Originally Posted by Jick Magger
Nice ride report. I enjoyed following you along on your journey. Interesting that you chose San Miguel after all the travelling you did. Was there any particular reason you chose this town or did it just happen that way? Having read a little bit about SMA I am interested in your perspective on the city. Great Job on the report!!
Thanks JM. I arrived in SMdA prepared not to like it because I thought it would be pretty touristy and packed with gringos. In the end, it turns out that the people living here area big part of what makes San Miguel work for me. One thing I realized on this trip is that I actually like having some gringos around to talk to. By the time I arrived in San Miguel on this trip, it had been about a month since I had had a conversation in English, and I had had my first dream in Espanol. As cool as that was, I realized that while I pride myself in my ability to converse in Spanish, I need to have the odd conversation with, (hopefully), interesting people in my native tongue. I've seen a lot of towns and rubbed shoulders with a bunch of the ex-pat communities around Mexico in my 20+k miles of riding here. San Miguel has a large enough community of expats to make it a bit more interesting for me. There are plenty of English speaking people here that I've yet to meet. I think a lot of the smaller towns with smaller communities of extranjeros would begin seem like a pretty small pond to me after a relatively short time. On top of that, I made a few Mexican friends here right off the bat, as well as nortenos, and then on top of that, I met the girl. ;)
Having lived here now for about a year and a half, I can add that the climate here is one which I would consider to be one of the best year round climates in the world, (at 6k feet elevation in the tropics), so that adds the the allure for me. Most of the lower elevations seem awfully hot and humid to me when I visit them even in the winter, so maybe I'm just a high desert kinda guy in the end.
Now, on top of all that, some of the drug violence that plagues some of the other Mexican states, seems relatively absent in our area. I've heard various theories on why that is, including claims that many of the drug lords wives and children live in the area, and that it's a kinda hands-off area for them. There's also the reality that the tourist trade is a big part of this area's economy, and so there is a lot of economic pressure for the area to remain a kind of safe zone. I'm not sure of any of this, and while there have been incidents of violence, I think the area remains relatively safe, (at least for a low profile gringo without enough money in his bank account to make him a target). And now that I've said that, I know plenty of gringos living here worth quite a bit of $ who live quite openly without fear of becoming a target of violence or kidnapping. I may be proved wrong about this eventually, but my characterization seems accurate to me.
Another factor is the terrain around here for motorcyclng. We've got lots of rolling hills punctuated by mountainous twisties. The stunning Sierra Gordas are a short trip to our east. I can descend off the Mexican altiplano in either direction, and be on either east or west coast within a day's ride. It's a great centrally located region to call home.
Last but not least, the town, a well as the surrounding Mexican communities are beautiful, as are their inhabitants. There is a lot of exploring I can do within an hour or two's ride from here.
If you or any other ADV rider gets into the neighborhood, PM me, and I'll be glad to show you around the town and general area. Cheers!