Wednesday, January 1, 2020

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, el treinta uno de Deciembre, 2019

I had a fabulous day.  I had planned to walk to el Mirador and then on to the Cinemax to see a movie but Uruguay suggested I go to El Chorro which is a Jardin Botanico because this morning was very cloudy and cool and El Chorro is a bit of a climb and can be hot.

Along the way-

Wouldn’t you know it but there was a tour IN ENGLISH!!!!  David, who is 78, originally from the UK but worked at UBC’s Botanical Garden for 30 years was my guide.  What a gorgeous place-

Bromeliads are a succulent that live on dust, air and water.  Spanish moss is an example and some people think they are a parasite and will kill whatever they’re attached to but that’s not true.  They are also known as air plants-


Crazy shaped cactus-

David was surprised that this fruit was still on the plant.  If you pick it and rub the spines off, you can eat it-

You can see the growth lines - they are five to six inches and that’s how much this plant has grown per year the last while-

The inside of cactus is like netting, layers and layers of it-

Mexican fencing-

Because it’s the dry season, the ferns are dormant but with a little rain, the brown pods will open and be lovely fronds-

In 1990 a few rich folk bought the canyon and garden to preserve it, otherwise today the hills would be covered in houses.  Once a year on the first day of spring, there’s a concert at the bottom of the ravine.  Symphonies have performed, there’s even been a grand piano hauled down to the bottom and the acoustics are apparently awesome.  Today, duck itch fills the pond-

Barrel cactus-

The canyon-

Birds pick out the top of the cactus and use the white fluffy stuff, which is like cotton, in their nests-

Unfortunately, my great camera didn’t pick up on the oranges and reds of this insect that landed on my hat-

More beautiful cactus-

The Suchil is a religious offering made from chucharilla.  The leaves are woven onto the structure and every spring it’s made new and carted to the four corners of the Jardin.  God is asked to bless the season-

The four elements: earth, wind, fire and water are represented in the tiling.  The Jardin was opened during a total solar eclipse so that’s why the black ring runs through the centre of the plaza-

The canyon is beautiful-

Brain cactus-

Cactus that can’t stand frost are kept in the greenhouse.  Jardin El Chorro has specimens of 90% of all cactus in Mexico-

From the centre of a yucca plant, a ‘needle’ and ‘thread’ can be pulled and used just like thread to sew things together-

After the tour, David just happened to be going my way so he gave me a ride.  I decided to visit the Tuesday market before I went to the mall to see a movie.  The market covers three football fields and anything you might want to buy can be found-

For lunch I had a huaraches which is a large crispy tostada with a choice of two toppings. I asked the young waiter what he liked and he said salchicha so I said I’d have that as well as pollo.  Well, salchicha is weiners so I ended up with half chicken and half weiners.  I rarely eat weiners at home but here I was today.....

There are all kinds of interesting stalls including some with raw frijoles-




and tacos-

I tasted the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten in my life - quiote which is made from the flower of the maguey or agave plant.  I don’t remember ever spitting anything out but I sure did with this.  It was sweet but sinewy, kind of like sugar cane-

After the market I went across the street to the Cinemax and watched Cats. I’ve seen it live twice - once in London and once in Saskatoon.  I really like the music but this just seemed too weird and I’m not sure why.
After, I caught a bus toward el Centro. Can you believe these sidewalks?

Tonight for Feliz Año Nuevo I walked down to Plaza Jardin-

where a band was playing-

The streets were lit up but nothing like in Guanajauto-

Parroquia San Miguel Arcangel and La Santa Escuela de Cristo were well lit-

and at 9 pm the bells in San Miguel Arcangel rang-

I came home and at midnight the fireworks went crazy for about half an hour.  Felix Año Nuevo!

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