Wednesday, February 3, 2016

San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

This town must have the highest per capita number of broken ankles in the world. I've run rough trails that are more even than the streets around town, and I've found more pleasure hitting off-road trails when I have been able - though some of Those have proven challenging with stray dogs and the occasional donkey aggressive (more about that below).
View of San Miguel de Allende at sunrise

The compensation comes in the form of a five star luxury hotel where I can enjoy the pleasures of infinity edge swimming pools and beautiful manicured grounds, spectacular food and accommodation, all within spitting distance of abject poverty. The economic dissonance is sometimes jaw-dropping, perhaps bettered only in the United States where this outcome seems the intentional result of social and economic policies que accelerate the earnings of the rich while disenfranchising the poor and politically illiterate.
Rosewood Hotel

But I have to run, and each morning at dawn I push myself to find interesting terrain. At 6,000 'altitude there is certainly a price to pay for high exertion, but this is similar to what I encounter week in, week out, back in Colorado. Having left 18 inches of snow and sub-zero temperatures, the cool 50 degree mornings feel warm and sultry.
Those cobbled streets

It amazes me how this place suffers from so much traffic. It is a beautiful town with cobbled streets and a lot of economic activity - Of which tourism is probably the biggest - but even at 6am the inbound traffic is endless, and not particularly sensitive to runners on the road side or at intersections. Staying at a hotel in the middle of town leaves me no alternative but to navigate the maze of twisting streets before I can access in off-road running.

This morning I started an hour later in October than yesterday and this meant that I got the warmth of the sun a little sooner. I headed directly south towards El Camino road and headed west until it turned into a dirt track. The sun was blinding as I encountered the first (of what would be many) wandering dogs. Some just barked, some barely registered my presence, but some Were much too interested and barked and ran towards me. But I am used to dogs and thankfully none of them nipped me.
Hotel again

Eventually I hit a rising, contouring trail que bet north around Tres Cruces mountain. I ran the final section of this yesterday, but this was a much better approach on rocky singletrack runnable. It skipped around in sections and there were several places where I passed some local rough sleeping in the undergrowth - a little disconcerting, but I felt capable of running them in October if it came to the chase.

Then the donkey. I really like donkeys and find them visually humorous. It's hard not to look at one and thank evolution for its sense of humor. But this donkey had an attitude, and it took a dislike to me disturbing its early morning rest. As I Approached It Began kicking and braying. It made in the most dreadful din. Thankfully it did not break its tether rope and I was able to get by without a hoof in my nether regions. I ran faster after that and put some distance between it and me.
Donkey Kong looking for fun

The problem with running in this area is the traffic and that cobbled streets await your return. It can not be avoided. I am pretty good at descending, but cam perilously close to some nasty twists and falls on a few occasions. Still, the splendor of this luxurious hotel beckoned.
Love the pool