Dolores Hidalgo // Escondido Place

by spaghettipirate

Sunday morning came and went really fast.

I guess time flies faster when you really don’t want it to – and are anything but ready to leave Mexico after such a great time.

Either way, Sunday also means tlacoyos at the Tangis Market.

The Tangis is a huge open air market when and where you can get just about anything youre little heart desires from action figures to chinese knock-off versions of Nike shoes and all the fruits and vegetables that your heart desires.

The tlacoyos are also served somewhere in the mess, in between the fruit stands and the jeans.

My family has been going to this market long enough that everyone knows them by name, and they know everyone there too by name.

they’re also really sociable people.

Tlacoyos are traditional Mexican fare, and are masa stuffed with a variety of meats, vegetables, cheeses, or any combination therein.

While I was the lone one out who didn’t want chorizo in their tlacoyo, I settled on leg (which I am never sure if it is pig’s or beef) and had it covered with nopales and cream.

These are the sorts of things that I will miss the most heading back to the United States.

And after heading to Costo and the Supermarket to buy the family’s food for the coming week, it was time to say our goodbyes.

(With a little luck the whole of my USA family will be back for Christmas)

Packing everything into the car – and it would lead to be quite a pile in the end – we gave our kisses and hugs to the family. Not that it was an early or quick departure, for by the time we made our rounds it was past 14.00

As I heard it from my aunt “ya nos vemos, y si no, ya nos vimos” which can be translated to “we’ll see you soon, and if not, at least we saw each other”

We made a quick pit stop (haha “quick”) at San Gabriel with the intention to buy one wall pot for my aunt’s garden.

By the time we were through we had bought 3 pots, 1 vase to put candles in and send shadows across the wall, and a giant metal iguana (how I am going to take this home remains to be seen).

Frankly I am very happy that I got the iguana that I came looking for, and for a good price (not at all the 700 pesos they asked for in Playa Del Carmen, the theives)

My aunt wanted to show me Dolores Hidalgo but better than that would be the thermal waters of Escondido Place. Because we got there past 18.30 they were closed, but we decided to spend the night in Dolores instead.

And traveling with dogs – even if they are little proves to be quite a challange. So too would be finding a hotel.

We went to no less than 4 places to find a bed.

And the fourth place would leave me with something to remember it by, because if it wasnt enough of a rock for a bed – the mosquito bites have me looking like some redacted form of chicken pox.

I literally have 14 bites on my left arm and am bitten quite throughly everywhere else, from belly to ankles to nape and fingers. To say the mosquitos went to town would be understating it.

But the reason we ended up at place where we did – where once I have stayed before – was because twice we were turned away because of the dogs, (and they didnt take credit cards) and the third place – and this is where you my reader will drop your teeth – didnt have reciept paper.

Which to me is basically saying that the hotel doesnt have toliet paper. Not having recipet paper is unheard of, and we turned away a soft bed for my bug bites. So because there was no repicept paper, there could be no credit transactions.

(I still am bitter at this place).

So we landed on the fall back. The best part was smuggling the dogs in my backpack to the room so that they would not freeze over night in the car.

I am happy to report that the dogs made zero scandal or mess, and we were able to get them in an out without trouble or additional fees.

(Thanks for the memories!)

But dinner was great! Enough to say that it made the sleep ok.

Don’t let me dissuade you from a visit to Dolores, but be sure to bring ample bugspray if you happen to come during the rainy season.

While the restaurant didn’t have either the meat or the herb for the dish I had originally wanted, I was not disappointed in the least.

The beef was tender and high quality and smothered in some peppered cream sauce that even had my aunt – even though she should not eat red meat – nibbling a few bites. The dish gave the meal I had the El Cardenal last month a real run for it’s money, in terms of quality and finger-licking goodness.

The restaurant was right in the middle of the plaza with the doors and windows thrown open facing the plaza so we saw the nightlife and the band playing in the gazebo in the center of the park, and in the morning we would decide to have breakfast there.

I love the tempo of pueblo life in the morning because at 09.30 it is alive and people titter to and fro but it is not loud and busy and rushed like in the big cities of the world.

To me it strikes a perfect calm balance of time and freedom and Monday morning get-to-work.

Needless to say our breakfast was prolonged to simply watch the people go by.

But then the thermal waters were calling our names, and so after a pit stop to buy my aunt a swimsuit, we were headed off jubilant.

Even though the price had gone up from last year at 35 to today’s 100 pesos, it still is quite a catch because the place is as the name implies, and absolutely worth it.

Well tended gardens and footpaths lead to many a swimming pool or thermal bath where water falls from the walls and different chambers have different temperatures.

There are outside coves hidden from everything but the sunshine, and the water is so fresh as it should be on a hot day.

But the best bit?

The hottest cavern – or coupola – where they let the steam rise up in thick tendrils and the sunlight filters in through a central hole and you swear you have only that beauty in that moment.

The light is beautifully highlighted against the steam as it moves around the dome with the hours.

My aunt tells me that a long time ago there was a monastary and that the monks would come to this place to bath, sing, and meditate.

It’s easy to see why.

The dome echoes, and it must be beautiful with chanting but for me the best part was when I was alone in there, or there was perfect silence. It is this calm and beauty that washes over you and your troubles seem so far away.

Your muscles relax, your face relaxes, your mind strays to places and things far away.

We ended up spending five hours there, jumping from water to water, and finishing with a picnic – eating an avocado like a banana for lack of a knife – and being eaten alive by mosquitos.

The drive home was calm and fairly rapid, at which point I set myself to pack and write some of the last posts of my Mexican chapter of this blog.

Calling the family to confirm we had made it alive in one piece, and that departure is coming soon (and plenty of wishes for a safe and smooth flight)

Packing is interesting, what with all the hodgepodge I have collected – and it doesn’t really hit you until you see it all in one corner of the room and you mutter to yourself “dear god, how am I going to get this all into two suitcases under the weight limit?”

And if you do, youre some kind of modern-day Houdini. (A little help from the aunt doesn’t hurt either)

The question about my iguana remains to be seen – but he is coming home this time around, no questions.

And the list of things to do for and by tomorrow grows shorter, but laundry still needs to be done and my conch shell varnished.

So much to do so little time!