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 Safety - A Perception

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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Safety - A Perception   Thu 25 Aug 2011, 08:08

Admittedly we were somewhat concerned by all of the various security/incident reports prior to our trip. During my three trips to and from Patzcuaro, there seemed to be a permanent Federale checkpoint at the Zamora exit on the quota. Last Friday, we exited for Zacapu and found numerous checkpoints between the exit and Quiroga. Never attracted any attention but we found it comforting to see. On Tuesday when driving from Patzcuaro to San Miguel, we spotted a large checkpoint on the Patzcuaro side of Morelia, numerous convoys of Federales on the east side of Morelia and some more on the outskirts. Probably saw 5 or 6 more checkpoints and observation setups driving the back roads to San Miguel.

Yesterday, we met with one of our suppliers in Dolores Hidalgo. He made mention that his brother had worked for AAA based in Texas for 20 years. His brother had indicated to him that AAA was considering eliminating inspections of hotels and restaurants in Mexico due to security issues. This was distressing to hear since AAA has always done a credible job of publishing a fairly decent guide on Mexico. A good part of this concern is because of the conditions along the border with Texas and the cities that they are forced to drive through. While AAA may be concerned for the safety of their employees, I have to wonder if this may be an insurance issue too?
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Thu 25 Aug 2011, 09:18

With AAA as part of the equation it becomes an insurance issue.

AAA not my best friends either, their travel literature refers to the Morelos statue on top of Janitzio Island as "A monument to ugliness." It may not be all that pretty - to me it is - but they could have chosen their words more carefully.

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JimRP
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Thu 25 Aug 2011, 18:31

Whatever their motivation, if AAA stops reviewing places in Mexico, it will be one more tourism deterrent for Mexico. Pity. I'd like to see this tide start turning!

Neil, I hope you and Kathy are enjoying your travels!

Jim
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Fri 26 Aug 2011, 08:20

We are enjoying ourselves and been on the run constantly. At least in this section of Guanajuato, there seems to be very little concern over security and incidents seem to be few and far between.

Had evening cocktail at the Luna Rooftop Bar at the new Rosewood Hotel last evening. Even though the margaritas were $110MXN, the views were incredible! Easy to understand how TRAVEL AND LEISURE named this location as one of the top ten rooftop bar views in the world. Once I get my photos processed, I will post a link.

We followed this with one of the two worst dining experiences we have ever encountered in Mexico. Between rude waiters, 16 Texans at a table near us misbehaving and rotten food, the only thing that I can say pleasant about the Pueblo Viejo restaurant is that the interior was very attractive.

It is very obvious that business here in San Miguel de Allende is in the DUMPSTER! For example, the Mercado de Artisanias was half empty. Shops and restaurants all over town are not even bothering to open.

Our overall impression of SMA hasn't improved with this three night visit!
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JimRP
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Fri 26 Aug 2011, 11:47

Sorry you aren't having a better time in SMA, Neil. I've always thought of it as a good place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Perhaps at the moment it is neither.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Fri 26 Aug 2011, 16:37

Jim:

Please excuse me for sounding too negative! I really did not intend to convey that we were having a bad time overall. After our conversations last Sunday, I thought I was fairly clear about "places ruined by Gringos" and SMA definitely falls into that category in our estimation. On the other hand, we did a good deal of damage in Dolores Hidalgo, which was the main reason behind staying in SMA.

Upon our arrival in San Miguel, we went directly to Harry's for a large burger and 2/1 margaritas since we were starving. Due to the late hour, we really weren't interested in dinner, so we walked up to the Casablanca for a cocktail and they presented us with complimentary slices of pizza. We reviewed the menu and decided on returning the next evening even though we could find no reviews on this establishment. Had incredible meals and enjoyed the staff.

On Thursday evening we visited the Rosewood Hotel and Luna Rooftop Bar as I previously indicated. Definitely a "not to be missed" experience!

Slideshow of Hotel Interior and Luna Bar: https://picasaweb.google.com/118146709599975173363/ROSEWOODHOTELLUNAROOFTOPBARSANMIGUELDeALLENDE?authkey=Gv1sRgCNHDmNP4lMHeDQ#slideshow/5645277033371099138
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Sat 27 Aug 2011, 05:44

I think the air at the Rosewood Luna Bar (maybe the entire hotel) would be too rarefied for our blood. I will say that it's very beautiful.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the view ((BYO drinks) on the terraza atop the Parador San Sebastían. $400 MXN and up for the rooms.

Our dining experiences on two recent visits to SMA were disappointing, although not really bad. I detailed those in a couple of blog posts about last October, on My Mexican Kitchen. Do a search within the blog, if interested.
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Sat 27 Aug 2011, 07:58

I know I should have you bookmarked, but I don't. Don't be hesitant to include a link to your site for all newcomers and guests here, and those like me. Shameless promotion of one's own website is highly encouraged on this site. I know we only get your second-run material here so let us in on the good stuff with links and promotions, please.

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JimRP
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Sat 27 Aug 2011, 08:51

Hi Neil,

I'm glad things aren't so bad for you and Kathy in SMA Gringolandia. Indeed, the new roof-top bar and hotel look quite elegant. It really doesn't feel much like Mexico, though--maybe more like La Jolla in California. Enjoy!

Jim
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: Safety - A Perception   Sat 27 Aug 2011, 09:41

Peter wrote:
I know I should have you bookmarked, but I don't. Don't be hesitant to include a link to your site for all newcomers and guests here, and those like me. Shameless promotion of one's own website is highly encouraged on this site. I know we only get your second-run material here so let us in on the good stuff with links and promotions, please.

I just did an update, for my blog, on La Cocina de Betty, which made its first appearance on this forum.

Separately, I see that Restaurante Miralago has updated its web site, with tempting menus (if you can find them all.) Overall, the site is hard to navigate and confusing. Restaurante Miralago
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Peter
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PostSubject: Traveler Safety in Mexico - Travel Weekly   Sun 28 Aug 2011, 02:05

This traveler's safety chart places a green "presumed safe" dot while giving eastern Michoacán (Zitacuaro) a warning to defer unnecessary travel.

Dawg, your question about Cuernavaca - "Exercise extreme caution. Numerous incidents of narcotics-related violence."

http://www.travelweekly.com/uploadedFiles/MEXICOMAP4.pdf

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