Sunday, June 25, 2017

San Cristobal to San Miguel de Allende

On June 14, 2017 we left San Cristobal de las Casas for a drier and warmer climate.

San Cristobal is point A and San Miguel de Allende is point E on the map.  Point F is Ajijic on Lake Chapala.
Over 6,000 miles (10,000 km) driven in Mexico since April 1, 2017.

We headed out of San Cristobal on  the 190D toll road towards Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

Rugged peaks and looking down on the clouds between San Cristobal and Tuxtla.

Rugged peaks on Mex 145D just before crossing from the state of Chiapas into the state of Tabasco.

Stayed cable bridge across the Coatzacoalcos River on  Mex180D
Yes, we have been travelling around so much in Mexico that we ended up backtracking to almost into Coatzcoalcos again ;)

In all our travels around Mexico, we have seen roadside vendors selling pineapples, but this is the first time we have seen pineapple fields.  And there were thousands of acres of pineapple fields, as far as the eye could see, around the general center of Veracruz.
Pineapple fields near Juan Rodríguez Clara in the state of Veracruz.  The black in the distance is netting, apparently, to protect the crop.

Roadside vendors selling crates of mangoes for 50 pesos per crate.
We spent the night in Córdoba (Note the accent on the o!  Its pronounced cór-do-ba with the emphasis on the first syllable, not cor-doba.).  It had been a long day driving so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the KFC a block down the road from the hotel and walked around a small square before retiring for the night.

The next morning (June 15) we headed out of Córdoba towards Puebla.

Leaving Cordoba, the closer to Puebla and Mexico City, the more interesting the architecture became.
 We stopped for gas and a latte at The Italian Coffee company near Esperanza.  From the back of the store, you have a great view of Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl, which is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America (per Wikipedia)
Yes that is snow on Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico.  Photo was taken June 15, 2017.

As the valleys got larger, so did the fields and more of the fields were farmed with tractors.  Here is corn growing along side the road before Puebla.
A building in the shape of an eagle.  Sorry about the speed limit sign!  Most people on the road ignore them so you can too!

Closer view of the Eagle.

Not just a generic fly over, but a stayed cable one!

A colorful facade for a stadium?  We couldn't see what it was from the toll way. 

Trauma hospital with heli pad on the roof.

Entering the State of Puebla on Mex 150D
More farming, mainly corn.

As we get closer to Mexico City, we are seeing more industry.  This appears to be a particle board factory as we kept seeing truck loads of particle board sheets and shelving on the highway.  The plant superstructure was a strong reminder to Rosalind from her particleboard manufacturing experience days.

The hay was mowed with a tractor, but it's being raked by hand!

More farming, several places we saw them cultivating the corn with a horse drawn single row cultivator with the farmer walking behind it.  Up in the mountains they plant corn on steep hill sides that are even too steep for a horse.   

Shepherd tending some sheep.  Notice the corn to the right and cabbage to the left.

More interesting building architecture.  A seafood restaurant in the shape of a ship.

We skirted around Mexico City on the toll road.  We had heard that a few months ago some tourists accidentally missed a turn on the toll road and ended up lost in Mexico City.  Their GPS likely took them down a road that went into the city instead of on to their destination, we have had that happen a couple times with both Google Maps and Waze.  They ended up having to pay 6 local cops US $50 each (for some unknown misdemeanor) to get out of the mess.  Which brings up another very helpful tip for people wanting to drive in Mexico.  Facebook.  Rosalind has joined the FB group 'On the road in Mexico' which has been invaluable for us and she has been answering questions from others.  The Mexico City incident info came from that group.

San Miguel de Allende
We arrived in San Miguel about 4:30 pm and with the hotel address in Waze we were taken thru the city center.  It was an interesting drive since we had no idea that the streets were so steep west of the central church square.  Lucky we were going down and not up.  I'm not sure the Prius would have been able to pull up those steep streets with us two and everything we own!
Whoa, that's steep!

Almost at the bottom!

The church from our roof top hotel room

Our roof top hotel room.  It was really nice being on the roof since there was no air conditioning.  The cool evening breeze would cool us down.  And we could hear the church bells and fireworks all night!

Hand carved head board.
Breakfast on the rooftop mirador.  Notice the guy on the building across the street filling the propane tank, 3 stories up, no safety rope!  He leaned over the edge of the building threw down a rope that they attached the propane hose to and he hoisted it up. 

What you do when you want to sell your vehicle in Mexico.  You cannot sell your US car in Mexico unless it was made in a NAFTA country (even then it is really difficult).  All sorts of regulations that seem to change frequently!

View of San Miguel looking west from one of the highest points in the historic district.on Zacateros road.
The longest street in San Miguel.  Notice the cobble stones!
Parish church of San Miguel
Rosalind at the entrance to Parish church of San Miguel

Waiting for the car at the hotel, parking was 3 or 4 blocks away.  Remember the propane guy on the roof a few pics up?  That was the roof of the yellow building across the street behind me.

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