Dec 31, 2019
Woke up to the last day of the year to another gorgeous warm sunny day. Our plan was to go into town for a few hours then return to the RV for a rest then head back out in the evening for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. To get to town we just went to the road outside the hotel and caught the public bus. There was only one bus route that went by the hotel and it went straight into town so it was easy and at 8 pesos (40 cents) a person it was cheap and 10 minutes later we were dropped off near the center of town.
Olivia immediately said that the place looked like Coco Town, like the movie and indeed it had colorful houses, cobblestone streets, narrow sidewalks and beautiful unique doors. We had no idea where the bus dropped us off or which way to go as I deliberately wanted to wander around. Instead we just followed the general flow of the crowd past small café’s and boutique stores up the hill until we got to Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel Church, the center of the town. The church was very pretty and we could see that they had a stage set up for the evening entertainment. Even at 11:00 AM though many places were not open yet and there were only a few street vendors around.
We walked through the small but pretty Jardin Allende park before going to the Mama Mia restaurant for brunch. The restaurant had a nice rooftop seating area and we enjoyed, an interesting mix of hot cakes for Olivia, Enchilada’s for me and scrambled eggs for Holly. The bill came out to 400 pesos ($20) so it was more expensive than we thought Mexico would be but much cheaper than a comparative roof top restaurant in a central tourist location would be in the US where such a meal could easily run us $50 or $60.
After filling up we walked around again before arriving at Juárez Park which had a nice little playground with lots of kids around. There we met a group of several families from Texas who were visiting San Miguel for Christmas vacation. Olivia, however did not play with the Texas kids but a local girl who seemed to understand enough English for Olivia to boss her around but didn’t speak much. The park also had bathrooms for 5 pesos. The weather was good and Olivia was having fun at the playground so we stayed for over an hour enjoying the nice day.
Central San Miguel is actually quite small so we walked all the way to the other side of the central area to the Ignacio Ramírez Market because Holly wanted to get some fresh vegetables for dinner. The market was a maze of small stalls with very narrow aisles packed with people. In addition to grocery stores they also had a number of small food stalls where a lot of people were enjoying their food as shoppers pushed past them. We bought some broccoli, pineapples, oranges and other groceries before going back out.
I had no idea how to find the bus back to the hotel. There was only one bus route from the hotel to town but there were multiple bus routes out of town to different places. I had forgotten to note what bus route we arrived on and even if I knew the bus number, had no idea how to get to where the bus could pick us up. Couldn’t read Spanish so the internet was of only a little help. In addition to that I didn’t want to carry bags of groceries a long distance. No worries, Uber was available in the town, I could just get an Uber which at 84 pesos would be more expensive than the bus but still wasn’t expensive. However when I went onto the Uber app it could not match us up with a ride. Also, while we had seen taxis around all day, none were to be found at the moment.
We decided to walk away from the center of town and by luck came upon a stopped bus a couple blocks down the road. I told the driver the name of our hotel and it just happened that it was the correct bus! We hopped on and within 10 minutes was back at Rover. We had a rest and dinner but when it came time to go back to town for the New Year’s festivities we had an attack of sanity. The buses stop running at 9. If Ubers were not available during the day they would certainly be unavailable after midnight. Taxi’s were certainly going to be overwhelmed as the crowds of people head home. Parking Rover downtown was out of the question due to our size. Although it was only a 10 minute bus ride it would take almost an hour to walk back. In the dark. After midnight. With a 6 year old. No Bueno.
Instead we stayed in and watched the live action Lady and the Tramp and went to bed as usual. Not the most exciting New Year’s but then it was not the most exciting New Years, if you know what I mean.