Hot + Wheels in San Miguel

The title is a real stretch; I realize that. I am combining two aspects of our visit to San Miguel and that’s the only title that came to mind. We will see if it makes any sense at all by the end. Haha.

Feet are the primary mode of transportation in San Miguel. The city’s streets are narrow and very hilly so cars aren’t practical for most folks.

Walking down a very quiet street – no cars in sight in any direction!

What’s truly fascinating about the “traffic” is the patience that drivers display when they approach an intersection. There are no stoplights or stop signs. Cars just pause, look, and carefully proceed in a polite fashion. It is really quite nice to observe.

Mexico still has functioning Volkswagen Beetles. Al and I have a soft spot for those little vehicles, from our youth and from our years together. At one time we owned a pair of “his and her” Beetles. Al’s was a semi-souped-up cranberry colored one and mine was a classic yellow SuperBeetle. I couldn’t help but snap pics of as many of the Mexican Beetles as possible.

Although we always walked down the hill to our destinations, we also always caught a cab for the uphill trip back to Casa Garza. I managed to communicate that our destination was the corner of Garza and Huertas. Taxis are inexpensive, only 40 pesos ($2) for all of us, regardless of how far. On our last day the rate was increased to 50 pesos ($2.50) due to rising gas prices. Sure beats the cost of a taxi on Block island!

The bright green and white taxis are easy to spot and plentiful.

Trolley option – Although we never rode this trolly, it was cute, don’t you think?

Trash collection has an amusing etiquette in San Miguel. Early in the morning, between 7:00 and 8:30 am, we could hear the sounds of a ringing bell, similar to an old-fashioned dinner bell. That pleasant sound is the signal that the garbage truck is nearby and it is time to bring your trash out to the truck. Obviously it is a good idea to have it ready to go the night before.

Trash collection – Listen for the ringing bell!

Picking up the garbage, even on the crowded streets. Everyone has to wait.

On on elf our many walks, I noticed t his “antique” gas pump. It doesn’t appear to be in service anymore. In fact, I don’t think I saw any gas pumps within the city.

A wedding car waiting for the bride and groom. That is a real flower arrangement tied to the trunk.

That covers the “wheels” of the title………… Now for the “hot.”

We fell into the pattern of starting our day with a relaxing cup of coffee and breakfast while we waited for the temperatures to rise a bit. That was especially important on that Friday (our 3rd day) because we planned to head out of town to La Gruta Hot Springs, a 30-minute taxi ride (and a little more than the usual 40 pesos.)

La Gruta—the Grotto—is aptly named. It is one of four hot springs in the Guanajuato region, and is the closest to SMA. La Gruta is known for its healing waters. There are Stations of the Cross along the driveway entrance, suggesting it may have been operated as a religious site at one time.

The grounds were attractive and peaceful with many trees and flowers. The outdoor pools are fed by the thermal hot springs, but only two of the three were open that day.

The entrance into La Gruta was charming with glass hearts hanging from the branches of the trees.
That is one large piece of driftwood!

La Gruta is not fancy, but everything is clean. The waters are clear and sparkling with no chlorine. It’s a family place so it wasn’t total peace and quiet, but enough. The families with young children were fun to watch.

This was the warm pool where I spent most of my swimming time.

Al and Kayda in the next warmest pool. A very pretty setting.

At the far end of this pool is the entrance to the star attraction of La Gruta, a grotto or cave.

The tunnel entrance to the hottest cavern looked mysterious and intriguing.

Once you enter that doorway, you are in a darkened, water-filled stone tunnel that leads to the grotto. You can float, swim or walk through the tunnel.

In the tunnel!

At the end of the tunnel, you carefully step down a short stairway into a dome-shaped cave where hot water gushes from a tube high in the wall. It was steamy with chest-deep hot water. Most of the people seemed to really enjoy the experience, but I found it to be much too hot for me.

Al and Kayda in the steamy atmosphere. You could hardly see in the fog steam. I really risked my camera by carrying it through the tunnel and into the grotto.

All and all, it was a very relaxing day. This was our first ever visit to a “hot spring” since there aren’t many (any?) in New England.  I enjoyed swimming, in the “coolest” of the hot spring’s pools and the lunch at La Gruta’s little outdoor patio restaurant was  tasty. So far, Kayda and I have done a very fine job of planning the daily activities. 😉

Is the “Hot + Wheels” clear?

 

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