Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day Trip to Atotonilco and San Benito Monastery

Set the alarm for 6:30 this morning so we could get a head start on our day. Did our last day at Wolf's Gym and said our goodbyes to everyone there. They were all curious as to when we would be coming back. We said either in September for Independence or in December. Walked back to the hotel to shower and we grabbed some of that delicious multi-grano bread and a yogurt and off we went for Atotonilco. It is just a 15 minute drive to the town on the way to Dolores Hidalgo.

Once there you will find a very small town and of course a main square with a church. The church was established in the early 18th century and it is said that the holy water from that church has curative powers.

We went because Juan wanted to buy some rosaries for his sister-in-law who always takes good care of us. We found several vendors in front of the church selling the same rosaries as in Dolores Hidalgo but half the price. Not that your religion should be discounted by any means :). I picked up a couple of rosaries made of wood and we took a tour of the church. They were handing out holy water, hey, I need all the help I can get.

We walked across the street and ate a gordita. I had one filled with beans and some goat's cheese. It was cooked over an open fire. Oh the smell of leña (wood) early in the morning with a handmade real corn tortilla. The best!

When we bought the rosaries, the vendor told us about the monastery which is just up the road a kilometer or two. You leave Atotonilco and 300 meters out of town on the left is a dirt road with a sign that says monastery. What a cool place. I should have chosen another career. It is so peaceful there. They make it very clear that it is a place of silence and solitude and there is to be no noise, loud talking, keep a check on the kids and so on.

The road to the monastery

Monasterio San Benito

We entered and I just sat there in awe. The wooden chairs are lined up on each side of the altar for the monks to come and pray. They chant every morning at 7 a.m. This is a new monastery at least the church and chapel. The windows are simple stained glass but very soothing colors. You can hear a pin drop inside and as you look up there is a small cupola with windows. You see blue sky and white clouds float gently by.

I could have stayed there for several hours but we needed to town for lunch. We had comida corrida. 40 pesos included a chili relleno (cheese), rice, beans, and lentil soup with tortillas and a pitcher of lemonade.

Tonight we are going to a concert at 7 p.m.

BTW, last night we were walking around in the main plaza talking and watching all the activities. They were setting up to film a telenovela (soap opera) at 10 p.m. As we were walking we heard a voice behind us in English say, "I read your blog". Spooky, huh? A very nice guy named Ike read the blog as he looked for info on SMA. He found my blog through another blogger, Carol. We talked for quite awhile and hit it off. He is here for the summer with his great-niece. We may get together tonight at or after the concert.

You just never know.

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