Friday, November 13, 2015

The Dinners and Events Continue...

A little bit of catch up is is in order. Yesterday morning, when I would otherwise be writing my blog, I went to walk a golf course - yes walk! Marc was having his annual game of golf with a friend and since Sue doesn't golf she had planned to tag along and accompany just for the exercise. Of course, a good walk appealed to me and since their friend Bill was someone I had already met - we had dinner with on my 2nd night in town - I felt comfortable tagging along.

It was a nice opportunity to get out of the centre of town and into open spaces to walk.

I had earlier planned to walk yesterday up to the botanical gardens for the English language tour of the El Charro Del Ingenio and then to the Art Walk at the Fabrica Aurora, both of which only happen on Thursdays, but I had forgotten the golf plans, so I guess that will be for next week.

So starting where if left off on Wed, I humbly submit my catch up report. :)

I spend most of Wednesday at home blogging, catching up on emails and doing some tweaking of my investments that wouldn't wait until December. I am on my home condominium Board of Directors and there were some things to be dealt which took up a bit of time also. So it was rather late in the afternoon when I got out for a wander.

I did manage enough time to do a big circle walk around town counter clockwise returning via the market north of Marc and Sue's place, "Mercado San Juan de Dios" which I visited last Saturday. I was pleased to find my way through it and then little laneway to the Life Path Centre, "Riconada de la Aldea", in the opposite direction without getting lost. No pictures, as you have seen them in earlier blogs.

Wednesday night we went out to dinner at a little place called La Fontera in Plaza Pueblito to the south of my casita. There were 7 of us for the weekly steak night special. Interesting people and excellent steak! The prix fixe dinner included salad, steak, potato, veggies and an ice cream for only 150 pesos. A good time was had by all, with lots of chuckles generated by Colin, whose dry British wit and puny puns and innuendos made for a fun time.

At the crack of dawn (ok, not as early as that - about 8:30), Marc and Sue and I ventured forth by cab (50 pesos) to the gated community/golf course Malanquin. It is one of the 2 golf courses in the SMA area. For those thinking of coming to SMA, it is a good deal when compared to a similar caliber clubs at home with membership fees in the 10k range. Caddies are obligatory, aside from carrying clubs, keeping score and helping with advice on the tricky bits on the course, they carry little buckets of what looked to me like a soil/perlite mix to fill in any divots you may take out with a swing. Luckily, golf carts, on the other hand are not obligatory. It was good to get out and walk the 18 hole course and admire the countryside.

The "Prickly Pear", or "Tuna" cactus trees were in abundance and all had pretty displays of fruit. The plant is edible. The young pads (leaves) of the cactus are used as a veg and the pears are used to make Aguas frescas, a lightly alcoholic fruit drink.

Mexico is where our monarch butterflys come to escape the Canadian winter. Their arrival is in early November coincides with the Day of the Dead and there are celebrations for the Monarchs here at that time also. Mexico has several Monarch Reserves. From reading the wiki articles on the Monarch and their overwintering sites, it sounds like something well worth seeing, but it seems a bit far south of SMA for a day trip. We saw this butterfly on the golf course fairway. After doing a bit of research on the migration I was surprised to learn that it takes 5 months and 5 generations to make the journey north as each mature monarch only lives 2-5 weeks during the breeding season! Not sure exactly how that works as it takes 25 days for an egg laid enroute to become an adult monarch. Overwintering adult monarchs do not breed and spend their days mostly roosting at the tops of trees in clusters with other monarchs.


Perhaps this is a white heron or a great white egret.

The grounds at the course are very well tended.

We finished up at the clubhouse restaurant for a bite of lunch. The clubhouse sandwich was tasty washed down with a Victoria cerveza. The Club also has clay tennis courts and a swimming pool and hosts a number of social events for members.

Thursday evening I attended the meeting of the SMA Literary Sala which was held at the Aldea Hotel. The literary club had arranged for 2 authors to speak as well as were doing a kickoff for their "Big Read" of Lovely, Dark, Deep, by Joyce Carol Oates. The Literary Sala had selected 5 stories from this collection for reading and had prepared a set of study questions and was facilitating by organizing discussion groups for those who signed up. I won't be here in January, when the Big Read discussion groups meet, but I think I will read the stories and participate from afar. It would be fabulous to be here for early February, when they have their International Writers Conference and Literary Festival. It is a very well regarded festival and in the past has attracted quite a few well known authors such as Margret Atwood. Check the link to see this year's featured guests.

The first speaker was John Scherber, a Minnesota native and SMA resident of 8 years and an author of quite a few books in several genres - books about the expat experience in Mexico as well as mystery and thriller novels and even a how to book on writing. I bought the book he spoke about "Living in San Miguel: The Heart of the Matter", hoping to get more insight into SMA life and facts to help me decide if this might be a place to winter. Flipping through the book, it seems to have all bases covered and is full of detail. I shall study it with great interest.

The second speaker, Juan Villoro, an author and journalist, was selected this year as the featured author by the Libros Para Todos non profit, who have undertaken to raise funds and organize a "big read" each year of one Mexican author's book within local schools. This year they raised funds to provide over 500 copies of Villoro's "El Libro Salvaje" to local school children. The author had that afternoon visited a school out on the campo and had addressed 200 children to talk to them about the book and about writing. Today, he will be meeting with another 300 children. Juan was an interesting and humorous speaker, talking about his childhood and growing up in Mexico City attending a German school. He also has a collection of short stories which have been translated into English. "The Guilty" contains stories about everyday life in Mexico and if the information given in his talk is anything to go by, the the stories will be interesting and humorous.

I wandered home to dig up a light supper (the salon started at 5 and included only some very light munchies) and then had an early night. Seems I am not having any trouble sleeping here.



  1. I have seen the Monarch migration, Peggy -- millions of them going on for miles and miles -- in early September here. In fact, when I lived in South Dakota it was not unusual for them to fill trees like leaves adjacent to my house for an overnight stop. Quite a sight.

    It seems a person would never run out of things to do in San Miguel. You certainly keep on the move.

  2. I can agree that would have been quite a magical sight - all those butterflies! Wish I had been there.

    Yes, there seems to be an endless number of things to see, go to and do. I am starting to wonder how the long term residents and snowbirds keep up with the pace!