One of us lives on the east coast. One of us lives on the west.

One of us lives in a rural community. One of us lives in a city.

Both of us wander. Both of us witness. Both of us write.

This is a record of what we find.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Rich Landscape Of Travel

I was recently in Mexico—Mexico City, San Miguel De Allende and a day in Guanajuato. The time spent there was sensual, mind-expanding and so rich in images and experience.

Travel has always been important in our family, a priority that trumps most all other discretionary spending and hits the top of the list when we’re budgeting time and resources.

People often ask me, but what do you do when you travel?

Well, we do what we most like to do when we’re home, but more of it. We wander, we consider the landscape, we look at architecture, visit galleries and art museums, listen to music, hang out at side-walk cafés, talk to the dogs, eat locally and drink the local wine. And we always stop in a pharmacy and buy a tube of toothpaste.

I keep a journal. This past trip, I kept two. One to share and one just for me where I jotted down images and experiences and notes for a poem or short story, plus 4 rough-hewn sketches that helped me “see” more detail in an image I’d noted. (A practice I’ve now incorporated into my everyday journaling. Thank you, Lynda Barry!)

I thought I’d share one day from our trip (from the to-share journal):

Wednesday February 25, San Miguel de Allende
Breakfast in the lovely courtyard of our hotel.

Then we took a taxi from San Miguel to Guanajuato in a car with no seat belts. Our drivers name was Juan Jose—he spoke no English and had a silver cross on a string of green rosary beads dangling from the rear view mirror. He picked up a friend and then took us to see the mummy museum displaying the people who have been dug up from the cemetery to make room for more people, explaining in Spanish that only the very wealthy stay buried.

Then they took us to a church on top of a mine and showed us the gloppy gilded altars and sent us with a guide, deep, deep, down many flights of steep slippery stairs into the mineshaft. The guide insisted we keep taking pictures of each other posed as miners. Then we drove through the tunnels left over from the old mines into the center of town where we had a nice outdoor lunch on the square; shrimp tacos on a big spinach leaf and a paper thin slice of jicama and then soup. We walked around town holding hands and soaking up the spectrum of heat-soaked colors, then drove back to San Miguel and looked at the cactus and yellow flowers of Saint Mary and the dry hills of the Sierras de Guanajuato. Back in San Miguel, we chilled a little then went back out to see a few more galleries on Bob's recommended list, had some ice cream at Santa Clara creamery, a drink on the roof of Mama Mia.

On our way to find the restaurant where we wanted to eat, we saw a parade come up a quiet dimly-lit narrow street with a motorcycle policeman escort; a decorated donkey, two huge puppets—a lady and a Mexican wrestler with a horn band—maybe for lent? Also a group of tourists riding horses. We had a lovely light dinner at a new modern restaurant, Cumpanio, that had a repeating video of silhouetted white dog images playing on a wall in the bar.

I'd love to hear where you've been and what you've seen...

Take Good Care,


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking us along with you! Yikes on the mummy museum - or at least the reason for it. I'm so intrigued with the mine under a church! Makes my mind go a-wandering!