Saturday, October 10, 2020

A Day Trip to Dolores Hidalgo, a Pueblo Mágico in the State of Guanajuato

 A Nice Self-Guided Walking Tour and Trolley Tour

Parroquia Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores

     The famous city of Dolores Hidalgo is about thirty miles from San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato. Since we were spending two months in San Miguel, we couldn’t resist taking a day trip to explore this Pueblo Mágico, one of only 121 Magic Towns in México. Our Uber driver dropped us at the Italian restaurant, Da Monica where we had a delicious lunch and then started walking around centro.

Parroquia de la Asunción

     We wore masks during our walk, though we noticed many people in town did not so we stayed at least 1.5 meters away from others, as is recommended to avoid spreading the coronavirus. We made a point of visiting on a weekday which is less crowded than weekends in tourist towns.

A Street in Dolores Hidalgo Centro

     The city is best known for Father Miguel Hidalgo who was a Spanish Roman Catholic priest, a leader of the Mexican War of Independence, and recognized as the Father of the Nation. In the small town known simply as Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico (the Grito de Dolores) there in the early hours of September 16, 1810, in front of Parroquia Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores, the parish church. After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor. 

Jon and Bella Resting in the Plaza Principal

Ice Cream Time at Jardin del Grande Hidalgo

     The large principal city park, Plaza Principal, Jardin del Grande Hidalgo, across from the Parroquia Nuestra Señora de los Dolores was open, but not crowded. We had a rest and a bowl of ice cream while people watching, then a stroll around the park. The manicured plants, statues, and pretty park benches were as nice as the ones in San Miguel de Allende.

Monument to Miguel Hidalgo in El Jardin

     Our last adventure was to take the hour-long trolley tour. The trolley was open-air with only five tourists riding, including Jon and me—six if you count Bella, so we were well separated and all wearing masks, as required. The highlight of that tour was a stop at the panteón, the cemetery. We were grateful that we had taken this day trip to Dolores Hidalgo.

Cowboy Hat Sculpture Inside the Panteón

Jon with the Panteón Sculpture

Thank you for reading my articles and books. For more Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico adventures, see my four-book series available on Amazon. I appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon so others may find my books as well.

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Terry L Turrell, Author

Monday, October 5, 2020

My October 2020 Newsletter: Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico

Night View of San Miguel de Allende

     Jon and I are still enjoying our time in San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial city in the state of Guanajuato. The city was decorated for weeks to celebrate September 16, Mexicó’s Independence day, though most festivities except the spectacular fireworks were canceled this year due to COVID-19. We celebrated with a quiet, but wonderful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants called ‘The Restaurant’, with an open-air dining area. The decor and music were festive, the central water fountain filled with red rose petals and the dining space decorated with red, white, and green, the colors of the Mexican flag

Street Decorations for Mexican Independence Day

     We especially enjoy dining out, as you probably know. The safety requirements to prevent the spread of coronavirus are strict in San Miguel de Allende. Masks are required at all times in public. Before entering a restaurant, our temperature is taken... read more

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Hiking the El Charco Botanical Garden in San Miguel de Allende--A Healthy Walk in the Fresh Air


Great to Hike Without Masks In the Botanical Garden
     We had a wonderful hike at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden in San Miguel de Allende. On a weekday there were few other people hiking there. The park is so large, hikers were well separated—we only saw three other couples in the distance. So, we took our masks off and enjoyed breathing the fresh air. It was wonderful!

     For 50 pesos per person (about $2.25 U.S.) entrance fee, we received a helpful map showing many choices of walking trails. We started at the top of the canyon where the plants included a variety of cacti, headed across to the conservatory, and then down to the reservoir and wetlands, a habitat for birds and other wildlife.

     Signs along the way described the plants, the historical water pipes, and the pools, both in English and Spanish. The rocky canyon with cacti growing on the side of the rocks was my favorite part. We saw a bright green, large iguana on the rocks, too, but he stayed far from the hiking paths.

     A few wildflowers were blooming here and there and a few sculptures were displayed. I recommend the El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden for a good, fresh-air hike. We are fit enough to be able to descend to the reservoir and climb back up to the rim, though at over 6200 feet elevation, we got our aerobic exercise for the day. A less strenuous walk is available by staying on the rim, a nice place to have a picnic on benches in the shade and enjoy the views.

     For more Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico adventures, see my four-book series on Amazon.

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     Thank you for reading my books and blogs. I encourage you to leave a review on Amazon so others may find my books as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Preventing COVID-19 Infections: 10 Things We Do

 In Addition to Wearing a Mask and Washing Our Hands Often

Saline Nasal Irrigation

The steps below are what we do to build our immunity and resist the COVID-19 infections, as well as infections from other colds and influenza. I recommend checking with your physician before implementing these steps yourself. 

1.    Nasal and Sinus Irrigation with 0.9% Saline Solution twice daily

The most significant change we've made is to use a saline nasal irrigation twice daily. We read that the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 virus in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam were exceptionally low, believed to be because the majority of the population in these countries practice nasal irrigation on a regular basis. We decided to start this practice twice daily. Properly prepared saline solutions, sterile and with the correct concentration of sodium chloride, 0.9%, can be purchased at pharmacies. The photo above shows one brand that we purchase in México.

We each have our own bottle. We label our bottle with our name and the date we opened it. After 30 days, we discard the bottle, whether it is empty or not, and purchase a fresh unit. While we can't prove this practice of regular nasal irrigation helps prevent COVID-19 infections, it seems logical that it does, and it can't hurt.

There are many articles and studies supporting the belief that nasal irrigation can wash viruses and bacteria from the nasal cavity, thereby decreasing infections and speeding recovery. This article explains it in a clear, concise manner:

Key Treatment for Removing Virus and Reducing Covid-19 Progression

2. Zinc 50mg by mouth once daily (after a meal to prevent stomach upset)

Zinc 50mg Tablets

     Zinc aids in building the immune system. From the WHO website, this article explains part of the mechanism of action: The Potential Impact of Zinc Supplementation on COVID-19 Pathogenesis. “As zinc is essential to preserve natural tissue barriers such as the respiratory epithelium, preventing pathogen entry, for a balanced function of the immune system and the redox system, zinc deficiency can probably be added to the factors predisposing individuals to infection and detrimental progression of COVID-19. Finally, due to its direct antiviral properties, it can be assumed that zinc administration is beneficial for most of the population, especially those with suboptimal zinc status.”

3. Vitamin C 1000mg twice daily (two 500mg tablets morning and evening)

Vitamin C 500mg Tablets

  Vitamin C builds the immune system, helping the body fight off viruses and bacteria. We doubled our daily dose of vitamin C when COVID-19 reached México. 

4.  Cold-Eeze or Zinc 5mg Lozenges—I suck one slowly if I feel a sore throat

Cold-Eeze Zinc Lozenges

     Yes, as a pharmacist, I do recommend Cold-Eeze zinc lozenges to fight viral infections, especially at the first sign of a sore throat. The zinc gluconate found in the unique Cold-EEZE formula releases zinc ions in the upper respiratory system. Although the precise mechanism is unknown, scientific studies suggest that the zinc ions inhibit the cold virus from replicating, shortening the duration of the common cold. Low-dose zinc bathing the throat may also prevent the virus from attaching to the mucous membranes. Zinc can upset the stomach, so eating a little food beforehand is recommended. This is an interesting article: Effectiveness of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges (Cold-Eeze) against the common cold in school-aged subjects

Low-Dose Zinc Tablets as Lozenges

     When we can’t find Cold-Eeze in México, or it’s too expensive on, we use the low-dose zinc tablets, available from pictured above, as a lozenge, sucking on one until it fully dissolves in the mouth. They don’t taste good, but they seem to work to eliminate my sore throat if I catch it soon enough.

5.       Vitamin D daily, with our Calcium tablets and from sunshine

Calcium with Vitamin D Tablets

   We take Calcium with Vitamin D tablets twice daily to help keep our bones, teeth, and muscles strong, essential for us since Jon and I are both over 60 years old. This provides a daily dose of 1600mg of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to build the immune system which helps fight the coronavirus and other viruses.

Sunshine Provides Vitamin D

     Sunshine is an important source of vitamin D. We get outside every day, sometimes to sit in the sun without sunscreen while we eat lunch, other times while we take a walk. Vitamin D levels may be low in those who have stayed indoors much of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6.    Exercise—We walk or practice yoga daily

Walking the Streets of San Miguel de Allende

     Exercise improves overall health, including building the immune system. We follow yoga classes on Zoom or YouTube three times a week to help improve our strength, balance, and flexibility. Self-guided walking tours, with our Fitbit registering our steps, keep us moving and are fun. In case you missed my recent posts about walking in San Miguel de Allende, here are a few links.

Our Mural Viewing Walk in San Miguel de Allende and Then Lunch, Of Course😀

Walk Theme: Door Knockers in San Miguel de Allende

Walking for Our Health and the Views in Scenic San Miguel de Allende During COVID-19

7. Emergen-C 1000mg or an extra 1000mg of Vitamin C tablets if I feel a sore throat

Emergen-C with 1000mg Vitamin C

     If I feel a sore throat, that is often the first sign that a viral infection is trying to take hold. In addition to Cold-Eeze, I take a dose of Emergen-C 1000mg to build my immune system. If the 1000mg strength of Emergen-C is unavailable or too expensive in México, I take an extra 1000mg of vitamin C, two 500mg tablets by mouth.

8.  Distance Ourselves from Others While Walking

We Avoid These Crowds When Walking

      I believe this is one of the most important things we can do, even more so than wearing a mask during COVID-19. We avoid crowds. When we walk down the street, we weave from side to side to avoid walking within ten feet of others, especially if we are facing the others. Sometimes we walk down the middle of the street to avoid people on the sidewalks on each side. It’s sad because we used to greet everyone we passed. Now people look down or away, as though this will prevent the virus from spreading.

9.   Nasacort Allergy 24HR nasal spray once daily

Nasacort Nasal Spray

      Nasacort Allergy 24 HR nasal spray is an over-the-counter medication containing the anti-inflammatory, triamcinolone, in a water base. I use two sprays in each nostril once daily. While it is not known if this prevents COVID-19 or any other infection, it does provide one more nasal flush daily and reduces inflammation in the sinuses. It seems to help reduce the reaction to dust, pollen, and other particulate inhaled through the nose.

10.   Get out of the house, get some fresh air, and enjoy life

A Walk On the Beach, Surfing, Or Sitting Outdoors

     We go out to dinner every other night, go for a walk with Bella, sit outside while we have a glass of wine and throw the ball for Bella, find an area of town and take a self-guided tour, sightseeing while wearing a mask. It’s important to work toward good mental health as well as physical well-being.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Our Mural Viewing Walk in San Miguel de Allende and Then Lunch, Of Course😀


ABeautiful Mural in Colonia Guadalupe, SMA
     I first read about the Street Art project of San Miguel de Allende in John Scherber’s book, Expat Life: At Home in San Miguel de Allende. He wrote about Colleen Sorenson, an American, who started the Muros en Blanco, the neighborhood murals project in Colonia Guadalupe. In his book, the author described the location of the murals and how the area was transformed into an interesting art-centered neighborhood. I wanted to see it—here was a perfect self-guided walking tour for my husband, Jon, and me.

Jon and One of the Street Art Murals in Colonia Guadalupe

     It turns out that this neighborhood is full of beautiful homes, some with a bohemian flavor. Painters were busy working on several homes, upgrading and beautifying.

Terry Next to Mine-Car Number 13

This Beautiful Tile Mural was Created to Last
Templo de Cristo Rey, SMA

The "Dog Train" Mural is Slightly Aged But Still Cute

     After walking around for an hour, taking photos like tourists, we decided to walk to the Inside Café for a late breakfast. Along the way, we noticed Mexican flags hanging from many buildings for the upcoming Mexican independence day on September 16.

The View from the Third Floor of Inside Cafe

     The Inside Cafe is easy to miss with its narrow doorway and almost invisible sign. Here's what it looks like with Jon coming out, masked and ready to stroll in public, safe from COVID-19.

Jon, Masked and Satisfied After Breakfast
     The murals come and go. As they age, most are painted over and a new mural created by artists. Some are kept up with periodic maintenance. For mural photos from two years ago and more about Colleen Sorenson, see this Sues Wanderings blog post. Here's a Google Map showing the area where we wandered during our walk.

Our Colonia Guadalupe Mural Walk, San Miguel de Allende
    Thank you for reading my blogs, books, and newsletters. I'm currently working on Book #3 in my “In Sickness and In Health Novels” series, "For Better, For Worse: A Novel". Jake and Lindsay are still happy, living in Mexico and facing new challenges. If you haven't already read Book #1 and Book #2, novels that combine love, romance, and medical fiction, I hope you do. If you have read them, please leave a brief review on Amazon.

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