December 2007 Guanajuato We left our boat at El Milagro Marina in Isla Mujeres and began a two week trip to central Mexico. We flew from Cancun to Mexico City, where we caught a bus to Guanajuato. It was about a five hour bus ride to this town in the mountains north of Mexico City. We stayed at a small b&b overlooking the quaint town. It was a ten minute walk into town where we discovered many beautiful plazas. This is a university town and there are plenty of coffee shops and good restaurants. Diego Rivera was born here and his home is now a museum. We could see he had plenty of inspiration for painting here; it's lovely. Homes are built into the hillside with expansive views. There's an underground tunnel system that are roads built from a diverted river long ago. We enjoyed the Juarez theatre, the museums, the tunnels, the mercado and the good food and ambiance at the outdoor cafes in every plaza.
San Miguel de Allende We hopped on a bus to San Miguel, just over an hour's ride from Guanajuato. This is definitely an upscale town, with many ex-pats living here. Older homes are being torn down or rebuilt throughout the city; there are some beautiful homes here. There's also plenty of shopping and restaurants, even a bullring, but not many museums. We stayed at the beautiful Casa Mision de San Miguel, a new hotel with a beautiful setting. It was easy to walk to town from our hotel. We found a beautiful orchid garden at the former home of Sterling Dickinson, an avid collector. There were hundreds of orchids, many of them in bloom.
Oaxaca We took the bus back to Mexico City where we took another bus south to Oaxaca, about a six hour ride. We stayed at a lovely, small b&b, Las Bugambilias. It's ideally located, and we were able to walk everywhere. We enjoyed exploring the town with its mercados....they are huge with piles of everything you can imagine in them....clothing, housewares, food, plants, crafts, etc. We also visited the villages surrounding Oaxaca, each village famous for a craft...woodcarvings, pottery, and textiles.
We visited the Mayan ruins of Monte Alban. For me, the highlight was La Encantada orchid garden located a few miles from Oaxaca. It is a private collection of orchids from Mexico. The orchids were displayed in a natural setting along a path through trees and alongside a creek. It was the best natural display and collection I had ever seen.
I bought another beautiful handmade Mexican rug
When returned to our boat in Isla Mujeres, I received a call from my father to come home as he was hospitalized. I flew home to California on December 31, while Pat stayed to take care of our boat.
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