We drove with the diesel pump in the back of the rental car to the Bosch dealer in Leon (48 km). Jamaliah waited outside in a side street in the car (she is not feeling well) while Rudy tried to speed things up at the workshop. After 2 hrs the verdict was that the pump had to be sent to Mexico city for investigation/repair. Maybe in 2 days time we would get it back. That would be now but still there is no news.
We drove to the close-by revolutionary town of Dolores Hildalgo. Here the revolution for independence from Spain started in 1810. Also the nearby town of San Miguel de Allende, where we are staying now, played a part in this struggle. Unfortunately both leaders, Hildalgo and Allende, were captured and executed so they could not see final independence in 1821. In Dolores we went straight to a hotel so Jamaliah could rest (she has a cold). The next day we walked into town to the main plaza and visited several churches on or nearby the plaza. Some churches are sober on the inside but decorated on the outside while others have a very overdone gold covered altar piece and sober outside walls. The pictures below will give an impression of the churches.
From Dolores we drove to San Miguel De Allende. It was only some 75 km (we do not want to go too far away in case the good news arrives that we can pick up the diesel pump in Leon). Some 25 km beyond the town there is an archaeological excavation of a Pre-Spanish temple complex: “Canada de la Virgen” occupied from 300 – 1050 AD. You leave your car at the visitor centre and take a bus which drives you some 8 km up the hill to the temple complex. There was only 1 other couple with us in the bus. Since the guide could only speak Spanish, they tried to translate some significant points. From the bus stop it is still a 2 km walk over the old native road towards the complex. It was a very relaxing tour. We were at that moment the only visitors and wandered for some 2 hrs in-between and over the ruins. One new item for me was the herb garden in the shape of the sun and its rays. We were allowed to climb to the top of the main pyramid which provided a nice overview of the complex and its surroundings.
In San Miguel de Allende we found a small hotel just off the main plaza. The climbing roads leading up to the plaza are cobblestone with lots of traffic. The town is a Unesco World heritage site. This means that everything should stay as original as possible. No out hanging signs and only the original shop/hotel fronts. This made it difficult to find the hotel. The car had to be parked on a small public parking lot around the corner. The lot is so full of cars that you have to give the caretaker your car key (valet parking) so he can free up the double parked cars. After dark we wandered around town to find a restaurant. The small ones were already closed and the larger international ones looked attractive but we did not go in. Instead we went to the main plaza and snacked (hamburger and Quesadilla) at a roadside stall. There was already a Christmas atmosphere on the plaza. Christmas lighting was up and stalls were selling toys for children. Several Mexican groups were playing music (guitar, trumpets and completed with a singer).
Today we did not do very much. When we left the hotel at 10:30am. The sun was shining but it was still cool. It looked like the town still had to wake up. The streets were not busy. We found a small shop for a breakfast of sandwich, fruit cocktail and fruit juice. The rest of the day we wandered around going in and out of churches and visiting the historical museum of San Miguel de Allende, which is in Allende’s original family home on the corner of the plaza. Because of the concentration of churches in the city centre there is a cacophony of bells every 15 minutes indicating the time of day. One session is longer and louder than the other. This ringing wakes you up at night.
Later in the evening we decided to have dinner at a restaurant just a few meters from our hotel. It is a fancy restaurant with live English music (Kiwi piano singer and guitarist). An enjoyable evening and Rudy had his first straight tequila too.