Some say Guanajuato is like San Miguel de Allende 20 years ago. They mean that in a good way, as it hasn’t become a fantasyland. I guess my tag line would be “all of the beauty, very little of the spoilage.”
When I was there last month, the Mexican tourists outnumbered the foreign ones 10 to one and the locals walking the streets outnumbered both. There’s no real estate frenzy of California retirees snatching up fixer-uppers for $300,000 and you can actually get a normal meal for a normal price nearly anywhere in town.
Guanajuato is also a very pedestrian-friendly city, with much of the traffic going through tunnels underneath. And the vistas–wow! A blind man with delirium tremors could probably get good photographs there. Point the camera in any direction and snap away. (I like the photos I am posting here, but know well that they are not a display of photography talent by any means.)
With many perpetual travelers, there’s always the soft voice in the back of the mind going, “Could you live here? Would you?” With Guanajuato, I had a really hard time shutting that voice up. It kept coming back every hour, prompting me to search hard for things I didn’t like about the city. I was not very successful. I could and would live there. Tomorrow.
These things take time though when there are three people and a school calendar in the equation. I think next summer we’ll spend a month in an apartment there and a month somewhere else in Latin America. If either one clicks, that’s our spot for a one-year sabbatical away from the hyper-paced consumer culture of home. If anybody’s got expat contacts there I should talk to, get in touch with me at one of my e-mail addresses at timleffel.com.