Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Yesterday we went to Tequila – finally got to tour a couple of tequila factories? distilleries? The ride over was nice passed through miles and miles of blue agave fields.
Saw a lot of trucks piled high with the agave bulb or “pineapple” heading down the road.
The road into the town is called the “Ruta del Tequila”
and the town announces itself with a big sign.
One of the first things we saw was this neat statue just as we entered the town.
We both said the same thing at the same time. “boy has this town grown since we were here 32 years ago. The streets are still cobblestone and narrow but the town itself is now one of the Pueblos Magicos so a lot of restoration and clean up has been done.
Passed the main plaza and the church that was built in 1821.
Then turned down a street and there at the end were the gates to Jose Cuervo!
Was this the street we drove into years ago?
Saw a couple of interesting things on that street. A lot of the iron work for gates, grills and decorations is done with the agave theme.
And where there is reconstruction going on the front of the building is covered with a big canvas of what it will look like when it is done.
Saw a couple of these – good idea. Probably has something to do with the Pueblo Magico thing.
We parked in a lot for people who were going to take the tour of the Jose Cuervo place – if you took the tour there would be no charge for parking. Of course it was about six blocks from the center of town and the Cuervo tour. Oh well walking is good for us. If only it wasn’t on such uneven cobblestones. How do these people keep from breaking their ankles or legs?
Walking into the center of town we passed the private Cuervo gardens – didn’t know they were private – the gate was open and we went in.
Wow – all kinds of formal plantings and cactus and many many bronze (bronze look) statues. I’m impressed. They were setting up for a private party of some sort. Finally someone told us where to go – NO – where to go to find the tickets for the tour.
As we came out of there we saw this red pickup with the bed full of the bulbs of the agave
and guys with red bandanas on their heads picking the bulbs up and carrying them into another very fancy building.
[more about them when I go into the tour]
We checked and the tour of Jose Cuervo wasn’t till 3:00 so we had a few hours to waste – what to do? Well we walked around a little – back over by the church. Just another view. And then we saw the marriage bans posted.
Found another statue of a man trimming the leaves off of the agave bulb.
They use the same shovel type thing to dig them out of the ground.
There are all kinds of tours of different places here are a couple of the vehicles used to transport the wide eyed tourists.
Thought they were funny.
Because we had time to waste we took another tour – just rode in a regular trolley type car though. Again will go into the tour later – After that we stopped to eat at this restaurant.
Right on main square across from – what else? – the Cuervo place. I got iced tea – the weirdest I’ve ever seen. Kind of light green in color – tasted fine once I added sugar and lime. Think it was green tea. Had delicious salads. But need to shave one of the menu items with you. Take a good look at the picture.
That is agave worms! They suggest a tequila drink with them. I’d need more than one I think.
Well The Driver wants to get on the road so I'll close for now - but have lots more to post - especially about the tours. Until later.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tells you something about the curve - lots of candles lit there.
From Compostela we were on a toll road that is pretty good. At one point we pulled off to enjoy the view
Quite a view - sugar cane growing country
While there this guy went by. Both trailers are 53” long.
How they can drive these on some of these roads is beyond me. And they slow down for no one and nothing.
Then went through a little town where there were a couple roadside restaurants. Lots of trucks pulled over. Then I noticed that on both sides of the road were people washing the trucks – good deal food and a truck wash. Using buckets and rags.
Oh I forgot to mention – Bill finally found his electric razor – in of all places a little store in Ajijic. As we passed it Jeff said, “This little store has Every Thing.” So we went in and sure enough they had two razors.
Monday, February 22, 2010
We drove down to Ajijic today and visited with my cousin Jeff for a while. He took us to an Argentine restaurant for lunch – YUM – delicious and too much food. Bill asked if the owner was Argentine – “No”, was the answer. Well is the cook Argentine? Nope – both are Mexican. So now we are curious – where did they learn about Argentine cooking? Will have to investigate more.
When we were here in 2007 we stayed at an RV park just outside of Ajijic called La Garza – owned by a man named Hugo. At that time he was building houses in the park and using it for fiestas and was planning on building more houses there. So we thought that it was closed – But – while reading Church’s Camping Mexico book we noticed that they kind of included it as open still. So today we drove over to check it out. Well it is still an RV park. Hugo was there and remembered us. There are even more and better hookups there now and he says he has Wi-fi! So Wednesday we will drive Jennie down there to stay a while.
When we were there then we didn’t think much of Ajijic – thought it was just a one street town – the main street with some housing around it. Well today we discovered it is quite a big town and very interesting. Lots of neat places there. Art galleries, murals, old churches and good restaurants.
And of course Lake Chapapa
Tomorrow we are going to Tequila – the town of. That is one of the places we had an adventure in 1978 – http://www.movingon1.com/guadalajara.html We will never forget that visit. Hope tomorrows visit is much better.
While there Jeff gave me Sue Grafton’s newest book – “U” – so no more messing with the computer – going to curl up and read for awhile.
Well it is Monday and we’re in Guadalajara at the same campground we stayed in last year. Only this year we managed to get in the front sites that has 30amps. So we can actually run the microwave and make coffee at the same time. And we have cell phone service. We have internet for 100Pesos for both laptops for three days. We are pulling off of the dish of a Texan who makes extra money that way while traveling here. Oh well – better than not having it. Which is good ‘cause I can’t get ours to work yet. Still have to call the satellite dish people. One frustration at a time. Talked to Hughes.Net and finally got so frustrated I hung up on them. I’m sorry but the accent of the person I was talking to was so bad I couldn’t understand a thing and he couldn’t understand me. Had to have told him six or seven times that the set up was on a motorhome and that we were in Mexico. When he told me he was going to send a technician to the house in Indiana – I blew it. To make the story short – he claims there is nothing wrong with the Hughes.Net connection it must be the dish. Fine – GOODBYE!
The drive from Lo de Marcos to here was a long 164 miles. I really don’t like it when we take Mexico 200 up the mountains towards the toll road. All steep grades and many hairpin turns. At least it was Sunday and there weren’t so many trucks on the road. Then the toll road into Guadalajara – another US$50. Once into Guadalajara we got on the Periferico (the ring road and this time I didn’t miss it) then on to the road south to the campground. Found it with no problems but the road into it is still narrow cobblestones with BIG trees almost in the middle of it.
Got settled in and went across the road to Applebee’s for lunch. Then to Wal*Mart still looking for an electric razor for Bill. We’ve about decided that the men here don’t use them. To get back to the campground we had to drive 3.5 miles east into Guadalajara – back under the Periferico we came in on and further up the road to find a way to cross the road so we could go west to the campground. All the streets that used to cross it are not blocked off with cement pillars. Go figure.
About our visit to Ajijic and with Jeff later.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
This animal is about 24 inches high.
A close up of the bead work.
The beads are placed one by one in bees wax that has been spread on a ceramic or paper Mache form. They demonstrated by putting some wax on my finger nail and adding the beads –
took about 30 seconds for him to finish. Notice the outfit.
We asked and he told us it took his wife about six months to embroider the shirt – about a year to finish one outfit – including pants and belt. In this picture he is working on an iguana.
Earlier he had been working on a small horse - partly done
You can see the strings of beads behind it.
He puts the beads on pins to hold them so he can press them into the wax.
The designs on the figures are all symbolic designs. Part of their religion. Most of them start with a peyote bloom. They use the plant in their celebrations. It is very hard to find and grows up in the mountains of Mexico – a baby plant.
Bill has spent quite a bit of time talking to the Huichols who are doing the work. And they’ve explained to him how it is done. So – guess what the next hobby will be? One of the Huichol men offered to take us to the place where they buy their supplies. Walking over there.
So we are now the proud owners of pounds of beeswax,
many, many strings of perfectly sized beads of many colors and several forms to place them on.
Both the men and the women work with the beads – they also make exquisite jewelry.
I got a Day of the Dead doll – with beaded skirt and sombrero – she’s about 10 inches high.
A close up of her head and hat
Going to post this now -We are probably leaving Lo de Marcos tomorrow (but not sure) If we do we will probably be without Internet for a while (unless I can get ahold of tech support and get it fixed - ha ha) So will write more when I get a chance.
This is my 2nd post today so keep scrolling down for the other.
Just some more ramblings about Puerto Vallarta
100 days on the road today. Both Thursday and Friday we drove into PV. Thursday a.m. was beautiful. Bright blue sky, sunshine and not too hot. Off we went to get some more beeswax and colors of beads that we didn’t get before. Parked in the underground parking we’ve discovered. Keeps Willie from getting so blasted hot inside – and it is always almost empty. Guess people use taxies and buses to get around instead of cars. There was another cruise ship in – so again lots of tourists out and about. Seems like every other store is selling, time shares – tequila or Cuban Cigars. I talked about the guys trying to pull you in – here they are just waiting.
As we walked along we passed the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant – couldn’t resist this picture of “Bubba Driver.”
This time we walked around the main plaza. From it you can see the big church – I find the tower very interesting – it is a copy of the crown of Queen Victoria – Hum?
Also found a nice stained glass window
and the ever present shoe shine people.
Some of the buildings we passed – this hotel has been in operation since 1948 – before PV was “discovered.”
Some of the stores – purses for sale –
silver stuff for sale – what I want a silver colored Mickey Mouse – oh yah.
And a walking store – want to buy a hat?
Puerto Vallarta is very narrow along the Malecón only a few blocks are level then things start going up steep hills.
On MX200 just outside of town the underpasses are getting painted – find the colors interesting.
Later more about the Huichol beaded art - love it.