Some places of interest are worth multiple visits, and the Botanical gardens called "El Charco del Inginio" is one of these. Kevin and Ruth were parked up here for a couple of nights, and invited us to come over and check out the gardens.
|A cardio walk through Balcones|
|The burnt field next to Sherman. Quick thinking saved a lot of damage.|
We walked from our home, about 20 minutes, and knocked on their door at 10:00 AM. They were just tidying up from breakfast and soon we were headed for the entrance. It's a 40 Peso fee per person and well worth the expense. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and planted with cacti indigenous to the region. There are also areas where rescued plants have been transplanted from construction sites etc. The gardens border the Presa Las Colonias, a man made lake caused by the installation of a dam. The lake is now a wildlife reserve and many beautiful birds come here to roost.
|Yours truly (photo by Kevin Read)|
As you walk along the trails you are introduced to the many varieties of cacti that are native to this land. Many are quite familiar as they are available back home as house plants. Every few minutes you come upon a viewpoint overlooking the presa. It's a photographer's paradise. Then you enter the conservatory which is beautifully installed with real aggregate stone paths, ponds with local species of fish, and many varieties of succulents.
The path continues to the banks of the lake where you can see the birds, both resident and migratory. In the lake some man made islands protect the birds from unwanted guests, so they can roost in peace. The shores and islands are planted with both native and introduced vegetation.
Next in view comes the dam which was built in the 19th century. A water pipeline springs from the dam which fed a watermill that powered the city of San Miguel. The watermill is in ruins now and the pipeline is in pieces. Following the pipeline a gorge appears with many ponds and view points, it is truly a stunning sight. I have never taken so many pictures, thank goodness for digital photography, where you are not worried about wasting precious film and processing costs. The final view is that of San Miguel itself, sprawled out in the valley.
|These two strange birds are definitely migratory|
The path now takes you back to the entrance point along the "Plaza of the Four Winds" a place for ceremonies made up of pre Columbian symbols. Some newly installed gardens are here along with a playground for the kids. Don't forget the gift shop and snack bar on the way out. The park is open daily from 9:00 AM 'till 6:00 PM. Annual membership is available at a cost of 700 Pesos.
|Plaza of the Four Winds|
When we left the park Sherman was patiently waiting in the front of the entrance. It was time to secure the RV and make ready for departure. A new home base had been found and we were soon on our way there with a planned stop at the Mega for some groceries. We took advantage of the opportunity and stocked up on wine and some other small items. We were soon on our way again, but in the wrong direction thanks to some overhead structures that prevented us from leaving the parking lot from the more logical exit. Kevin spotted a good place for a U turn and had us heading back in our planned direction. We soon entered the gates of Hotel San Ramon, just on the outskirts of San Miguel on the way to Dolores Hidalgo. They also have RV spaces for rent. Here we met Jerry and Paula from Nova Scotia, who are wintering here in their enormous truck and camper. We enjoyed a lovely lunch of chicken veggie soup aboard Sherman followed by a happy hour with the six of us. What an excellent day!
|Captain Kevin at the helm|
We took a taxi home from the hotel and soon had a nice dinner of Quesadillas thawing from the freezer.
La vida es bellissima!