Today is Flag Day in Mexico. Cue a patriotic celebration, focused around the Plaza Principal, with parades and civic events . I was up as the rooster crowed, dressed quickly and grabbed my camera before heading down to the Centro Histórico.
As my glorious time in San Miguel comes to an end, a beautifully sunny day and comfortable park bench offered me the solitude to reflect on this month-long journey. If I had aspired to a deep dive into this country’s culture, that wish has been granted.
Of course, with any trip to a foreign destination, there’s been bumps and bruises. Those bruises still haven’t healed since my two early on face plants. Regrettably, I probably shouldn’t have ordered that pork belly sandwich! My cash cards don’t work. Memo: Talk to bank. I don’t speak Spanish. French doesn’t work! That’s truly a drawback but police are ubiquitous and very helpful.
It’s been a safe trip. The only fear I’ve experienced was inadvertently jumping into water deeper than me. Remember? I can’t swim. I panicked before Blanca got me to a safe space.
At first Blanca and Cavanaugh shepherded me to important sites and helped orient me to SMA. I still am graciously included in all their social events. But thereafter I’ve managed to stumble about this city’s very complicated 64-block historic area myself or to meet friends. Thanks, Google.
As before, photos best capture the past ten days.
SANTUARIO de la MARIPOSA MONARCA
It won’t surprise you that the highlight of my trip has been going to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a 200-square mile protected area and winter home to more than 60 million monarch butterflies. I joined a group of 13 Canadians for the arduous 11-hour trip to El Rosario Preserve. For the monarchs, it’s a 2,500-3,000 mile migration flight from Canada/US to the preserve. For us it was an 8-hour vehicle roundtrip, a 40-minute horse ride up the mountains and another mile-long hike. To see those beautiful creatures? A magic moment.
SAN MIGUEL WRITERS CONFERENCE & LITERARY FESTIVAL
From February 14-18 I attended and enjoyed San Miguel’s annual writers conference.
ANOTHER FACE of MEXICO MASK MUSEUM
After arriving in SMA I received an email from Aspenite Wendy Weaver who has been our travel agent for 30 years and is an experienced traveler. She urged me not to miss visiting SMA’s mask museum located, incidentally, one block from O’Leary’s hacienda.
Owner/curator Bill LeVasseur and his wife, Heidi, have spent more than 25 years acquiring an extraordinary collection of over 600 Mexican ceremonial masks. Besides being knowledgeable himself while taking you through the collection, there are also texts, photos, and videos highlighting more than 40 different dance ceremonies.
CRUZ ROJA MEXICANA
MORELIO, PATZCUARO, CAPULA and TZINTZUNTZAN
Blanca and Cavanaugh have gathered together an amazing and growing collection of Mexican handcrafts and folk art created with various materials for utilitarian and decorative purposes. We took a 4-day road trip through the central Mexican state of Michoacán in search of new acquisitions. The trip was remarkable in so many ways.
FAREWELL to SAN MIGUEL