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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa Rosa and Guanajuato odds and ends

A favourite little town of mine is Santa Rosa, nestled up in the hills about a twenty minute bus ride from Guanajuato. It's known for its lovely location, ceramics and cool weather.

When I announced our intention to go there to the hotel staff and others, their response was, "mucho frio!" Very cold. It was anything but. Arriving there we strolled in warm sunshine along a dirt road looking out over the hills and down to Guanajuato, then back into town through the extremely quiet streets. Quite a contrast to Guanajuato. Many of the houses were brightly painted with painted or tiled flower borders around windows and doors.

One in particular caught our eye. It turned out to be a ceramics outlet for the factory located in town. We walked into a small showroom where a few pieces were displayed and proceeded down a flight of stairs to a cavernous room where thousands of pieces of all sizes and descriptions, tableware, vases, jugs, urns, whatever, were for sale, not really to my taste but impressive for the sheer quantity. Sorry, no photos allowed.

Leaving there, we walked to where the sidewalk ended which wasn't far then found a nice lunch spot with outdoor seating looking out over the mountains. Unless you're into hiking, there isn't much else to do in Santa Rosa so we caught the bus back to town stopping at the La Valenciana church on the way.

Built by Antonio de Obregon y Alcocer, the Conde de Valenciana (Count of Valenciana), original owner of the La Valenciana silver mine, the church is one of the finest example of Churrigueresque (Spanish Baroque) architecture and the mine accounted for two-thirds of the world’s silver production at the height of its production.

I've heard a couple of different stories about what prompted the mine owner to build it. One had to do with a promise he made to God that if he got rich from the mine he would build a fine church. The other is that it was to atone for horrible treatment of the miners, mostly indigenous people, at his hands. Neither may be true but the church facade and alter are totally over the top ornate.

Most of the neighbourhoods in the old part of Guanajuato aren't accessible by car so everything has to be carried up or down the steep callejóns. Guys selling water (those 5 gallon jugs, three at a time), propane tanks (all cooking and water heaters use these), all building materials (I watched a guy stack up 17 courses of bricks, 3 to a course on the back of a pickup, lift it on his back with a trump line and carry it down the hill and have seen them do the same going blocks uphill as well as sacks of concrete), sides of beef, you name it.

The people selling stuff like the water or gas or knife sharpening all have their distinctive call. They wander around the neighbourhoods calling out; that's the advertising.

Random shots

Me and Phyllis
Morning juice - fresh squeezed and mmmmmm good - orange, grapefruit, beet, papaya, mango, melon, green (spinach, cucumber, pineapple and more), carrot - or any combination


Here's to ya!

























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