So now that we are settled in, what are Lola and MsPacifica up to?
Having scouted the town’s shops and a few restaurants, we are now indulging in cultural activities. La Biblioteca (library) is the cultural and community hub of San Miguel, and also the location of the bi-lingual weekly newspaper La Atención, which is aimed at expats and covers all the events as well as news of interest.
We have twice been to concerts in the Sala Quetzal in the Biblioteca for classical and flamenco guitar which have both been great. For about 10-12 NZD there is a performance starting at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a very talented Mexican musician. When we leave there it is dusk and we can wander home though the main square (Jardin) and past the beautiful Parroquia (the main church in San Miguel) and see what is happening – which often includes music, mariachi bands, dancing or just promenading and milling around. As dinner happens rather late here it is also time for dinner and our easy 15minute walk home is downhill.
Friday saw us make our second visit to the art gallery complex La Fabrica de Aurora on the outskirts of town. (We did go there two years ago) Fabrica means factory and this is a former mill complex – and huge network of interconnecting spaces turned into galleries and craft workshops and home and jewellery stores and all things creative. We did a little shopping: jewellery, scarves and a handbag! One necklace was rejected as being too like the Queen, (three strands of pearls and a central pendant) – a reference that Mexicans don’t understand.
Lola was very taken by this Richard Trumbull painting: Camino Azul (the blue road/way) but it is rather large for transporting home.
Saturday saw us venture out of town to the Sanctuario de Atotonilco and the Galleria Atotonilco which is a very famous gallery and house which you visit by appointment only out in the countryside and where the owner travels Mexico to collect the best art and artefacts from all over the country. I used it as a learning experience to see the best on offer and am tempted by some pottery jars, but Lola could not resist a rather large wall plate which is now going around the world with her…. before hopefully making it safely back to Island Bay, New Zealand.
His house was so much a gallery they hardly had room to live but also clearly it held the amazing pieces that he couldn’t bear to sell. As we had let the taxi driver go so that we could have a very thorough walk around the gallery we then had to walk 20minutes in the heat of the day down a dusty road to get to the Santuario, and then another 10 minutes to get the the recommended restaurant El Coyote Flaco (the thin Coyote!) which was a really nice rustic outdoor place with open fires for barbeque meat and pizza ovens and large strong margaritas ( for lunch on a Saturday).
They also had cute iron candlesticks in the shape of cactus’s which you should look closely at because Ms pacifica has signed up for a two day metalwork workshop where you get to work on a project and so we have been looking for suitable project examples as we travel. We also say a really nice metal sculpture of a branch with leaves and a birds nest and birds but decided that it might be a bit or a stretch for a first metal project!
Lola is threading beads for her first artistic project! Photos to come – after it starts.
Finally the Sanctuario de Atotonilco which is described as the Mexican Sistine Chapel!