After the thorn stuck in the Wadi Rum (Jordan) and another flyby in Elche, was the flight over Masai Mara (Kenya) the one that satiated my desires again of the "soap bubble effect", a different safari and a spectacle of nature. But if it's about ballooning, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and León They are a reference in the world. It's 6:00 in the morning and the alarm wakes me up ...
Balloon fly in San Miguel de Allende
In the previous stories I have never gotten too much into the history of the balloon flights, but it was 232 years ago (in 1782) when the first balloon with passengers (a duck and a sheep) would return to the ground satisfactorily, and a year later people would do it for almost 30 minutes. Today, the balloon is still considered one of the safest and most satisfying experiences, which likes to leave its comfort zone, which can be offered.
And here we are, in San Miguel de Allende, very close to Leon where one of the most important Balloon Festivals in the world is celebrated (and that we will know in a few days), a show that illuminates the sky with colors and forms a light and sound show that they say is highly recommended (photo: zonaturistica.com)
Without even dawn, they have already picked us up and we have gone to an open field on the outskirts of the city
With the first rays of light they have already deployed the balloon on the ground and that unforgettable swelling sound begins (no, it is not mounted, haha), which ends with the last blown of hot air from the burner that places the basket in an upright position.
It is time to get in the basket and get carried away in the silence of the morning, while our companions become small in the distance
Vertigo? I always tell it, but people who suffer from vertigo can also enjoy the experience of the balloon, since the basket is almost shoulder-length and that, together with an opaque "floor", avoids any sensation other than the of floating before the silence of our surroundings, only interrupted by the lighter of our "pilot" in its ascent and descent looking for air that moves us
And it is that the balloon moves where "the wind takes you", but for this task to be pleasant, the moments of the day are sought when the agitation is less (sunrise and sunset) thus avoiding the intensities of the breeze of other hours of the day that would cause a less bearable experience.
I do not forget that I have pending with the friends of siempreenlasnubes.com An overflight through the beautiful cities of Segovia or Merida on our return to Spain.
The shots we could take from such an experience are endless, but the best moment is when we all shut up and listen to that halo of silence.
The balloon basket, unlike other occasions, has consisted of two parts of 4 or 5 seats more or less balanced.
What has been more complicated this time, as the wind began to rise and after 40 minutes of overflight, it has been the emergency landing we have done on the private estate of a hotel. They almost got us arrested! LOL. Have you ever been in the bubble of a hot air balloon?
The ritual of every landing cannot be missed, of course. Breakfast and a toast with a drink, which I understand comes from the first flights that were made in a balloon, to celebrate a safe landing and soothe the first skeptics of this type of flights.
Cañada de la Virgen, legacy of the Toltecs?
Before the morning star visit, we made two stops along the way. One in The big house, a newly inaugurated congress palace that promises great events in the city and another for the golf course, where we have been allowed to tap.
About 16 km southwest, in less than 20 minutes, we reach the Sanctuary of the Glen of the Virgin, a nature reserve that covers an area of approximately 12 hectares with an archaeological site of great value
Although I am passionate about civilizations, I would bore even the most fanatical if I start talking about the pre-Hispanic cultures of this area of the planet. Already during our trip to Peru, both Paula and I were fascinated by everything behind the great known Inca civilization, especially after placing everything in our Stop in Pucara.
We entered into an open space just 3 years ago, not yet well known among visitors arriving in San Miguel de Allende, where you can access by van or buses from Fine Arts that we were yesterday, then a small truck, to end with a walking tour a good ride (convenient to bring water) in a beautiful gorge (and with a nice guest)
I find it curious to see the place, at times taken from the best western films, that are on this road and also completely alone.
Also, how capricious nature is, that makes its way in any place, however inhospitable, and wherever there is a cactus, a curious synergy occurs with the trees that grow in its shadow, or other more "thorny"
Like almost all of these cultures, his knowledge of heaven from the study of the stars, involves a series of structures that many details are still unknown (including the original name).
It seems that this place was occupied from 540 to 1050, inhabited by the wealthiest families, the elite and the priests, burial areas existing.
The truncated pyramids (seven) that we can find here, squares, ball game and ceramic vestiges, according to the excellent guide that accompanies us (fundamental to understand these places), suggests that his last occupation would be linked to the maximum Toltec expansion. The main one is the House of the 13 heavens.
Trade with other Mesoamerican regions is intuited through their structures and life activity and even that important rituals were celebrated here because of their strategic position in the orientation of the sunset and sunrise. Also the change of typology used between the different bases
Curiosities of the place is that it is believed that the Chinese would have arrived earlier than the Spaniards, hence their dialect, or that in this place a quartz stone was found with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, as well as numerous buried women.
In the main temple, from which you can see the surroundings we have traveled, a man was found with a dog in his arms, broken head and ribs, jaw, etc ... missing everything under the knees, and surrounded by vessels, bracelets, splinters, ... The esoteric thing about the finding is that although It was buried in 700, the carbon 14 test has detected that it was much older, about 1033 years before its burial. Inexplicable?
This imposing fortress is believed to have been abandoned 900 years ago. Today they are more than 3 km of walks not suitable for all audiences but of great archeological interest (for me, an essential visit)
Attractions of San Miguel de Allende
The walk (and a small logistical problem) has opened our appetite a lot today, so it is a good time to set course for the place where we will eat today, very close to the Main Square, just like yesterday, an area where we will move this late.
The miracles (1) It is an old house located in the heart of the city, where in a cozy atmosphere, all kinds of Mexican dishes are served, from appetizing molcajetes to grilled meats, fish and shrimp, through more traditional ones such as enchiladas, arrachera tacos or tampiqueñas. We have tried the "Mining enchiladas"
Around 18:30 we have starteda "walkingtour" through the historic center, which reminds us again why San Miguel de Allende has been chosen as the best tourist city in the world we mentioned yesterday
The city was founded in 1542 by the Franciscan monk Fray Juan San Miguel as an important step in the silver route that connected with Zacatecas, although its most important moment was during the Mexican War of Independence at the beginning of the 19th century, with the outstanding figure of Ignacio Allende. From these two figures the name of the city is born already in 1826.
Today is a day of much movement in the town, since they are wedding days and pre-weddings. We can see the donkeys loaded with tequila, usually mojiganga, in addition to numerous musical groups starting their "wandering around". !! 3 wedding days !! A whole party ... and so is the expectant town
The Aldama Street, from which you can see the dome of the Cathedral, it is a very colorful cobbled street, although any of them is
The truth is that I am not surprised that the charm and atmosphere that this town breathes was an inspiration for many foreigners to find their retirement here.
Its tourist importance, however, began in 1950, when its thermal springs and colonial architecture, caught the attention of Americans in search of a placid town with attractive streets and good temperature. Thus we arrive at the Parish of San Miguel de Arcangel (2), from the 18th century and emblem of the city
Its Gothic facade has undergone a multitude of renovations and derumbes until today it becomes the symbol that every traveler who passes through here takes away from the city.
Perhaps what least attracts my attention is its interior, although it is an obligatory step for all believers, who are many here.
From here we have continued walking until theCanal Leadership House (3)of beautiful cover, dated from the 18th century, and raised by the descendants of Don Manuel de la Canal, a Creole Spaniard from Mexico. Undoubtedly, the really magnificent thing to observe are the reliefs carved by cabinetmakers of the time, which still endure over time.
The guide has recommended us the San Francisco Temple (4) where the most important are the sculptures sculpted in quarry of saints as well as the crucified Christ and the Immaculate Conception, although for the hours, we have set course for the Convent or Cloister of the Immaculate Conception (5), with a mason-style dome that looks like to that of Napoleon and that today acts as a Center for Fine Arts
The day, as we said before, has been long especially in the early morning, but today I can say that I have satiated my desire to "float like a soap bubble". Dinner (today in the hotel although they have been a few beers) takes place between laughs and anecdotes in a hotel room, after saying goodbye at dusk in town (we are exhausted). The group is a pineapple, and that we are already on day ten and it would be understandable a little tired.
I dismiss the story with these lines, although I have heard something about tomorrow's gastronomic festival. What a fear it gives me! !! Everything here itches !! Or did anyone doubt it? See you tomorrow everyone…
Isaac, from San Miguel de Allende (Mexico)