The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Busy day touring... almost too busy!

The tour bus was back to pick us up again at 8:30am Friday morning.

Friday's schedule took us through the city of Guanajuato and on to the road leading through the mountains to the historic town of Dolores Hidalgo. Then a quick stop at Atontinilco before having a late lunch in San Miguel de Allende.

This is our third time visiting this region, in December of 2012, and most recently in February of 2016.

So we are fairly familiar with it, but it's fun to show it off to people who have never been here.

The big Castillo Santa Cecilia Hotel as we enter the mountains on the far side of Guanajuato.

This guy has a nice view.

We love the mountains.

We didn't take too many photos of Dolores Hidalgo because we have lots of photos from previous visits. 

The church where Miguel Hidalgo rallied the people for the call to independence.

Inside the church.

Dolores Hidalgo is famous for it's history, but it's also famous for two other things... pottery, and it's wide variety of oddball ice cream! 

I had zapote (a black fruit that grows here in Mexico) and Ruth had avocado.

Quite a few of our group were brave and tried some different varieties, but we noticed that nobody had the shrimp ice cream, or the pork fat ice cream!

Then, it was off to the big pottery factory and store. There are probably a dozen or more places in Dolores Hidalgo that do pottery. We didn't have a lot of time, and they've changed the procedure for visiting the factory where you have to have a visitors pass. So Ruth and I didn't go in to save time. Plus, we've been there before. You can read about it and see photos here...

By now, it was well after 12 noon and we were going to be a little late for our lunch reservation scheduled in San Miguel de Allende at 1:00pm. I knew this was going to be a rushed day... this part of our schedule doesn't spend enough time in this area.

A quick stop at the Unesco registered sanctuary at Atontonilco...

The sanctuary of Atontanilco.

It is famous for it's painted walls and ceilings.

Then, on to the popular ex-pat city of San Miguel de Allende.

A quick peak at the central plaza, and then we had to rush to our lunch stop.

Lunch at Don Manolito restaurant. Decent food prices, but expensive drink prices.


The food worked out to 71 pesos per person, which is really good. Four people share one of these filling bowls of food. But then a beer was 45 pesos which is very expensive for Mexico. Of course, San Miguel de Allende is very expensive to begin with, but 45 pesos for a beer is definitely high.

We knew we only had a couple of hours here (including lunch!) but we knew some friends who are staying here for a little while. Mike and Terri Church are the authors of the popular Travelers Guide to Camping in Mexico books and we've met them a few times on our travelers. They are like us... they love Mexico, but they also do a lot of world travels. We could easily sit down and talk with each other for days at a time... but unfortunately this time around we only had a half an hour together!

Terri and Mike Church.

A short visit, but nice to say hello again!

San Miguel de Allende.

Doing laundry the old fashioned way.

Lots of interesting old (and very expensive) homes.

Roof garden.

After lunch, we had about an hour of free time to wander around the central area. Not nearly enough time of course. Next year's schedule will be different. 

Back at the RV park at just after 6:00pm, and everybody was pretty much exhausted. I know that we were. 

Today, we drive about 153 kms (95 miles) to San Juan del Lago RV park near Cuitzeo, Michoacan. Not a long drive, but it will still probably take us 4 hours to get there! Then, navigating our way through the very narrow streets and up the steep hill to the RV park. 

Stay tuned!

Nice Coleman deck chairs on sale!

And in Canada...


  1. We've discussed the hill at San Juan del Lago Park before. Do you suppose it would help if Ruth got out and pushed?

    1. I did get out but luckily I didn't need to push! ;-)

  2. Love the pictures showing all the detail the Artisans put into their work. It is awe inspiring.
    I remember being in charge of guiding things along at banquets. I'm certain what you are experiencing is quite a bit worse.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. We absolutely agree with you, lots of detail and lots of work on so much of the artwork that we see everywhere that we go here.

      Yes, I would expect that this is a lot more work but we are lucky the group has been great. Everyone is on time which makes a huge difference when doing tours and getting from one place to another.

  3. What a super post about your tour of this area. Fingers crossed we'll get to visit it some day. I'm pretty sure we'd enjoy it - high beverage prices and all!

    1. There really are some beautiful places in this area but as much as we think San Miguel is a gorgeous town it really isn't Mexico to us! However, Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo are and we love both of these cities much more. I hope that you can make it here some day Dianne, I know that you and John would love it.

  4. Sounds like everything is going well and everyone is having fun. Enjoy and stay safe! Lovely pictures.

    1. Yes, other than feeling a little rushed everything is going really well and everyone is having a fantastic time.

  5. Your posts about this trip are my new Netflix! Plus I have binge read your previous posts. Great pics. Just the right length, and great info! I think we need to join you next year!
    Susie Cream Cheese & Greg-a-luscious.

    1. Lol, that is too funny about our posts being your new Netflix, we feel very honoured. :-)

      You are very brave to go back into our archives, there are a whole lot of posts there.

      We totally agree with you, we have a hard time making it through long posts or post where there are far too many pictures especially if they aren't very good or blurry, Kevin really tries hard to make the post as professional looking as possible and to include lots of helpful information for those who may want to follow a similar route.

  6. I recently read about the State Department travel warnings for five Mexican states. Are you traveling in or near them? Will you make itinerary adjustments? Very much enjoying your descriptions but must admit I would want more down time. Safe travels!

    1. Liz, as Kevin will tell you it is highly overblown. I felt less safe in Europe last spring with all that was happening in places like London. We have another caravan crossing on the 22nd and I have had a lot of concerned emails form them. This is what I wrote back. I am sure kevin would tell you much the same:

      1) Nearly all violence in Mexico is targeted, and tourists are not the target. I think you are more at risk in the US where random incidents like Las Vegas or the church in Texas are on the rise. In Mexico if you stay clear of drugs and don't hang around in bars til 2 AM, IMO the risk is minimal. I was certainly more nervous in Europe last summer, and avoided areas where crowds gather. I think your risk in Europe is higher than in Mexico. People at risk are those who participate in risky behavior, which retired RV'ers tend not to do. Spring break type stuff, driving off into the hills on your own, or buying drugs. As I always say, I did not work 30 years to get my travel via the NatGeo channel. Your risk of property crime in Mexico is higher than in the US, that is the case in most foreign country where the standard of living is lower. Regardless I have never been robbed in Mexico, I have in Italy and some other countries I have visited.

      2) I live in a suburb of Vancouver. Canada. I went home for 3 weeks over Christmas. During that time there were 6 homicides on the streets involving drugs. You don't see state dept warnings about Canada or vice versa. Why is that, I don't know. 4 Canadian tourists died in the Las Vegas shooting with many more injured. With any other country rather than your largest trading partner and one you share an undefended border with, Canada would put out a travel warning. They recently did for England after the spate of terror attacks there.

      3) We use toll roads most of the way. Criminals don't tend to use those, you have to go through a toll booth to get off them. Bad idea, if your a criminal.

      4) You are in a group of RV's with a Green Angel Escort. The green angels have quasi police powers and are similar to AAA

      5) I have been driving all over Mexico for 6 months a year for 10 years and have yet to see any incident. That does not mean I am careless, I'm not. I can't say the same for the US. I was within a block of the congresswoman shooting in Tucson a few years back, I was also in Rosedale, Oregon when the mass shooting there happened. I'm beginning to wonder if I attract trouble. Without getting into gun politics, there is on average, one mass shooting a day in the US, but most people don't think about that. Statistically, an American is more likely to be murdered in the US than in Mexico. Of course at home that is more likely to be someone you know, so that stat has some caveats, but it's still a fact.

      6) Foreign Affairs Canada did a study. Canadians are at similar risk in Australia, even at more risk of being murdered. China is off the scale and yet thousands of Canadians & Americans visit there each year. Also up there, is the DR and Jamaica than Mexico. Japan is not far behind.

      7) I even put my own granddaugher (5 at the time) in pre school down here fro 2 years running.

      8) About 1 in 4 of customers on our caravans end up going back to Mexico on their own. It has even caused us issues with them filling a couple of RV parks we use. We have had to later our stops.

      I do not think you need to be concerned. especially in a group.
      As far as down time is concerned that comes in the second half of this trip. Not planned that way but its a good point to have down time, near the end.

    2. Totally agree with Paul on this one. The U.S. warnings about Mexico have been ongoing since we first drove to Mexico with our motorhome ten years ago. We have spent many months touring Mexico (we don't just stay in one place like many people) and have never seen a problem. If we listened to government warnings, we would have never spent time in Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, South Africa, or Transnistria. All countries that we enjoyed immensely.

    3. Yes, we will be adjusting the schedule for next years trip.

    4. American warnings are way over the top.

    5. Oh, and yes... today we entered the state of Michoacan... one of the ones they say is on par with Syria!

    6. I could not believe it when I saw that. Obviously none of the people who wrote these things have ever been to Syria. I have, BTW. So far I have not observed barrel bombs and nerve gas dropped in Mexico. I really can't figure out how a country with one mass murder or more a day can be telling people its citizens are unsafe in Mexico. Those of us who spend winters here and have experienced the outstanding hospitality of average Mexicans, know better. Hypocrisy at its peak, IMO.

    7. Thanks for all your replies. I was curious and you have definitely answered my question!

  7. A wonderful day despite the cost. Have a safe travel day.

    1. Yes, it was a fantastic day, just a little too busy though. San Miguel really needs one day just for itself.

  8. Beautiful area but that is the reason I don't like anything more than a day tour, have to have some time to explore and downtime!

    1. We totally understand! When we are traveling by ourselves we rarely do even a one day organised tour, we would rather just go out and wander all over the place by ourselves.

  9. Love the photos. We are sure the entire group is just loving all that you two are showing them. We sure are. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Paul and Marsha!

      The group is loving just about everything they see in Mexico and they are having a fabulous time so far.

  10. Love San definitely needed a few more days there!

    1. Actually prefer Gguanajuato to San Miguel. Like Lake Chapala, too many gringos for my tastes. It is pretty however.

    2. Once again, we agree with Paul. We prefer locations in Mexico that are less touristy and would choose Gaunajuato, or even Dolores Hidalgo, over San Miguel de Allende.

  11. You guys are awesome at travel...


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