Saludos from San Miguel de Allende

Finding craft beers and gorgeous dilapidation in this ex-pat haven in the center of Mexico.

vandwelling in san miguel de allende mexico

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Walls rise up around us as we nestle our little 1978 VW Bus into a corner of the San Miguel RV Park.

It feels fortified, safe. The sounds of men playing tennis, often speaking in English, pop and bounce just behind a chain link fence shrouded in bushes, and part of the park itself.

We get miniature corner palapa all to ourselves. A small library across the way. Occasionally owners or workers walk through the park, otherwise, we have it to ourselves for the better part of three weeks.

We walk from the park to see the various sights.

A farmers market runs heavy with breads and soups, handmade jewelry and free kittens to good homes. Homeless women, their hands wrinkled and crippled with arthritis or worse, sit on the sidewalks barely holding onto cups, their faces shrouded completely. A massive church serves as the focal point of the skyline beyond.

We frequent restaurants like Oso Azul for small but delicious breakfasts, the waitress always welcoming, forgiving my broken Spanish. Mercado Centro plays the role of living room more days than not, an assortment of eateries in an upscale food court setting provides ample opportunities to try different foods while allowing our boys to eat something familiar, as we eaves drop on dining locals.

Hotel Real Minas, an upscale affair, allows us to swim in their pristine pool for a few pesos each. I frequent the Beer Store and other shops on Ancha de San Antonio for craft beers brewed in Mexico and around the world.

Renée steps on a mesquite thorn which will cause her excruciating pain for weeks, likely arthritis somewhere down the road of life.

A VW shop near the Beer Store allows me to chat them up over the likelihood of getting anything ever done right in this country, something more akin to a fix than a bandaid. “Buena suerte,” one mechanic tells me. “Good luck.”

an old vw bus
SMA charm.
children stand beside an old wooden gate
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

It’s a city full of winding roads and gorgeous dilapidation. We stay much longer than we’d have imagined. When we leave, the long road from here through Veracruz, along the southern Gulf states, lonely boring random towns, leaves us longing for San Miguel de Allende once again…