San Miguel de Allende: Something Beautiful Is on the Horizon

San Miguel De Allende 

On Sunday I met my friend Ruben in San Miguel. He picked me up in this adorable green Honda and we hit the road. 🙂

77df21a1ed079c443545d9b4864d19b2It was the perfect drive through the countryside. I had to stop and savor a moment among the wildflowers. I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. img_5109img_5201

Presa Ignacio Allende

Presa Ignacio Allende is an agriculturally important dam that supplies water to many fields and farms in this region.

img_5115donkey5It was a great hike until this frisky dog decided to jump on me and start humping my leg. Hah. We got out of there real quick after that and headed to our final destination.

Pirámides Cañada de la Virgen

img_5175Even though this archaeological beauty was discovered in 1999, it wasn’t until 2011 that visitors were able to view this marvel. I will explain why.

When workers in the fields discovered the pyramid years ago, the site was surrounded by private land. A German woman named Regina owned the land and although she couldn’t deny people access to this government-owned excavation, she refused to let visitors trespass on her property to get to there.

Finally in 2011, a path of federal land was carved from within the property and the the site was now accessible to the public.

That being said, there are still a few conditions:

You must park at a government building off the beaten path and join a tour group. The tour guide drives you in a caravan across her property to the site. You are NOT allowed to take pictures while driving across her land. You are also NOT allowed to visit the site without a guided tour, since you can’t walk or drive your own vehicle on her property.

The caravan crosses her property and stops at the base of the mountain near the archaeological site. After stopping, we walked almost two miles along a cobblestone path that lead you through the countryside up the mountain to the pyramid.

I think all the additional effort required to get to the pyramid made it all the more appealing. 🙂10715860_10153382303625931_1394254536_nWe were paired with a hilarious biker group. They kept cracking jokes the whole time. They said things like, ¨bus driver, you stopped two miles early” and ¨where is our welcome cocktail?¨ They must have been dying of heat in those black leather jackets! Gah! I snapped a picture of their bikes before we left for the pyramid. 🙂bikesWe stopped halfway to escape from the heat and learn a bit about the history of this region.img_5144

Cañada de la Virgen means ravine of the virgin. It has been said that workers saw an image of the Virgin Mary in a rock formation along the canyon, which gave the area it’s name. We couldn’t see the evidence of the religious stone, since it was located on her land. :/

This is also where I met my new best friend, Herbert. 🙂 Such a sweetheart.img_5138Finally we made it! 😀10717902_10153382304780931_717410474_nimg_5177I’ll be honest, I had to stand on that spot to block a fire extinguisher hidden in the tree. Smokey Bear would be proud. 🙂img_5157

Cañada de la Virgen is traced back to the indigenous Toltec people between the years 540 and 1050 A.D.  It shows evidence of an extremely sophisticated society that constructed their pyramids to serve as an agrarian calendar. 

img_5158

As our guide explained, the sun rises over the complex at various points to signify different stages of the harvest season. Additionally, a sunken patio shown below served as a water mirror where priests could gaze at the sky and interpret aspects of the agricultural cycle.

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complex with sunken patio

img_5184Our guide was extremely helpful at explaining various important discoveries on the complex.img_5153 Among those discoveries are original clay pots, sacrificial offerings and an impressive mural using red and black horizontal stripes.
potsHe even explained the importance of how you walk up the pyramid. Feet are supposed to be positioned parallel to the step and you slowly zig-zag your way to the top. It is symbolic of the serpent.img_5167I learned so much. Another wonderful day in San Miguel.

Hope you enjoy this cow-llage 😛 Goodbye for now.

cows

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