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The celebration of Mexico's Independence Day at San Miguel

We started the day waking up early at 7 am with a hangover. Great.

We had to reach a Starbucks coffee shop at San Miguel to meet up with the owner of our AirBNB place. On our way towards San Miguel from Guanajuato City, the taxi driver was very nice enough to stop by a local eatery tent for breakfast. This place had many different kinds of fresh taco meat. In my mind, I thought this was an excellent solution for my hangover.

When we reached at San Miguel, my first impression was that this is a city of slopes. Unlike Guanajuato City, there are no underground tunnels but the alleys and streets are very steep. After walking uphill constantly at 2,000 metres above sea level, it can get tiresome.

Our AirBNB host Coffee and Taylor are amazing. They are friendly people and seem to trust us for the custody of their house. We had all the amenities that we need. The only problem was that we did not regularly have hot water for shower. This means, we had to do “isolation showering”, arms first, then legs, bodies etc.

So perhaps you may ask, why San Miguel de Allende? Well, being at San Miguel during the Mexico’s Independence Day bears a lot of significance. This traced back to September 15, 1810 when two great Mexican leaders, Ignacio Allende and Miguel Hidalgo, started the independence movement. On that day, the two leaders assembled the insurgent army on that day and first came to San Miguel. The insurgent army had great success in the San Miguel and the leaders were able to develop a proper government by naming officers and freeing prisoners. In history, San Miguel was considered to be the first city to be freed from Spanish rule.

To commemorate one of the leaders Ignacio Allende, people name the city San Miguel de Allende.

The next few hours we toured around the city centre and visited the main cathedral and plaza. I quickly noticed that the plaza was completely decorated with three kinds of colours – green, red and white. Merchants were selling any kind of items that carried the Mexican spirit, such as shirts, flags, flower-crown. Adry couldn’t resist and bought herself a nice little flower-crown to celebrate the Independence day.

At the plaza, I also noticed Mariachi bands playing in each of the corners of the plaza. I could probably count at least 10 Mariachi bands wearing different kinds of Mariachi clothing, playing different kinds of music. The city was definitely filled-up with Mexican spirit.

On the other hand, I noticed that Mamta wanted to buy two Mexican dolls for herself or for souvenirs. Mamta wanted to bargain with the lady vendor and asked Adry how to say 90 in Spanish (noventa).

Mamta took two dolls and said “Noventa pesos.”

The lady responded: “Cien pesos.”

Mamta: “Noventa pesos.”

Lady: “Cien pesos.”

Mamta: “Noventa pesos” ……….. “Por favor.”

The poor lady couldn’t argue and actually gave Mamta the two dolls for 90 pesos. The funny thing was that Mamta did not know any other numbers in Spanish, so it was possible that even the lady said 80 pesos, Mamta would continue bargain the price at 90.

At the end of the night, we went to a restaurant bar Mama Mia for dinner and some drinks. On that night, I learned about Adry’s favourite type of music – reggaeton.

In the next morning, we explored other churches in the city and went up to the Mirador look-out spot of San Miguel. Unfortunately, to our disappointment, the view wasn’t as nice as Guanajuato City. Nonetheless, we stopped by to get ice-cream.

While searching for places to go, I stumbled upon a suggestion made by TripAdvisor to go to a pyramid ruins 45 min away from San Miguel – Canada de la Virgen. We negotiated a price with a cab driver and went away from the town and drove towards Canada de la Virgen. At the site, we noticed that the pyramids’ last tour was at 4:30 pm (we arrived at 5 pm). It was quite unfortunate and Aaron asked the officials very nicely to allow us to take a quick peek. The problem was: rules are rules. What we could do instead was watching a 30 min clip video at the museum about the ancient ruins. After our full disappointment, we went back to our AirBNB.

We were all tired in the middle of the day.

After some pre-drinks in our rooms, we went out to the city to eat dinner and watch some fireworks. The fireworks were set-off at around 11 pm and went on for a good 20 min. After watching some spectacular fireworks, there was a concert on the centre stage, singing traditional Mexican songs. It was a great night and I could really appreciate the Mexican culture.

Not to our surprise, we woke up with another hangover. Not a problem. After having some food, we returned the keys to the AirBNB host and hopped on a taxi to go back to Guanajuato City.

Not knowing what was considered normal, the taxi was actually driving really fast that Aaron and Adry were scared and worried. In fact, the driver was driving at 120 km/h on a curve. I thought it was normal and didn’t bother thinking about it. Instead, I was focusing on taking pictures of the beautiful view.

At the end of the trip, I said “It was nice meeting you Guanajuato and San Miguel”.

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Who is Henry Shew?

Henry is an avid traveler and a tax consultant by profession.


Walk In My Shew is started to document the travel stories and culture experienced in different countries.


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