After the frustrations of not being able to hike the Copper Canyons and generally doing a poor job of conversing in Spanish, San Miguel de Allende was just the gringo oasis the doctor ordered. The town is colonial gem, and has the distinction of being a national landmark, pueblo màgico* (enchanted town) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With its collection of language schools it would make an excellent base to study Spanish, unfortunately we arrived mid-week and the courses all started on a Monday. So instead we had to settle for lazy days wandering the cobblestone streets occasionally stopping for ice cream or to take a picture of a vintage VW parked outside a colonial building covered in vines. We also took advantage of a few international restaurants, including a budget busting Curry House, and a very reasonably priced Lebanese place.
The only real focused activity we did was to run out to El Charco del Ingenio, the botanical gardens. T he gardens were at the top of a very steep hill, between my lack of running, and the unfathomable steep streets, there were a couple of occasions where I didn’t know whether to breath, vomit or cry. We eventually made it and Heather relented to a walk around the gardens, I think the large cobwebs across the trail helped with that decision, rarely have I been so grateful to arachnids. The gardens featured all manner of weird cacti and succulents. I was the rewarded with a downhill run through the winding cobblestone streets back to our campground. That afternoon we met some fellow overlanders Niki, Jakob and of course Leika their adorable pooch (aka Sprinter Van Diaries), we were soon joined by Ike and Bethany (aka Nomadizens) we spent that evening discussing our trips to date. It was good to hear that Niki and Jakob shared our feelings towards Baja, while Ike and Bethany were smart enough to skip it altogether. Looking forward to seeing our new friends down the road.
* sadly this did not mean it was inhabited by a cast of fairy tale characters.