Posts Tagged ‘city’

Seat of the Mexican Revolution

29th April 2011 by Helen
central square in San Migeul de Allende

central square in San Migeul de Allende

parade around the central suqare in San Miguel de Allende

parade around the central suqare in San Miguel de Allende

Today we resumed our cultural tour of the north by visiting San Miguel de Allende, named after what is recognised as the key founder of the revolution for independence in 1810.  Although there was some similarity here in the cobbled streets the buildings and homes appear wealthier, the colours brighter.  However, unlike in Real de Catorce, there were many beggars: old women sitting on the pavement holding out their hands, young children looking with pleading eyes at people sitting in cafes, a young mother carrying a child and asking for money for food.  There were also many hawkers, selling all sorts of typical souvenirs.  As we entered the Catholic Church next to the main square we were struck by the strong smell of the flowers decorating the church.  We were glad to find the museum, the original home of the founder of the revolution, had an explanation of the history in English as well as Spanish!

George looking after Landy for us while we walked around town

George looking after Landy for us while we walked around town

By now we have noticed that Landy is attracting a lot of attention, and plenty of wolf whistles!! We were happy to take up George’s off to ‘wash’ Landy while we toured the city, knowing he would be looked after.  We found out later George lives just a few doors away from where we were parked.

inside the Catholic Church by the square in San Miguel de Allende

inside the Catholic Church by the square in San Miguel de Allende

After leaving San Miquel de Allende we headed on a bit more towards Mexico City and found another garage where we nestled in among the trucks.  Paul by now has fished out his ear plugs as the road is not far away and some of the trucks will have generators running overnight.  I as usual can sleep through pretty much anything (and did).

Campsite – Pemex garage on highway 57

Distance travelled – 353 km

San Fran

12th March 2011 by Helen
Alcatraz

Alcatraz

After a bit of a lie in to recover from our day at Cole European yesterday, we spent a little time exploring San Francisco today.

We decided we didn’t really need to visit Alcatraz, although we leant on the railings and peered across the water at the ‘rock’.  The most surprising thing was that it seemed so close to the mainland.  I imagine it must have been really frustrating for those imprisoned on the island.

2011 03 12 (45) - Pier 39 - San Fran - carousel - rotated

riding the carousel at Pier 39 San Francisco

We also took a walk around Pier 39, what I think is the main tourist pier.  It struck us both as being just like Blackpool back home.  Lots of souvenir shops selling T-shirts and such like.  Didn’t see any Kiss Me Quick hats, guess that can’t be very American.  The usual street entertainers, many of which are pretty second rate.  A juggler who had a pretty dismal sound system and no personality to his patter.  One guy trying to do one of those ‘freeze’ mimes – where they stand so still you think they are statues until they scare some poor passer-by – except he hardly stood still – the ones you get in Covent Garden in London were much better.  We stopped a while to listen to blues singer Dave Earl.  He was definitely the best, but then as I love the Blues I might have been a bit biased too!!

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

streets of San Francisco

streets of San Francisco

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we started our journey south again.  The weather’s warm, the spring flowers are blooming, the rain’s falling.  But it’s been another quite long day and we are tired, so on spotting a ‘campsite’ sign just short of Santa Cruz we make that our stop for the night.  Apart from the usual drone of traffic in the background, in what is proudly declared the most populated State in the US, there is an amazing racket being kept up by the local frog population.

Campsite – KOA at Costanoa (just north of Santa Cruz)

Anchorage

4th November 2010 by Helen

We’re still here in Anchorage so I thought it was about time we did an update. Almost everything is in place ready for us to head off to Florida. We’ve collected the Jeep (shhhh, don’t tell Landy) out of storage, had the oils changed and the windscreen fixed (as arranged by the owner) but there’s a problem with the car heater – like, it’s not working – which is not bright when it’s already below freezing most of the time outside and it’s been snowing today.  One way or another a solution of some kind will have to happen tomorrow.  We’ve got on really well with the guys at the hostel but we are still really gutted by the delay. It makes it all the tighter on our schedule for actually getting to Florida in time for our flights back up to Seattle.

But, for now, I have a little time to think a bit more about our time here in Anchorage. It’s much as I described in ‘Cities’ but a couple of things I didn’t mention. Just down the road from the hostel is a house with a large caged pen outside. In the pen is a reindeer named Star. Star has her own facebook page. In fact she is really Star number 6 and is apparently a bit of a mascot here in Anchorage. Read more about Star’s history here.  Seeing Star and reading the article has made us ponder somewhat on the subject of what type of animal makes an appropriate pet and how they are kept!!

Another thing here is the cost of food!!  It’s astronomical.  Not that we should be surprised as most of it has to be shipped in from the “Lower 48” as they call the southern states.  Other than that most stuff seems cheaper at least than the UK – houses, apartments, electrical goods, etc.

We had a bit of a drama last night.  Paul was outside in the dark and snow detailing (valeting in English English) the Jeep while I was indoors cooking (not daft).  All of a sudden Paul heard a creeeeaaaaaak and then a craaaaassssshhhhh as the telegraph pole three doors up the road bent off at the bottom and lay down across the road.  The wires above his head tightened and then the next telegraph pole up the road repeated the cry and lay down too!!  Lights went off up the road between the two poles causing people to come rushing out into the road.

Much to our surprise the fire service turned up within the half hour.  Vehicles were parked and ground flares lit to block the road.  Fork lifts soon followed with a small army of workmen.  The various wires were disconnected from the still standing telegraph poles – causing our own electricity to go off.  Then they carried on working in the dark, wind and snow, replacing the poles and reconnecting the wires.  Amazingly the job was done and electricity restored by about 1.30 am.  The whole drama had taken no more than about four hours.

Mind you, there was nearly a much bigger disaster in the middle of this.  Despite the flashing red and blue lights, ground flares, fork lifts, fire engines and loads of men in hi-visibility jackes, one local resident reversed at speed out of his drive, straight over a coil brand new wire, catching the wire on the underside of his car, before speeding off.  Men in hi-visibility coats were waving and gesticulating at him to stop, to no avail until one of the men bravely stepped out right in front of the speeding car.  If he hadn’t there was a real risk that the car would have pulled the wire tight, pulling on the pole to which it was already attached and potentially causing a serious accident to the workman up that pole as well as damage to the madman’s car.   Glad to say that disaster was averted.

PS: check out our Gallery for our Rare Overlander video!!