View from the cable car in Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Vinh, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

San Miguel de Allende (day 3)

Busy day yesterday! First, we made a bit of a last minute decision to go to the nearby town of Atontonilco. Then, we made a totally last minute decision to go to the city of Dolores Hidalgo and visit a huge pottery factory. Then after lunch, we did a nice hike in the botanical gardens.

We went to Atontonilco because there's a UNESCO site there. The Sanctuary of Atontonilco is a church complex built in the 18th century. It is mostly famous because of the mural work on the walls and ceilings.

The exterior is fairly plain.

There are some ruins beside the church.

One of the ceilings.

The entrance way.

When we were done at the church, we went for a walk around town. Normally, this church receives 5,000 visitors per week, but yesterday was very quiet. Hardly anybody around. When we made it back to the little blue car, we drove to the main highway and saw the sign to Dolores Hidalgo. At that point, we figured we were almost halfway there so made the decision to go visit that town as well, but really I only wanted to visit a huge pottery factory we had heard about. The place was massive, and they just allow visitors to wander around at will.

The painting room.

There were about 25 people, both women and men, working in the painting room. The paint goes on very flat and without much color, but when the clay is fired, the colors come out vibrantly.

Painting large pots.

And small bowls.

Making the big pots.

The place is huge!

Ready for shipping!

This room houses all of the different molds.

The firing ovens.

Ruth, choosing a salsa bowl for us.

From there, we went back home and had some lunch, and I even managed an early afternoon snooze. Then, we headed across to the other side of town to the "Charco del Ignecio" botanical gardens. We've been there before, in fact we dry camped with Sherman in their parking lot! Entrance fee is a little pricey at 40 pesos ($3.20) each, but it goes to a good cause. We like these gardens.

Ruth, having a look at the view.

Nice view of San Miguel.

Can you spot the guy rock climbing? He's right in the center of the picture!

Here he is!

The canyon is deep!

You walk across the dam to hike on the other side.

Watch out for the thorns! Funny how this cactus had a lot of red pods on it, but others had none.

In the evening, we took Wanda and Irwin out for dinner. We went to the "Hecho en Mexico" (Made in Mexico) restaurant that was recommended by friends Chris and Juan. Not bad, but not great in our opinion. Nice ambiance and food prices were reasonable, but they make up for it with booze prices. 28 pesos ($2.25) for a restaurant beer is a little expensive for Mexico. Normal prices are between 15 and 20 pesos.

After that, Wanda and Irwin went to a movie, and Ruth and I wandered downtown and sat in the plaza. Thought there would have been more going on given that it's the Christmas season, but it was pretty quiet. Did get one nice pic of the lights though...


  1. I want some of those pots for my garden!!! Gorgeous!

  2. Busy in PA - enjoying your blog - love all the sites you've been to on your trip - the pottery is great!

  3. WoW! A great day! I would have had a really hard time not filing our van full of pottery! The rock climber is neat.

  4. I see you had a very busy day,good thing about the siesta to recharge.enjoy.

  5. I would have enjoyed that pottery place too.

  6. We too have been to the pottery factory and we came home with a couple of steer heads. There were two great heads but they were pre-sold to someone or a buisness in California waiting to be shipped. Fun stop!

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

  7. I love visiting factory's. But watching all that work makes me tired.

  8. I would love to go to that pottery factory, and the church murals are very interesting. You got a lot done in one day!

  9. That cactus is Prickly Pear, or Nopal.


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