Sunday, November 21, 2010

And You Thought Tequila is ONLY a Drink?

Continuing on to Lake Chapala, we weave along the back Highway 15. I affords me taking plenty of photos and coaching Roland on passing attempts.

As the shadows get longer, I begin to see dots of pale blue fields among the other yellow-green crops. Knowing the fame of the Blue Agave plant for two-fold reasons: 1 the sugar substitute, Agave and, of course, 2 tequila, I recognize them. Plus I had the clue of knowing that one of the fun places here to tour is the town of Tequila, where the drink is manufactured. And possibly the sugar substitute too, but it's less promoted.

Eventually we curve into the small town of Tequila. From one end of the village to the other there was ever present the theme of the small blue plant. Down the center division of the road were lil' concrete renditions and on the buildings were logos of the plant. When we pulled into the Pemex on a bustling corner, we were adjacent to the town sculpture was of, guess what, YES, you are correct, the blue agave plant!! Actually, it was quite a tasteful piece.

Sitting in wait for the tank to be filled, I pulled my camera and caught a bunch of town characters. One of my favorite was the cowboy's truck parked across from us. The children traveling in the bed of the sunfaded turquoise pickup truck were spirited. The lil' boy eyed me suspiciously and his sister was more coy. Others were pushing carts of edibles, leaning up against the trees just leanin' and others anxiously on their way home.

Finally, we pull out of the gas station and travel thru the long shadows out of town. I catch some final shots of sunlit buildings and passing agave fields. As we make it into Guadalajara, it is dark. The large, turbulent city is five miles across and as things would have it, the main highway was under construction. So we bumble along the rush hour city streets, changing lanes at the wime of our lady on our GPS. She thinks we must be driving a compact with a spirited horsepower. I often wanted to yell at her reminding her, "We're in a thick billboard, bobbing on wheels and we are 45 feet long ~ ~ AND ~ ~ we have NO brake lights!!!" I want you to know one person did honk to catch our attention to let us know we had no brake lights, we just smiled and nodded. So I just trust. And we make onto the re-opened Highway 15 and get out of town.

Once with less traffic in outskirts, we pass the International Airport in Guadalajara and approach the turn off to Chapala. But . . . with less vehicles on this road, we notice how very dim are our head lights are. GRIEF!! Roland tries the brights and I had to laugh, even tho it wasn't funny. How were we going to see the road if we didn't have a car in front of us or coming at us? In a last ditch effort to find more light, we turn on the fog lights. God, will I be glad when we get to Lake Chapala.

Farther down the four lane, two-way highway, we were to turn off onto a smaller road leading into the town of Ajijic where we'd actually be staying. Darn, I just didn't notice it early enough to tell Ro to turn (or was my subconscious just making us travel the safer route?). Reaching the hoppin' town of Chapala, we found the streets well-lit with trees lining the streets and people everywhere. It was like watching a movie - but I was there. Guess I was too tired by then to participate.

But we'd made it. And we did it in such record time, that we were a day before our reservations for the RV pad were available. I didn't care . . . I was never so happy to pull into a Walmart parking lot in my life.

Roland asks if I want to walk over to see if we can find the place we will be staying. Oh my, I'm numb and he's excited. What a combo. But I hop onboard and fumble over the cobblestone streets to see the gate, gailey trimmed in warm yellow with vines dangling with orange trumpet clusters welcoming us. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, we have finally arrived.

Even with the main "Carretera" arterial just 40 feet from us . . . sleep came easy and gratefully . . .

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