Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Month in Mexico - Sojourn in San Miguel de Allende

          The Parroquia in San Miguel de Allende
When I told David it would be better to take the bus to San Miguel de Allende instead of drive or fly, he asked how many chickens would be sharing the ride.  But the busses I had in mind were the luxurious ones, the ETN and Primera Plus lines, that crisscross the country in air conditioned splendor.
   Advertising the Comforts of a Pimera Plus Bus
The Primera Plus station in Guadalajara resembles an airport lounge with restaurants and magazine vendors.  The busses themselves feature reclining seats, movies or music, spotless bathrooms, and huge windows to watch the picturesque roll by.  David decided he loved the seats because he finally had enough room for his 6'5" frame.

We were handed a soda and a lunch as we boarded, but there was one disquieting note before we climbed the steps.  Unlike previous trips I'd taken, this time our bags were searched and the men were patted down. And as we pulled into San Miguel, we saw two men spread-eagled across a car as a dozen olive-garbed policemen searched pockets and tore apart their car.  Still, we tried to remember that drugs and violence were isolated and the same scenes happened in the United States.

It was easy to dispel any anxiety we were feeling when we reached the casa we'd rented through VRBO.  Yoko, the property manager, waited with a smile and keys to this, two-hundred-year-old hacienda style property that oozed charm and history.
           Casa Living Room
Two en suite bedrooms, and a spacious living room, dining room and kitchen face a central garden area that features an eight-feet tall ivy-covered fountain.  

An outside staircase leads to a terrace, another bedroom with fireplace and full bath, and a study.  The thick towels, four pillows on every bed, and coffee maker, microwave, and toaster oven make sure we're comfortable as well as charmed.

We are even more delighted that our bit of paradise in San Miguel is, during what is considered the low season, only $50 US per night, cheaper than any hotel we could find.  We've got the best base imaginable for exploring this magical city. 
Practicalities -

Both ETN and Primera Plus bus lines have an on-line presence, but it is best to buy your bus tickets either through a travel agent in Mexico or at the bus station an hour or two in advance.  Our round-trip tickets for the five-hour trip to SMA cost each of us 774 pesos or about $62 US.  There are no uncomfortable seats on these luxurious busses, but the very first seats on the passenger side of the bus afford great views through a larger window.  David disagrees, but I think there's more legroom, too.

Our Casa San Juan de Dios was rented through VRBO for $250 US for the five nights we spent in San Miguel.  See the property here.
              View from Our Terrace at Dusk

1 comment:

  1. We chose to move to San Miguel de Allende six years ago for its combination of climate, culture and the basic warmth of its people. I became interested in the process of becoming an expat and wrote a book based on conversations with 32 Americans and Canadians who had also made the move. It's mainly a way of getting inside their heads. It's called San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart. Here's a link to an excerpt on my website: