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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

:Deja Vu" all over again - Tequila and Mazatlan

I'm kind of backtracking here a little bit but want to include this in the blog. On Thursday while still in Guadalajara we decided to take a trip to the little town of Tequila. A 99 miles round trip. We took the 15D out to Magdalena then the old road to Tequila. From Tequila we took the old road back towards Guadalajara until hooking up with the main road again.
You surely know where you are headed. Tequila signs all over the place. Also fields and field of agave plants. Most of the fields of plants we saw were young plants - be several more years before they can be harvested. 
 And here we are. We had no real plans except for not going to a distillery tour. Been there done that a few years ago. 
 The narrow cobblestone street leading into the center of town. No parking anywhere. 
 One of the tour vehicles. This one a barrel. Some are shaped like tequila bottles. 
 Agave rules. This is an over crossing decorated with the plant. 
A picturesque little street with cafes and stores selling souvenirs and setting up tours. 
 Big man little moto. Just struck me as funny so had to take a picture. 
 Driving by the main plaza and church. Like the statues of angels out front. 
 One of the big distilleries - oh, oh. This street dead ends - don't go up it. Quick turn left. 
 Oh what a pretty little street. So we took it. You can barely make out a van backed towards a building and a box truck in front of it blocking the street.  We drove as far as them and waited for them to move. Eventually they did and we went by. 

 More buildings on the little street. Wonder how long it took for that vine to cover the building? Just beyond this building we reached the end of the street...there was no way out. It ended in permanent barricades. Oh, Oh! Nose of car up to dead end street. We've done this before in this town. In 1978 in the motorhome with the trailer in back. See book - chapter on Tequila! An snippet from the book - available as ebook or hard copy. 
In fact, we were going to pass through a town named Tequila. Reading the guidebook I discovered there were 24 distilleries in Tequila and I thought it would be interesting to visit one. 
The day was beautiful, the boys were content and Bill was agreeable. “Just tell me how to get there.”  
I did. “Turn right here,” I said, my finger tracing the route on the map.  “Now left there.” The distillery I picked to visit was down towards the center of the old part of town where the streets were still cobblestones. Cobblestones were very rough to drive on, everything inside bounced and rattled around and the motorhome creaked in every joint. The bunk bed bounced up and down, each time getting closer to The Driver's head. In the mirror I could see the scowl on his face getting more intense. But he just gritted his teeth, clutched the wheel and continued to follow my directions. I pretended I didn’t notice the look or the racket or jarring and continued to call out directions. By now we were into a very narrow one-lane, cobblestone street. 
“Now turn left,” I told him, "it should be just around this corner." 
Warily he turned the motorhome and trailer into another one-lane, cobblestone street. The tequila plant was smack dab in front of us. In fact the street ended at the entrance of the plant.  
Bill braked, threw his hands up in the air and turned to look daggers at me. I carefully folded the map in my lap while acting as if I was very interested in looking at the massive stone buildings that surrounded us on three sides. John came up to sit next to me and we sat there looking out the windshield at the four or five blue clad workers who had been lounging next to the building in the shade.  Now, cigarettes hanging from their lips, they were staring opened-mouthed at us.
This time though it was a little easier to get out of. The Jeep could turn around and go the right way. I wonder why neither the van nor truck drive told us the street dead ended? By then we had had enough of Tequila and headed out of town. Never did find close to center parking that had open spaces. 
A statue honoring the field workers. He is standing on a pile of pinas - the core of the agave used to make the tequila. 
 Cutting off the leaves from the core. 
 Selling all things agave.
And thus ended our day in Tequila. If you want to read about our last time there and visiting the distilleries click here.
So now back to Mazatlan. Yesterday our first day here we went out to breakfast at Torres. Beautiful there - right on the beach and very good food. 
From there we headed over to the Centro Historico to do some errands. First off we parked in our favorite parking lot so we could get poor Willie washed. He sure needed it. Then we walked towards the central market. Some signs of Carnaval still up in the main plaza. Decorations on the government building. 
 And floats from the parade. Pink flamingos. 
 Music of the Samba.
 And a witch and a crow. 
 Walking by where all the shoe shine/repair men work. Spotted this cowboy boot sitting out to dry. The shoe shine man was working on the other one. Looked like he was repainting them. 
In the Central Market. Little girl patiently waiting for her mother woho worked there. 
 Bill looking for some little item he can put his beads that he bought in Guadalajara on. [still need to post about that.]
 He also found a couple pair of shorts - the kind he likes with button pockets and made out of manta - kind of a wrinkly cotton. 
Walking back to the car - want your blood pressure taken - no charge?
 Passing the government building again we got curious about all the people waiting to go inside. What were they waiting for? 
 Bill asking one of the officials. They were waiting to pay their property taxes and it is a very involved affair. Some times up to three days to get it done. Especially if there is a question about the amount assessed. IF it can be changed - they have to go to another official - in the back of the line. When it is approved they have to go to another official to the back of the line to get it stamped. Then back into the first line to pay it. Cannot be paid over computer, cannot be paid by check in mail. Must be paid in person. If two people on on title they both must be there. Sometimes it can take up to three days to get it taken care of. Egad! I'm not going to complain anymore. There even was a portion of the Mazatlan news last night about how messed up it is. 
From there we went home. Bill rested, his cold is getting much better. I read and gossiped with the neighbors. Then later we went out to the Italian restaurant for dinner. Just to hot and muggy to cook.
Nice to be here. On my next blog I'm going to write more about Guadalajara as there was a lot I didn't share. And we aren't doing too much here.
Here is a well written article about the wreck my favorite NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, had at Daytona. 
There's a wreck, a car slides through the grass, brakes locked, but still traveling faster than the rest of us will ever drive on the local highway. There's a wall in the distance and it's closing quick. Television viewers at home, fans in the grandstand, spotters atop that grandstand, and the driver behind the wheel of the out-of-control race car are all scanning that wall up ahead with one question in mind:
Does it have a SAFER barrier?
That's exactly what happened on Saturday evening at Daytona International Speedway, in the closing laps of an Xfinity Series race that ended up becoming just another bizarre chapter in this most calamitous of Speedweeks. Kyle Busch slid sideways out of a multicar crash just past the start-finish line. His Toyota Camry skidded toward the towering wall that separates the racing surface from the infield. From the TV booth to the media center to his wife, Samantha, sitting in the team's pit stall, everyone looked ahead, picked out the spot where he was going to hit and asked that same question:
Does it have a SAFER barrier?
The answer was no. Busch emerged from his car and collapsed to the grass at the feet of the safety crew. Later, as Ryan Reed celebrated his unlikely win, Busch was being transported to a hospital complaining of leg discomfort. The eventual diagnosis: a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a fracture in his left foot. On Sunday he will not be in the Daytona 500.
Here is the full article - worth reading for everyone = NASCAR fan or not.

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