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"No McYellow arches mar the landscape - in fact NO building, old or brand new, is allowed to be constructed in other than classic 18th or 19th Century styling."
- Kirk Stephan

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Mexico

Mexican highway tales: post-crash
by Kirk Stephan, on the road in Mexico
Mar 13, 2000

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Mexico Travel Guide  Travel Stories in the Americas  Mexican Webcams  Mexico Profile  Map of Mexico

Chapter 1

I'm guessing it's not permitted to have an uneventful journey inside Mexico. At least that's been par for me this year. For instance, the mind/body crunching I received at the hands of that speeding truck the first day in the country.

After the hospital in the desert I badly needed to recuperate and get off the painkillers. I still couldn't move much so I got to the house of a friend and collapsed. The town was relaxation-conducive, and beautiful.

Though it is untrue, one might believe, San Miguel de Allende isn't Mexico at all. You could say the same for Cancun but you'd be meaning something quite different. The mostly Indian population, including the children, smile and greet the gringo, and seem genuine in their friendliness. This huge, ancient city stretches for miles, up and down mountainsides trodden by the soldiers of Maxmillian, way back when. No McYellow arches mar the landscape - in fact NO building, old or brand new, is allowed to be constructed in other than classic 18th or 19th Century styling. The vision is of a great Arabian or Castillian capital of yore which will make you catch your breath as you first come over the rise from Queretero and start down the steep cobblestone hillside (only cobblestones are allowed, no cement!). Large Mexican trucks couldn't negotiate these dropping-twisting streets even if they were permitted to.

The weather is probably the most astounding feature of S.M.A. Of course, the Altiplano (high mountain central plateau of Mexico, utilized by most ancient peoples like the Aztecs as well as the Spaniards as their kingdom's life and ruling center) is famous for its moderate climate. But modern days have brought clouds of toxic pollution to many if not most areas(Mexico City, Monterrey, Saltillo etc, etc,etc.) Here, though, far from the nearest industrial city of Queretero, clear skies rule. They say there are 360 days of sunshine per year! I haven't seen one of the 5 others yet, but I've only been around a couple of months now. Still, with every cold front blowing down from the U.S., the evenings turn chilly (50 F degrees average). The day's temperature invariably returns to the normal 75, even though there's a 15 degree difference from the shady side of the street to the sunny.

The policeman here is pudgy and friendly. People mostly use him to ask directions. Today I was startled, turning around to thank whoever had "blessed" me when I'd sneezed, to find it was him.

Money talks, as always..

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