Thursday, December 9, 2010

To the Mountains -- Mas Tequila!

After a few days walking the beaches in Bucerias, we decided to head to the mountains with our guide Gustavo. For anyone worried about traveling in Mexico due to the much publicized violence surrounding drug cartels, we saw no evidence of any of that. It was a quiet pastoral trip into the Mexican countryside. In fact, the villages along the way were a step back in time, with people heading into town on horseback and foot. Since it was Sunday, we saw very few cars on the road. I sat in the backseat taking in the view. Once again, excuse the quality of the photos because they were shot through a moving car window.

The terrain very quickly changed from beaches to mountains and rivers.

Locals were headed to town on horseback dressed up in their Sunday white shirts.

This guy was selling camarones on a stick from his roadside stand. Gustavo said they were delicious, but we decided to save our appetites for a restaurant in San Sebastion. (Translated -- the turista trots would be my nightmare on a long car trip!)

Gustavo had some fun with me at this point in the trip. As we were pulling up to a roadside checkpoint with armed soldiers, he said, "At this point I will need your passports for the soldiers." I, of course, started flipping out because our passports were in a safe back in the room. He quickly laughed and said it was an agricultural checkpoint to make sure we weren't carrying fruits and flowers.

I loved these stacks of cornstalks in the fields.

An older woman headed to town on foot. Notice the cobblestone road. They're extremely hard on cars and feet!

At one point, we passed a town band practicing their tunes.

These local men were hanging out at the gas station having a beer.

In the steep climb up the mountain road, we came to this bridge over a deep river canyon.Gustavo had us get out of the car and walk over the bridge. It was a looooong way down!

The first stop on our tour was the San Sebastion Tequila Distillery.

It was housed in a beautiful old adobe brick building with lots of beautiful pots and flowers.

The actual oven where they cook the agave.

They also distilled raicilla, a lower grade form of tequila brewed from a wild agave plant.

The San Sebastion tequilas.

The agave before it is cooked.

The hacienda and agave fields.

Craig posing before he sampled their wares.

I could live in this house with all the beautiful pots!

The wild form of the agave plant used to brew raicilla. You hear a lot about raicilla in this part of Mexico. In fact, along the road, we saw many farmers selling their own. I guess it's kind of like moonshine in the United States.

The tequilla hacienda also had a pen of chickens out back. This rooster looks very distinguished, but I wouldn't stick my hand in there!

On to San Sebastion now! We'll have lunch tomorrow!


Vee said...

I am really enjoying your reports, Becky. This one really is like stepping back in time.

Isla Deb said...

Great's definitely not your typical tourist spot in Mexico, is it? When I was busing my way to Valladolid and Chichen Itza, I passed so many gas stations with men sitting in front drinking beer...and have the pictures to prove it! Haha!

Moongrl722 said...

Love the people pics. The guy with the shiny tuba and the lady with flowers are adorable. And of course, the happy beer drinkers. :) The distillery looks very interesting. I love that pic of the pale terracotta wall.