Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dolores de Hidalgo and La Gruta

The small town of Dolores de Hidalgo sits roughly an hour to the north of San Miguel de Allende. It's well known for it's lovely pottery and for it's role in Mexico's independence.  In 1810 Father Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for independence from Spain, which helped to propel Mexico's war of independence and landed the town forever in Mexico's history.  Of course Allan and I not being history buffs, we visited just for the great ceramics and for the hot springs which sit between San Miguel and Dolores de Hidalgo.

We hired a taxi out of San Miguel for a short, few hour round trip voyage north first to La Gruta and then to Dolores de Hidalgo.  La Gruta is a nice little retreat with several hot spring pools, a few "normal temperature" pools, a restaurant and some rooms for those who want to stay over night.  You can certainly spend the whole day here basking in the waters, going from hot to cold, and getting served in the water from waiters offering anything from food to your favorite adult beverages. I wouldn't say the report is up scale, but it is very nice and well worth the visit.  There are changing rooms and lockers onsite but you should bring your towel.

At first I was apprehensive about taking the plunge as I'm not a fan of public pools.  I guess I think they are not as hygienic.  However, once I put my foot into the 90+ F degree water I was hooked and jumped right in (as did Allan).  A tunnel connects one pool to an inclosed structure covered in stone, much like a large spa. This is where the hot water plummets into the pool from a pipe above.  Allan and I only stayed about 1/2 hour in the water - much longer and we would have been falling asleep from being too comfortable!!

From the hot springs, it was another short 1/2 hour ride into Dolores de Hidalgo.  We really just hit a few pottery shops and bought a few items at a fraction of the price they would be in Playa.  I did not bother to buy a whole ceramic dining set, which many do.  I guess I did not think I would need or use it. In retrospect I am wishing I did.

Other than the pottery shops which are more like small nondescript factories, we did not do anything else in Dolores de Hidalgo.  We did not visit the church or statue of Hidalgo. We were satisfied being superficial shoppers who were anxious to get back to San Miguel de Allende.  Door to door we were back in San Miguel in less than 3 hours, feeling quite tired from the very relaxing hot spring.

Allan at La Guta

Me in the tunnel between the pool and where the water pours in

Pottery shopping

Some of my acquisitions

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