Road Construction and Sewer Upgrading in San Miquel de Allende

I may have mentioned that I live up in the hills of San Miquel de Allende in a colonia/neighbourhood called Los Balcones. It’s a quiet area…usually…but not anymore. Each day after I leave my casita, walk down the long driveway, unlock the padlock and swing open the heavy black gates on Antigua Camino de Quereterro, a calle privada I just never know what I’m going to find as I make my way either down the hill to Centro or the other way to the Soriana’s/Liverpool/CineMex mall.

The last two weeks has been particularly challenging because the cobblestone street has been continually dug up, refilled and dug up again. I’ve seen everything from pack donkeys carrying bags of cement to all sorts of heavy digging and jack hammer machinery with the requisite large teams of workers.  Various  Detour signs have been stationed at key places which the locals just seem to ignore sometimes with distressing consequences! A day or so ago, I witnessed an SUV try to drive through a large patch of soft dirt only to get stuck right in the middle whereby the driver couldn’t move forwards or back!  It was early in the morning so the crews hadn’t arrived and I was enroute to my Spanish class at Warren Hardy so I couldn’t wait around to see what happened.

But the whole scenario reminded me of myself being stuck in the ice and snow in Northern Alberta constantly with whatever ‘beater’ I was currently driving and having to call the Alberta Motor Association to send a tow truck to rescue me from whatever snowbank or ditch I had gotten myself stuck in. The odd time a passing driver with a serious truck was able to help me before I had to summon a tow truck. And this was way before  people or I had a cel phone so it was a really big deal to call for help from a nearby resident or whoever. Definitely firmly ensnared in my PREVIOUS LIFE not to be revisited any time soon.

In fact, as many of my friends and readers already know I now own a Mustang convertible that I only insure for six months a year and this year is not going on the road until about mid May until mid October. It’s not a car that was meant for either heavy rain or snow and I don’t have the right tires anyway.  Just before I put the car in a garage for the winter I was driving a bit too fast on a curved road in South Nanaimo and I hydroplaned the vehicle and swerved around on fortunately a deserted road. This was a very scary occurance, once again reminescent of my driving days in Northern Alberta.

I’m here in San Miquel de Allende for another two glorious months so I can only hope and pray that my private and public road becomes a bit more passable. As of yesterday, the crews had dumped a load of soft dirt across the entrance to Antiqua de Camino de Queretero so now I have to tell the taxi driver to drop me off at the ‘equina/corner’ of my street because I don’t want him to get his car stuck in the soft dirt like I witnessed earlier this week!

A Week Later…

I´m sad to report that far from improving the walking and driving conditions on my street and the street leading up to my street had even gotten worse. I didn´t think this was possible but it is…sigh. Now, it´s a perilous endeavor to pick my way through the dug up cobble stones and rubble dodging the open sewer excavations to what might be considered a passable street where my blood pressure can once more go down. Apparently, this full blown road construction/sewer exploration happens about every two years which imho is just ‘beyond the beyond.’ I spoke with another snowbird on Friday night and she also lives in the Los Balcones colonia/neighbourhood but in the ‘good’ part near the Jardin Botanica. As you get closer to the top of Homobono the landscape looks worse and worse and yes, readers there IS no work done in this area on the weekends even if foul smelling water or ? is flowing down the street! Sometimes, heavy equipment is left as a barrier on the street to deter determined but foolhardy motorists from going through the CERRRADO CALLE barriers but not always. This morning, despite quite clear CERRADO CALLE signs, some of which are knocked down by drivers, I witnessed a number of vehicles some of which had low clearance to the road slowly manouvre themselves through the rubble…probably with a ´Hail Mary’ on their lips!

And yes, life does go on with detour signs that are ignored, blocked off driving and walking paths, large scary open sewer trenches and a wide variety of perils here in Los Balcones. Good thing I once again brought my Air Nike basketball shoes to safely navigate the cobblestone and dug up streets!  There are areas of the city that are paved like around the mall and central Centro has these lovely flattened flagstones instead of rough cobblestones but it does behoove me to stay alert and pay attention to road and sidewalk hazards. I always carry a flashlight at night because out of Centro the streetlights are few and far between.

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