Saturday, 10 April 2010


Yesterday we went on another little day trip by bus from here. On the way passengers watched a DVD of 'Slumdog Millionnaire' with Spanish sub-titles. I love that film! On the way back Robert de Niro and Al Pacino spoke Spanish to us in a film that seemed familiar.
Our outing was to the hot springs at Gruta about half an hour away.  Set in beautiful shady gardens full of pots of yellow and purple pansies, the springs spill out into connecting pools. We thought the waters would be therapeutic and  full of older people with arthritic conditions taking the waters-yes, people like me. But families with inflateables played in the pools and laughing children lined up for a cold shower under a bamboo pipe. In one there were seats positioned just under the water line and people sat chatting in the hot water. From this pool you can swim or wade through a long white-washed tunnel with a peep of light at the end. After a few minutes you reach a circular pool with a bee-hive shaped ceiling constructed of individual rocks. Holes in the roof shaft sunlight at the water at odd angles like electric spots. The atmosphere's magical but the water so hot I could only stay a few minutes. 
All that exercise gave us an appetite so we ordered beers, and along with them came free nachos with a little bowl of spicy sauce and a wooden spoon for us to pour over them. Lunch was avocado stuffed with tuna salad and a chicken salad for Rhys. All freshly prepared from local produce at a cost of around a fiver each. Delicious!
Tonight, we went to another classical guitar concert. This time a young man of 18, Enrique Hernandez-Ruiz, gave a virtuoso solo performance at the Biblioteca Publica. The audience was made up of mainly Gringos. A number seemed to have health problems: one woman wore a sling, another looked like she's had a stroke and was in a wheelchair, another looked like she was dying of some terminal disease, and then there were those of us leaning on sticks and the arms of our partners.  Enrique seemed to be having an intimate conversation with his guitar, made faces at it like a mother might do to her baby coaxing it to smile. At times he seemed in such ecstacy at his own playing it was difficult to concentrate on the beauty of the music and not giggle at his 'mugging'. After an hour the small crippled audience left clearly uplifted. This was soul therapy.
Out into the central plaza  and a old man was MCing a street dance from the band stand. Couples of all ages and sizes were swaying their hips and turning to Latin American beats and tempos. More therapy.
Then, from the other side of the square in front of the pink Parroquia, the Cathedral, we heard a brass band and spied above the crowd two huge papier-mache characters: a dancing bride and groom. We thought at first that this was another execution by fireworks, like the Judas dolls on Easter Sunday. But no, beneath these caricatures were a real bride and groom and a whole Gringo wedding party, suited and booted with seven bridesmaids dressed in jade. Members of the brass band wore white Mexican cowboy outfits, sombrero hats and trousers embroidered down the seams in blue. They formed a procession around the plaza, the brass band competing with the stereo of the street dancers
A little later as we sat on the bus, listening to an elderly busker at the back playing the mouth organ for his supper, we glimpsed the wedding party in the Institute Allende, sipping champagne.
It just goes to show that having therapy doesn't always turn out the way you think it will.

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