I know, I know, it’s been ages. And I appreciate all of your encouragements to write a post, so here you are: We escaped Patricia completely unscathed. It didn’t even rain. And we got to enjoy the wonderful tree art that abounded all around our hostel, the Funky Monkey, in Mazatlàn. Down the street from the Funky Monkey was a great smoothie place called Darwins. They open at 7am in the week and 8am on Saturdays. I showed up at 8:15 after a run on the beach on Saturday morning and saw two guys chatting in front of the shuttered window. I asked if they were open and they started rushing around trying to get ready. They wanted to practice their not very good English, and I wanted to practice my not very good Spanish, so we had a very amusing conversation and I got a very tasty smoothie for $2. This is the egret I saw on my run. Egrets and vultures in Mexico are like crows and ravens in California. They’re literally everywhere.
So from Mazatlàn we went south and east through Guadalajara and to a small town in Jalisco called Atotonilco el Alto, the home of Siete Leguas. It’s a very cute town and the first place we stayed in Mexico that felt truly Mexican in a local, quaint, cultural way, without being touristy at all. We seemed to be the only gringos around. It has a nice little square where everyone hangs out every night, families, dates, old men, the whole neighborhood. It’s a great community vibe. We got there on a Sunday night and Monday morning we called Siete Leguas and asked if they could give us a tour. They only do tours by appointment and normally don’t on Mondays, but they made an exception for us and let us come. If you go, the distillery is not where Google says it is, that’s the office. The distillery is up the hill on 16th de Septiembre (that’s a street). You just walk up hill till you get there.
The distillery was amazing. They still use a mule and a stone wheel to mush up the cooked agave piñas, which taste amazing by the way. They are so fibrous but when they’re cooked they taste like candy. Amazing tequila candy. And we tasted some distillate after its first and then second distillation, and smelled the differences between the products that comes out of each copper still (every still embues a slightly different flavor). At the end of the tour we had a little tasting with their main products, but they didn’t have any extra añejo for us to tast and recommended we pop over to Fello’s Bar, which usually has everything.
We had to force ourselves to walk into the brightly lit Fello’s because there was a real mariachi band playing. But we did walk in and ordered a Siete Leguas single barrel extra añejo aged 8yrs, and another extra añejo that was aged 7yrs and blended. There was a guitarist, a guy on a small guitar, a small boy on an appropriately sized guitar and a large man on a very large guitar like thing with a deep belly (the man and the instrument). Plus two trumpets and two violins. One of the violinists was incredibly entertaining. He was a teenaged boy and looked very similar to the older man with the deep bellied guitar, so I assumed he was his son. The son was very attentive to his parts in the songs, always picking up his violin at exactly the right moment, but throughout the performance, when he was playing and when he was not, he was staring vacantly at the wall, except of course when he was checking his texts. He was clearly the best part of the show. However, the lead guy with the big belly and big guitar, did have a very deep commanding voice, and all the patrons were singing along so it ended up as a special scene to be a part of. Plus the tequila was amazing. The only downside was getting charged gringo prices.
The next day we plowed on through Jalisco and headed towards Puebla, where, coincidentally, Chris’great friend, Juan Carlos, happens to be headed as well. This is the point in the story where we noticed that Chris’ sprocket was going geriatric and loosing teeth at an alarming rate. We called three different KTM dealerships in the area trying to find a sprocket but no one had one in stock and they quoted us 30-40 days to get one. So Chris is trying to keep his hand off the throttle (unsuccessfully) and amazing KTMtwins.com is sending a care package to Guatemala full of fresh teeth and chains.
The other interesting thing we have noticed in Mexico is that the play houses at McDonald’s and Burger King are amazing! They’re all like two or three stories tall, some of them go from inside to outside through tunnels, some of them have ball pits an adult could drown in. Perhaps it’s because the laws aren’t as strict down here, but whatever the reason, they are enviable death traps and make me long for the time when I was less than 48″ tall.
There’s more to tell but I want to get this published so you guys are sated for at least another day or two. Then hopefully I can catch up to present.