Dec 29, 2019
We woke up in the morning faced with the decision of where to spend New Year’s Eve. We could stay in the big city Monterrey where there was likely to be lots of activities or continue to San Miguel de Allende, a small town with voted best city in the world by a number of different magazines. A quick check of the weather showed that Monterrey was forecasted for rain New Year’s Eve and day while San Miguel was forecasted for sun. Decision made.
It was about a 7 hour drive to San Miguel so we would want to do that over two days which meant we would need to leave today. We pulled out of the parking lot a little bit after it opened at 9:00 AM and since we were going to take our time going down to San Miguel we could take a few minutes to take a look at the San Pedro neighborhood of Monterrey, the nicest and richest part of the city. It was only a few minutes drive away and when we got there it looked like a nice US suburb with nice houses and shopping malls. We could have been back in the US which was not what we were looking for since we had just left the US a couple days ago. We only made a short stop at Walmart before continuing out of town.
Leaving Monterrey the terrain was just like Utah and New Mexico consisting of mountains and desert. The road we were on was just as good as the ones in Utah and we passed the occasional abandoned masonry building just like in New Mexico. Frankly, except for the road signs being in Spanish there were many parts of the road that were virtually indistinguishable from being in the US. Eventually we stopped to get gas and it was 20 pesos per liter which came out to almost $3.80 a gallon, back to California prices and a big change from the often under $2 a gallon we found in Texas. A couple of differences is that they had attendants that not only pumped your gas but cleaned your windshield as well. Also the prices among all gas stations were very consistent, within 1 peso of each other. No need to go out of your way to get cheap gas. After filling up we just pulled behind the gas station and had lunch in Rover.
Around 4:00 PM we reached the Las Palmas Hotel and RV park our stop for the night. The Las Palmas was a pretty decent place with spacious flat parking spots, a cold pool and even a children’s playground for 340 pesos a night. The only problems with the place was that the shower water was only lukewarm and the electrical outlets were mis-wired so our electrical protection system wouldn’t let us charge up. No problem, with our fancy very expensive power upgrade we really didn’t need electricity anway.
We settled in for the night and not long after dinner a couple of other RV’s pulled in, one of which had three kids. Of course Olivia had to go over and say hi. Turns out the other couple was a Canadian family from Quebec and they guide caravans of French Canadians to Mexico. They were on their way back to Texas to pick up another group, having just dropped off a group in Cancun. They offered some good advice but a lot of it we already knew. They also recommended we visit Real de Catorce, a former mining town, now a sparsely populated “ghost town”. As we chatted Olivia had a good time playing with their kids on the playground until it was time for bed.