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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hot and Cold - both the weather and us.

To borrow from a friend this post is going to start out with a rant and end with a rave. I’ll get all my complaining done in the first few paragraphs so you can just skip them …
Let’s see first the weather both here and at home. At home it is snowing again and for the foreseeable future high temps will not be above freezing! Here the temps have been rising every day – up into mid 80s now. I know that sounds nice but when you’re as heat intolerant as me it is miserable. It’s okay if we’re out and about where there is a breeze but seems like for one reason or another we’ve been spending time in the RV. [read Sick Sick Sick both of us]
We left home 148 days ago and it seems that since the doc said “Get out of town” one thing after another has been going on. Logically I know it hasn’t but like I said this is a rant. We left home before I wanted to – so I started out with an attitude. Once we crossed into Mexico my Attitude has increasingly gotten worse. The tolls on the road have gone up again – not much but up. And after the bad rains last fall some of the toll roads could use work. But other parts of the road are beautiful. Of course the bad parts are what I remember and dread having to go through going home. [Though parts of I-40 in the US aren’t any better.]  The cost of diesel is higher here than in the US – as is gasoline. The problems with Willie – which are all fixed now and he is running like new. The cracked windshield – which also is fixed now.  And not feeling good – actually if I’m truthful between us we’ve probably had only a total of less then 15 days when one of us was sick – 15 out of 148 is not too bad and I know the same thing could happen at home. But there is just something scary about getting sick in a different country – or even in a different location than home. So what set me off today? Well I’m fine now – the pills the WalMart doc gave me worked wonders – still have to take them for a few more days. Yesterday afternoon Bill took a nap and woke up really sick – actually he felt okay but had the freezing shakes and a fever. Back to the WalMart doc – everything vital checked out okay. More pills – he had kind of the same bug I just got over. This morning fever is gone and he is sleeping in. Neither of us are hungry – one way to start to lose the weight we’ve both put on.
I know that everything that has set me off here could just as easily happened in the states and even at home. Actually we were probably better off here because at the house there wasn't even heat or electricity for a few days. Now that doesn’t sound fun either.
It’s funny how petty everything sounds when you write it down and reread it.
Done ranting.
Now the rave. Yesterday morning bright and early we went to the Torres hotel restaurant for breakfast with our friends who are staying there. Then we headed inland to the Los Osuna Tequila Distillery. When we were in La Noria last week Roberto told us the distillery would be done cooking the piñas [the root/ball of the agave plant] and would be shredding them Monday. That is fun to watch.
Here is someones web site that tells all about the distillery – good pictures too. 
As we were driving into the distillery we noticed fields of new small blue agave plants. None of the fields were planted last time we were here – don’t remember if we were here this past spring or last fall
These plants won’t be ready to harvest for at least five years, probably seven years. They have planted over 50 hectares and want to plant double that soon.
We also passed this field with the cattle. Now those are long horns!
Some of the beautiful plants on the grounds of the distillery.
As we got out of the car we could hear the thump thump of the piñas being thrown into the shredder. So we hurried that direction. Passing first the big ovens built into the ground. The lid to the right hand oven is sitting next to it.
Looking down into one of the ovens.

Way down to the bottom. Some small pieces of pina still on the bottom.
They use these two pronged forks to take the piñas out of the ovens. Some of the balls weight 100 pounds!
These are cooked ones waiting to be thrown into the shredder. Lots of manual labor involved.
That is the  back side of the shredder. The top portion is the opening the piñas get thrown into. It has a flap over the opening to stop some of the blowback of little pieces.
Getting ready to throw one in. It’s a pretty good throw.
Looking at the fiber as it comes out of the shredder and moves up a conveyer belt.
The juice pours into the rectangular basin.
Doesn't look very good at this stage. 
The fiber drops into a wheelbarrow and is then piled next to the shredder to be shredded again and again.
One of the wood barrels used for fermentation of the yeast. You can see the bubbles. The room the barrels are in is temperature controlled and they pipe in classical music. The vibrations from the music improve the process of fermentation. Who would have thunk that?
I walked back up towards the shredder and it was stopped. Whoops – the conveyor belt was broken. Every one was checking it out including some one I know.
Some heavy black plastic type twine was brought out and the belt was woven back together. But would it hold?
Yes it did and look who is throwing piñas into it.
So this year he has tried throwing bricks to the second floor of a new building and throwing the piñas into the shredder. A regular working man.
So there probably won’t be too much to write about today - - - tomorrow.  

1 comment:

  1. I had a great trip to Los Osuna and La Noria a few weeks ago ( http://winnieviews.blogspot.mx/2014/02/tequila-touring-two-towns.html ), but sure wasn't lucky enough to see them actually processing the pinas. So glad you were able to show us this! Hope you also both feel better soon.