House sitting. San Miguel de Allende.

I had been house sitting for about a year when some  Ladies  named Andrea and Marianne,  who I knew thru a friend in Truckee reached out to me about coming to house sit in Mexico.   They  had moved to San Miguel De Allende , Mexico,  a couple years back. They said, Do you want to come here for 2 months and watch our dogs and house? Well, I had just read that San Miguel De Allende was voted in Travel and Leisure magazine as best city to travel to. Here is that article. http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/city-vacations/san-miguel-de-allende-photos . 

So, I said sure thing !!

Lovely house at  Malanquin golf club about 2.8 miles from el Centro which is the heart of San Miguel De Allende.  I would be taking care of  a little Doxie named Enrique and little white fluffy Mexico poodle  named Miguel. Here are some photos of where I stayed for most of the 2 months. And my little dogs. Enrique a sweet , cuddly little long haired Dachshund who was rescued from a early life of abuse and Miguel a little San Miguel De Allende street dog who lucked out and was taken off the street. There is an innteresting story about the Rebellious nuns who used to raise poodles to make money. Here is an excerpt from the book called “The Rebellious nuns”

Today the nuns make their money (every order, cloistered or not, must support itself as money doesn’t come from the Church) with their tamales (yummy) and cookies (dry).  At one point the order raised white purebred poodles to make money.  (There is an order of friars in New England well compensated for raising German Sheppards.)  One day a new bishop came to town and demanded the nuns stop raising poodles so they opened the doors and let them free.  That’s why San Miguel’s street dog population has that unique white poodle mix running through them.

The reason I posted this is because Miguel must be an offspring of these dogs. And because around every corner you see them in SMA , these white fluffy dogs. They are all over but of course mostly owned by people. In fact I saw very few street dogs in SMA.

I did not have a car in SMA  however it was easy enough to get around. Once in awhile I would walk to El Centro and take the bus back. In fact I spent a lot of time walking as there are so many little neighborhoods to see.  The bus cost 7 pesos to go as far as you want . 7 pesos is about 30 cents . Calling for a ride from Malanquin to town cost about 70 pesos. $3.00. There was a large store about a quarter mile down the road from the house and a couple restaurants across from that. I actually enjoyed just walking to the center of town a lot as then I would pass all the shops, restaurants, etc.. and see something new each time. Taking a taxi or bus back.

Over all I very much enjoyed the house sit  and hope to go back. The dogs are both sweet, the house lovely, and so much to see and do in and around SMA .  There is talk of me coming back next winter. The girls I house sat for travel a lot each year.

Here is my first view of El Centro and the Parroquia which is the famous Church of San Miguel de Allende and happens to look like a pink cake.  The Parroquia as one article says is a Grand, neo-Gothic 17th-century church known for its soaring pink spires & lofty, ornate sanctuary.

San Miguel De Allende has a lot going on . Music, plays, art, amazing architecture,  Mariachis nightly in El Centro. And did you know it is an Unesco world heritage site

San Miguel de Allende, UNESCO World Heritage Site

On July 8, 2008, San Miguel de Allende was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. A remarkable example of 16th-century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, as well as a place of vital importance during the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel de Allende was added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list under the Historical City category. The city’s colonial authenticity and cultural integrity, and the excellent condition of its historic downtown (Centro Historico,) were key elements that contributed to the UNESCO designation.

It is also one of Mexico’s “Magic towns”. Read about that here:

It is also one of Mexicos “Magic towns “

When I first go to SMA I thought wow, it is crowded and it is on weekends. Many Mexicans from Mexico City and Guadalajara come to town.  But it all just adds to the excitement of the whole place . Lots of mariachis, music,  weddings, parades,  celebrations going on all the time Never boring. In fact I am going to do a whole post about all the activity in El Centro.

SMA is made up of many beautiful little neighborhoods, such as  Guadalupe with the Murals  I wrote about it here , Guadalupe Murals , a neighborhood in San Miguel de allende, Mexico. botanical gardens that I posted about here  El Charco del Ingenio Botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende at night. and here El Charco del ingenio , A botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende, Mexico.

There are hot springs, and ruins to go to as well as other towns of interest within an hour  or 2 drive. A few I made it to but still some I did not see. Which is reason to go back.

I only made it to one of the several hotsprings called  “La Gruta “. I really enjoyed it. Nice place to relax for the day. Complete with lounge chairs, shade, restaurant and bar and the cave.

Here are some photos of La Gruta.

I have already written a few posts on San Miguel De Allende but I experienced so much while there that I will be writing a few more in the future as well. Still have a lot to share from this beautiful city.

Here is an earlier post I did    San Miguel de Allende ,Mexico.

Another about our trip to see the Monarchs. Right here Monarchs el Rosario, Mexico

I had some time off from the house sit ( 10days )  and had friends who came to visit so did a lot of things when they where there.

Here are some parting shots for now

My friends came to visit.20180223_201938P1010843P1020091

I will re visit SMA in some future posts  but my next post will be about the beautiful Northern California coast where I am just ending a 2 week house sit with 2 sweet border collies. Had great weather so it was truly lovely.

Coming soon. Fort Bragg, California.

Guadalupe Murals , a neighborhood in San Miguel de allende, Mexico.

 

San Miguel de allende is an artist town. So full of artists and Musicians. Many are expats. But, just as many are Mexicans. There is a neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende where the mural artists of Mexico come to paint large, beautiful murals on the walls of the buildings.

 

Walking through the streets of the Colonia Guadalupe in the “dark side” of San Miguel, you feel as if you were in a youthful, indomitable, free art center that explodes and overflows with motivation and all thanks to an initiative taken up by Graffiti World, an organization that has worked very hard not only to transform the aesthetic environment of what previously was considered a dangerous neighborhood, but to ultimately change the social fabric, and the geogaphic location into a “safe place to take a walk”.

There are tours you can take in this neighborhood to learn more about the artists and the history of the Murals. A lady named Colleen does them. Info below.

  • Walking tours every MondayThursdayFriday
    Morning – 10-12:30
    Afternoon – 2-4:30
    Meet on the street in front of Via Organica
    300 pesos per person, no reservations required

    I am very proud of our Muros en Blanco project & I thoroughly enjoy sharing stories of the murals, artists, neighbors & how we all made it happen in 2013, when street art was still not permitted. Since then, more than 100 murals have been painted by local, national & international artists.

    Your participation helps to support the Artist Residence.
    See you on the street !
    Colleen

I never quite got around to taking her tour  however I did a tour of my own one day near the end of my 2 month stay and am so glad I did it. Would have hated to miss out on this beautiful area . Maybe next time I will take Colleen’s tour to learn more about the artists who do the murals.

It is a quite and quaint neighborhood and I just spent the day wandering about. Here are photos of some of the beautiful artwork.

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The new restaurant called Chilarillo

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New restaurant Chilarillo opened up in Guadalupe. Looked good. Organic and some vegan foods.

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There where many more murals then this.  I walked all day looking at them.

I also stopped here for lunch. Great little organic store with cafe. Lucky me, some roaming musicians stopped off to play a couple songs as well.  Via Organica is the name of the market, cafe and it is in Guadalupe .

 

 

El Charco del Ingenio Botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende at night.

I had the opportunity to go to a wonderful night time celebration concert at El Charco. It was a concert for the Equinox. Great music and the most amazing sunset of the week !! If you are ever in SMA and get a chance to see a show at the botanical gardens, then do go. You won’t be dissapointed. The setting is wonderful . You have to walk down a short ways and can sit anywhere.  There is a short video attached at the bottom of these photos. It was my last night in SMA at the end of a fabulous 2 month house sit. Good way to end the trip. If the video looks sideways, it will upright itself when clicked on. 20180318_191510

El Charco del ingenio , A botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende, Mexico.

Monarchs el Rosario, Mexico

 

 

It’s about a 3 hour drive from San Miguel de allende to el Rosario monarch sanctuary in Michoacán . The sanctuary is located at a high altitude of about 10,000 feet.The viewing area is at around 10,000 to 11000 feet. When you arrive you are taken about half way up on horseback. Each is owned and cared for by private individuals and are all very healthy and well kept. They do this ride because of the altitude and to keep the group together , however you can not go all the way by horse as it would disturb the monarchs. When we got off the horses we still had half hour walk uphill. We were told to be silent so as not to disturb the monarchs . There are millions of monarchs in this area. The trees are thick with them and every now and then when the rays of sun shine down it puts hundreds of them into flight. What a sight and what a sound. Like a loud buzzing and humming.

 

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Adult butterflies live for only around a month so and no one butterfly ever makes the entire circular migration from North America to Mexico and back again. Instead, it takes three generations of spring-born butterflies to complete the northern leg of the migration from Mexico back to the US-Canada border. The fourth generation though is a ‘super-generation’, which lives eight to ten times longer than normal. It’s these butterflies which, each autumn, leave the Great Lakes area and fly south to Mexico.

Although monarchs aren’t a threatened species, the future of the migration is in serious doubt. In recent years the numbers arriving in Mexico have fallen dramatically. Most scientists blame pesticide use in the US and the destruction of milkweed, the food plant of monarch caterpillars, for this decline.07F255EC-532F-4968-A4D2-F65F9CA53E15

One of the biggest mysteries of the migration is why every year the butterflies choose to hibernate in the exact same trees. Scientists remain unsure as to why they do this and, more importantly, how the butterflies know which trees to use because no one butterfly ever makes the migration twice.733F416E-C371-4F9B-B08A-F30DCD92D409

 

 

 

Sometimes the monarchs land on you. We must be quiet to not disturb them to much.

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This is something I highly recommend if you ever get the chance as the monarchs population is dwindling due to our lack of care for Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

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San Miguel de Allende ,Mexico

I am currently doing a two/month house sit in SMA  Watching these two cuties. Enrique and Miguel. This is the view from the house I am house sitting at. Not bad. Lovely spot./Lovely house.

 

SMA is full of expats.. Why? The 4 C,s I was told by an American local. Climate,cuisine,cost,and culture. Climate is mild year round. SMA is at 6200 to 6800 feet high and is known for lovely weather. Cuisine, yes, many restaurants with great food and not just Mexican food. Italian, Lebanese, vegetarian, Indian, and many more with lots of wonderful coffee shops to pass the day at. One thing I have noticed is that this is a very social town. Culture in the form of the arts, music, plays, art shows, more music.   And of course being a Mexican town it is very cost effective.

I have barely been here a week so am posting a few photos of a lovely walk about that I had yesterday and many more posts to come about this lovely town.