A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009
Roadside pottery store beyond San Miguel
A roadside pottery store,
on the Dolores Hidalgo road from San Miguel

We hated to look at the calendar, but there was no avoiding it: we had to be home in ten days. It was time to get some kilometers behind us…

Most of the road now would be divided highways, with some toll roads. Driving was easier. Happily, even before we had reached the divided roads, I had become much more relaxed about Mexican traffic.

Our first night of this leg of the journey, we stopped at Gogorron, a pretty spa about half an hour off the highway. In the dry and dusty terrain of northern Mexico, its green lawns and huge trees were a welcome sight. In the morning, the birdsong from the canopy of trees overhead was an exquisite wake-up call. As usual, we were the only campers there, but Mexican families were there for the day or overnight, staying in the motel rooms.

Kelly and I had a long soak in one of the lukewarm swimming pools. There were a couple of Mexican families near us, and we watched how the parents treated their children with love, attentiveness, and the usual Mexican jolliness.

We had seen this everywhere in the country, not just at vacation spots. What a contrast it was with our own country, where many parents rarely seemed to experience their kids as delights.

At another hot spring, we had walked along with a middle-aged woman who was selling her homemade candies there. When she heard that we had only one child, she felt sorry for us. (Actually, that one child is my stepdaughter, but I didn’t usually bother telling Mexicans that.) This woman had nine children. Mexico’s population has greatly increased in the last decades, and I’m sure that the love of children which is such a strong cultural trait makes family planning less attractive. But more families are just having a few children now, so that they can provide better opportunities for them. We often saw condoms in stores, and I was told that other methods of birth control were available too. The more educated people are, the smaller their families tend to be.

Hot spring swimming pool
Balnearios are everywhere in Mexico.

On our way back to the highway the next day, we stopped in front of a modern grocery store in a small town. I went in to buy a few things, and was surprised to be greeted in fluent English. Two brothers owned the store, and had just built it from their savings after working some 15 years in California and Chicago. They enjoyed using their English with me. I asked them where they would rather be – in Mexico or in the U.S. One brother said, a little regretfully, that now they were going to be here, where their extended family was. He had a wife and two young daughters he didn’t want to be parted from. But, as so many Mexicans who have worked in the U.S. told us, he liked it better there.

Further north on the highway, I saw a new-looking sign for Rio Verde, a town that had been recommended to us, with a wonderful lake near it. The map book showed a dotted line where a new highway was planned. Well, the highway now existed (at least at this end), and it wouldn’t take us many hours to get over there. We contemplated our options. Regretfully we agreed not to add more driving to go to a place we wouldn’t have time to stay long. But maybe next year…

[Next: we explore Parras de la Fuente and its winery]

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