Friday, November 7, 2008

Tourist Day

Thursday I was a tourist. At the recommendation of my landlady, I took a taxi up to the Botanical Garden, high on the hills above San Miguel, overlooking the city. It made for a nice hike along a long trail through the desert landscape. The botanical diversity, however, was mostly cacti. Hey, I'm from Phoenix. I wouldn't walk half a block to look at another cactus. But I did do some photography, and got to "commune with nature." The photo here is of another park, down in the city called Porfirio Diaz Park (or the French park for style of gardens). That one I liked. Green, cool, and peaceful, with only the not-too-obtrusive piped in music playing throughout the park and the occasional jogger to disturb your reverie.

Thursday afternoon I went to a "balneario," or thermal spring spa just outside of town. I tagged along with an American expat who lives in SMA and kindly asked me if I'd like to take a trip to "take the waters." It made for a wonderful afternoon--3 natural thermal hot spring pools in ascending temperature gradations. This was great for achy bones unaccustomed to their owner's walking so much. Also I took advantage of the staff massage therapist. $19 for an open-air massage looking out over lush green lawn, trees, and potted flowers. What's bad? On the way back into town, we stopped for a beer at a converted former textile factory which has been made into a VERY upscale shops & offices complex. It was something you'd see in Dallas's Turtle Creek, or Chicago's Winnetka. Fancy architect and designers' offices, artists' studios, a spectacular antique gallery and a couple of bars. Clearly, someone in Mexico has a lot of money to spend.
Don and I had a neat freewheeling chat about Life In Mexico. Very useful.

That same morning, as I was sitting at my usual breakfast counter in the market, another American expat (a lady) struck up a conversation. She was headed to her all-morning art class and asked if I'd like to join the group for lunch (couldn't since I had plans to go to the balneario). People are friendly in SMA.