I know a couple of folks here who’ve been to Colombia a number of times, and they highly recommend it. Yep, it’s not your daddy’s Colombia anymore even though it can still get dicey, according to what I read. But they say that too about the Mexican state in which I reside. Most of it is hooey.

      I would love to go to Buenos Aires, something I’ve wanted to do for about 50 years. Before I couldn’t afford it, and now I don’t go due to the extreme distance. I would die sitting on an airplane that long. One option is to lay over one night in Lima. I’ve considered that, but even then … long, long ride. Unlikely I’ll make it. Colombia is far closer.

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      1. Argentina is about a 9-hour flight at least from Cancun. A few years back we did a 14-hour flight to New Zealand. A bit long but the key is to get aisle seats across from each other so you can easily get up and stretch from time to time. Those international flights generally treat you better than the cramped and crowded ones we have to put up with when going to Mexico.

        We haven’t made up our minds yet where to go, but it sure won’t be our usual place. They built an open-air nightclub right beside our hotel with live bands seven nights a week! Um … no.

        I realize Mexico is a noisy country, but some things are just intolerable.

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        1. Brent: No way I’m sitting in a plane for nine hours, so …

          Your flying to New Zealand for 14 hours makes my mind reel. “A bit long”? Jeez, man. The only way I could bear such long flights would be to travel first-class like Steve Cotton, but there are two of us, not one, and we’re not nearly so rich as he is. Shoulda been a lawyer.

          A nightclub next to a hotel cancels all chances of my staying in that hotel. I’m still reeling from a night about 30 years ago with my second wife. We stayed in a hotel in Chihuahua. There was a club in the hotel below us that blared “Eres Tu” all night long. I went down to the front desk about 2 a.m. to bitch and moan, but you can imagine how successful that was. I was such a greenhorn then.

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          1. That’s too funny! I was yelling unmentionables to the band next door when they went past 11 p.m. (as they said they wouldn’t). I tried playing the guitar and singing really loud just slightly off key to throw them off. (Believe me. I was angry.) I talked to the manager. Apparently, there are about three levels of managers and just because one of them tells you something doesn’t mean it’s true. I even talked to the cops in broken Spanish with lots of sign language to make up the difference. I’m lucky I didn’t end up in jail. It’s all good. I’m done with that place.

            I saw that post about Steve Cotton’s first-class experience. I might shell out the extra bucks if they had a real bed to sleep in, but for now I’m an aisle walker.

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            1. Brent: I can assure you with no chance of being wrong that your protestations fell on deaf ears everywhere, and the only thing they were thinking was that you’re a real pain in the kazoo. Crazy Gringo or, in your case, crazy Canuck.

              As for flying first-class, especially those with beds — maybe they all have beds now — that is fearsomely expensive.

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            2. Brent: I just remembered that it was not Eres Tu they were singing all night. It was Juan Gabriel’s Querida. Both are great songs, but not endlessly during the night, all night.

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              1. Do you realize that Eres Tu was a rip off of Brez Besed ~5 years before. Google them and listen. It was a rip off but most things are I guess. I’m a relative latecomer to being aware of either of these songs or the controversy surrounding them.
                I’ve never heard of Juan Gabriel but will look him up on YouTube.

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                1. Brent: Good Lord, man! Never heard of Juan Gabriel? That’s blasphemy! He was and still is a musical god in Mexico. I knew of him before I moved here but, of course, I was in Texas, not Canada. He died unexpectedly in 2016. He was an incredible talent (songwriter-singer) and a flaming queen of spectacular proportions. I love his stuff. “Querida” is his most famous work. Listen to it on YouTube.

                  I listened to Brez Besed on YouTube. I don’t really see much similarity to “Eres Tu.”

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              2. The controversy surrounding Eres Tu/Brez Besed was at the Eurovision ‘66 and ‘73 song contests, respectively. If you listen to the horn introduction and the first couple of lines in each song they are almost exactly the same. The rest of the songs are a bit different. Anyway, here’s the links if you’re interested.

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      2. I can’t sing Colombia’s praises, particularly Medellin, highly enough. The flight to BOG from MEX on Interjet takes less time than ETN from CDMX to Morelia. Colombia and BsAs can’t be compared. Each are different beasts, and I’d say BsAs is more like CDMX than it is like BOG or MDE. But there is that matter of the flight, which is dreadful. Even BOG-EZE is a real pain.

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        1. Ms. Shoes: Oh, fer crissakes, woman, talk clearly. I know you’ve got it in you. For those of us, which is to say most of us, not versed in international airport code and other travel jargon:

          MDE is Medellin, Colombia.
          BOG is Bogota.
          CDMX is Mexico City.
          ETN is a high-end Mexican bus line.
          BsAs is Buenos Aires.
          EZE is the Buenos Aires airport.
          MEX is Mexico City.

          See, that’s not difficult. Well, I had to look some of it up. As for Colombia, you are one of my top inspirers. One day, I hope.

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  3. Omaha is a lot like San Francisco. Both have turned warehouse districts into tourist attractions: the former has its Old Market, and the latter has The Cannery and Ghirardelli Square. Both have high-end residential districts with accompanying small shopping centers: Omaha has Regency, and San Francisco has Pacific Heights. Both have combat zones, ethnic enclaves, and Levittowns. And both have denizens who’ve managed to live out their lives without living outside the county line.

    Now, on to Mexico destinations easily accessible by car:
    1. Cuernavaca. It’s an essential.
    2. Valle de Bravo
    3. Ixtapan de la Sal
    4. Real del Monte. OK, I haven’t been there, but it’s on my list.
    5. Cordoba, Fortin de las Flores, and Jalapa
    That’s enough for now.

    But…when I was in Puebla, I kept on telling myself “You are not in Europe, you are in Mexico.” And when I was in Merida, I kept telling myself “You are not in Cuba, you are in Mexico.”

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    1. Ms. Shoes: I’ve been to Cuernavaca. Once, during my first year here. Took a break from the language school in the nearby capital city. I was colossally unimpressed, and have no desire to return at all. So, on that one we differ.

      Valle del Bravo. About eight or so years ago, during a jaunt to Mexico City, we detoured on a lark toward Valle del Bravo to spend the night. Had not planned on the detour. We both were very unimpressed. Again, no desire to return. So we differ on that town too.

      Ixtapan de la Sal. Don’t know that one. Have to investigate. Same goes for Real del Monte, Cordoba (Mexico?) and Fortin de las Flores. Gracias. As for Jalapa, I would like to visit, but it’s more than a two-day drive unless I drive more than six hours a day. At least I think so. But it’s certainly a possibility. Prefer places on this end of Mexico, however.

      Puebla did not seem like Europe to me at all. Seemed like another Colonial city in Mexico. I do like Puebla, however. Were I able to start my Mexican adventure from scratch, I likely would head right off to Puebla. The only worrisome aspect is its proximity to the the volcano Popo. Visions of Pompei dance in my noodle. I would not want to be excavated centuries from now in a compromising position. And yes, there is a notable air of Cuba in parts of Mérida.

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  4. Too far, I know, but a place I was really taken with is San Cristobal, etc., in Chiapas. Climate quite similar to your area, maybe not quite as cold in winter, but cool at night. We were so impressed that we made an offer on a house there, but we were outbid. Oaxaca I have been to many times, and if I were to visit Mexico again, that is where I would go. It has a similar vibe to Mérida, excellent markets, and almost always striking teachers or some other wasters camped out in front of the Government building.

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    1. Kris: I would like to see San Cristobal but, alas, that would entail sitting in airports. As for your trying to buy a house there after just a visit, perhaps the Goddess was taking care of you by having someone else outbid you. Buying a home in a Mexican town without living there for a good spell beforehand usually is a very bad idea. Not always, but usually.

      Wasters. I like that.

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      1. I got “wasters” from an Irish woman we knew from vacationing in Puerto Escondido. That was the term she used for her boyfriend (with a couple of descriptive adjectives you can guess) when he drank too much, which was almost daily.

        The house in San Cristobal was similar to the Señor Cuevas house, but more secluded, on a private road owned by the family of the seller. They were a herd of professional people. We were out bid by a professor moving from Mexico City.

        One of the reasons I liked it there is because at 5’7″ I was taller than everybody else. The Indigenous folks there are very small, with most women being only slightly over 4′ tall, and the men about 4’6″. Another plus was the dearth of Gringos.

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  5. If I was in the area, and I hope to be, I hear Guanajuato is nice. University towns are generally interesting.

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    1. Craigh: I first visited Guanajuato in the early 1980s with my second wife. We had a pretty good time. Arrived in the evening on a weekend and couldn’t find a hotel anywhere. Seems that much of Mexico City heads there on weekends. Who knew? We ended up in a mostly finished hotel under construction a ways out of town in a place called Valenciana. A cabbie recommended it and drove us up there.

      Since moving to Mexico I’ve been to Guanajuato a couple more times. It’s a beautiful place, but I find it a bit difficult. Hills make it hard to walk. The streets go all over the place with no apparent rhyme or reason, making it easy to get lost. And if you drive, which I did the last couple of times, the traffic is very bad, plus there’s the underground street maze. Hoo-boy. Due to these negatives, I’m not much interested in returning. And it’s become super touristy, far more than when I was there in the 1980s.

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    2. PS: And when I was in Guanajuato in the 1980s, the mummies in that famous museum were just haphazardly lined up against the walls out in the open. Now they’re in climate-controlled glass cases. Still worth a visit, but not nearly so interesting or as creepy as before.

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  6. OK. Here you go. My 2014 road trip could be your guide as I visited many of the relevant places in Mexico. But I’ll reiterate.

    1) Zacatecas — you have two reasons to go there, maybe three. 1) Your wife likes it. This is the best possible reason. 2) It’s the most beautiful city in Mexico. 3) It’s a day’s drive from you, coming in at 5:54 according to Google maps. 4) You can get Jerez for free. Check out my blog for reviews.

    2) San Luis de Potosí. It’s beautiful with wonderful plazas and public areas. Also there’s a train museum. And you can visit on your way to or from Zacatecas, though it’s a bit out of the way.

    3) Queretaro. Yes, you’ve already been there, but you like it, and it’s charming, so why not go back?

    4) Aguascalientes. OK, I was there in 2012 or thereabouts. It was nice enough, but not compelling. Unless you are going to go the the Feria de San Marcos (a giant rodeo, fair, music contest, etc) it’s probably not worth the hassle. But there is a Museo de la Muerte which is quite interesting. Otherwise, not worth the drive from Pátzcuaro.

    5) Monterrey. It’s a 2 day drive from you, but it’s totally different than any other place in Mexico. See my blog post about it if you are interested.

    6) Poza Rica, Veracruz, The city isn’t that interesting, but El Tajín the ancient ruins are well worth seeing. Just a smidgen over 7 hours from where you are. If you spent the night in CDMX, you’d have a very leisurely 2 day drive.

    7) Xalapa, Veracruz. This is interesting, but probably not worth the drive by iteself. But you can combine it with Poza Rica and it’s interesting, particularly the state museum. Note that getting from Poza Rica to Veracruz will involve a lot of secondary roads. Don’t do this at night.

    8) Don’t go to Córdoba, Veracruz. It has a lovely main plaza, but that’s it. See my writeup for details. It’s not worth the drive from Pátzcuaro.

    9) Durango. I’ve never been, but it looks interesting. Check it out.

    And those are my travel recommendations that meet your criteria. Zacatecas should be first on your list.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the nearest point of major interest is San Francisco, a 4 hour drive.

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      1. P.P.S. Taxco, Morelos is also quite charming and comes in under your 6 hour budget by a few minutes, according to Google Maps. You can also avoid CDMX in getting there. Note that it’s very steep and hilly.

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        1. Kim: We drove to Taxco years ago and stayed for a few days during the Christmas season, my one and only visit. I liked it, and thanks for the reminder. I’ll add that to my list. It’s a reasonable distance. And going through Mexico City is, as you note, not required. You do skirt Toluca, however, but that’s not nearly so awful as it used to be. Skirting Toluca, that is. Used to be a nightmare.

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      2. Kim: I’ve read on more than one occasion that the supposed charms of Cuernavaca are mostly hidden behind walls and gates, i.e. it’s best enjoyed by knowing people there. Perhaps that’s the case. But I don’t know anyone there.

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    1. Kim: Pretty nice lineup, señor. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve visited Zacatecas. I liked it, and it’s my wife’s favorite Mexican city. It’s already on the list. While we were there, we tried to visit Jerez, which apparently is, or was, quite popular with Gringo expats. I’m not sure why they favor Jerez over nearby Zacatecas, but that seems to be the case. The weather does seem to be noticeably different, I have read. Maybe that’s it. We drove there from Zacatecas, and found ourself in a long line of cars downtown, inching toward the main plaza. We inched and inched and inched. It was in our old Chevy Pop without AC. It was hot that day. I wearied of inching and turned around and left. Never made it to the plaza. It apparently is a very nice place.

      I’ve also visited San Luis Potosí once. Liked it too. Should put it on the list. As for Querétaro, we’ve visited there almost as often as San Miguel. Will return as needed. Lots of my wife’s family lives there. As for Aguascalientes, we skirted the outskirts on our trip to Zacatecas. Was dreary, but my wife has been downtown and says it’s very nice. So, who knows?

      Monterrey? I’ve never been interested in going there though we’ve skirted it a number of times while driving to Texas. I remember well your blog post about it and how great you made it sound. It’s a long haul from here, however, and a bit closer to the border than I like to go these days, narco-wise. Poza Rica? Nah, too far. Xalapa is too far too.

      One vote for Córdoba (Ms. Shoes) and one against. You’ve canceled one another out. Durango? Too far. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  7. “Zacatecas the most northern colonial town”. Although small, Alamos, Sonora is far more north. We visited there a few times while doing free medical clinics near by.

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    1. Patzman: I’m not sure exactly how “colonial” is defined. Perhaps any town founded before the War of Independence in the early 19th century would qualify. But Zacatecas is considerably older than Alamos, which was founded in the late 17th century, internet sleuthing informs me. Zacatecas, on the other hand, got underway in 1548. I looked at some photos of Alamos. Looks quite interesting.

      Zacatecas is about five times larger in population.

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  8. Real de Catorce, SLP, with an overnight stay in Mineral de Pozos at el Secreto (the olde Casa Montana). Two luverly olde mining ghost towns. Both relatively easy to get around once you’re there. Fab photographic opportunities. Cheers!

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    1. Dan: On one of our drives to Texas quite a few years ago, we detoured from Matehuala for a brief look at Real de Catorce. Good for one visit, but I wouldn’t care to return if for no other reason than the interminable ride over the bumpy road just to get to the tunnel through which you must pass. And then you have to do it all over again to leave. Did you know the Brad Pitt movie called “The Mexican” was filmed in Real de Catorce? It’s a fun movie.

      As for Mineral de Pozos, we spent one night there about a year ago. Again, good for one visit. There is pretty much nothing to do in Mineral de Pozos. You’re right about photo opportunities, for sure. And Cheers! back at you, señor.

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  9. Hey, Young Man. I offer my two cents worth to the topic. As a reminder, I am the same age as you. I read your post very carefully and found I have had, or am having, the same feelings. Is it age? I say yes but not for the number of years but for the experiences we have had. I think if we live long enough we can see, when we look back, that there isn’t anything new in life. Different faces, different toys , etc., but humans remain the same. So maybe it is not a rut?

    I started traveling in Mexico in the early nineties and have been to almost all the places on your list and those added by your readers. Most of the travel was by car and was not in many cases as a tourist. My favorite is Guadalajara. I love Mexican food from the streets or from the really fine restaurants in the big cities, and I enjoy visiting for that reason alone. I have no interest in visiting any other places in Mexico, but we rent a vacation apartment near Zapopan for about 7 to 10 days every other year and really enjoy ourselves. I find the people living in that part of Mexico to be gracious and easy to deal with, including Morelia. So, were I in your place I would be happy to live in your small home town and gladly exchange Guad for SM as a destination to get away for a couple of days and not have to fight traffic or airports.

    My wife is from Cali, Colombia. I have explored Colombia almost as much as Mexico. Considering what you wrote in the post, I would offer these suggestions. Bogota for the airport connections and rental cars. Go to the Museo de Oro in Bogota. As far as seeing the city, as your father might say, “seen one city you’ve seen them all,” so don’t bother with it.

    Drive to Efe Cafetero. Rent a finca and explore the area. Gorgeous! Fly (very cheap) to Medellin from Armenia or Pereira. Go visit the Botero Plaza. To see the city get on the train at the southernmost station and do a round trip to the northernmost station. Cartegena (the old city) is interesting but just too hot for comfort. Cali is not worth a visit. That, my friend is my 2-cents worth. “At this age maybe I don’t know all the things I like to do, but I surely know the things I don’t like to do, so I only do what I like!”

    Dan

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    1. Señor Cook: Excellent advice, and maybe I’m not in a rut after all. I enjoy my life, so what’s the problem? I do want to dodge San Miguel for the rest of my days, however. Yes, Guadalajara will be on our travel list for the future. Strange that I’ve been there almost never and to Mexico City way too much.

      Interesting that you mentioned Pereira, Colombia. A former coworker on the Houston Chronicle is from there, and we still keep in touch. Due to her, I have sleuthed Pereira online, and it looks like a wonderful place.

      But for now, I’m just going to avoid what I don’t want to do, and do what I do want to do. Thanks for weighing in.

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  10. PS; driving in Colombia is about the same as Mexico. Crossing the mountains from Bogota to Armenia can be dicey. Maybe take a bus and rent in Armenia. I would endure Bogota again just to return to the Museo de Oro and plan to stay all day.

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  11. Xilitla, San Luis Potosí. Please do go here! It is in the jungle, so very humid. I enjoy reading the other comments and getting another perspective on who thinks what. I have several more places on my “To Go To” list, and Chiapas is up close to the top. My plane travel now is limited to Guadalajara to Phoenix and bac, and that is it. I don’t think I’d even like 1st Class. So if a luxury bus goes to my destination, I’m in, plus I avoid big cities. Too much confusion for me. I do avoid what I don’t want to do also.

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    1. Peggy: Xilitla is definitely on the to-do list. It will be a two-day drive. Probably lay over in Bernal, another place we’ve visited just once. But Bernal deserves just one visit, in my opinion. There’s not much to it other than the Big Rock. The humidity in Xilitla does give me pause, however. I’m not a fan, no play on words intended.

      I’ve been just into the state of Chiapas, back in 1999 when I went to Palenque. Flew over the ruins in an ultralight. That was fun. I generally dislike big cities too, but I need to visit Guadalajara again.

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      1. Bernal to me was just dry and dusty with that Big Rock. Vineyards are in that area also, and I did stop at a winery, but I don’t drink, so that was a waste of time. Go to Xilitla during the fall or winter months. Maybe it won’t be so bad. It is soooo worth the trip and humidity.

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  12. One place I’m surprised nobody has mentioned is Mazamitla, Jalisco. Been there a couple of times. Lovely spot they promote as similar to an Alpine village, and it kinda is. Not far from where I am either.

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    1. Señor Cotton: That’s always an option. I’ll put it on the list. Gracias. Only problem is that we’d need the bedroom with the AC, and I think there is only one, yours.

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      1. Air conditioning is only required for a couple of months in the summer. For the rest of the year, our weather is every bit as comfortable as San Juan’s — in July. Just kidding. My family has actually been chilly each morning of their stay here.

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  13. Felipe,

    Mi esposa and I just got back on Friday from a 4 day visit to Guadalajara. We had a nice time exploring the many museums and churches in the centro historico. We stayed in a nice little boutique hotel called Casa Pedro Loza. Very friendly staff and good food in their restaurant.

    Regards,
    Troy

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      1. Yes, pretty snazzy, but at a reasonable price We paid around $4300 pesos for 4 nights. That price included free breakfast.

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        1. Troy: Very good price indeed, and with breakfast included it’s spectacular. I’ve made a note. Thanks again. I like to live high on the hog, but often cannot justify doing so. Now I can, at least here.

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