An unplanned stop at a Raicilla distillery enlightens us as to Tequila’s origins and to the purists favored fermented agave drink.
While driving a side road to go check out a possible snorkeling beach, we passed by a rustic looking building advertising that it was a Raicilla/Mezcal distillery and that it had tours. On a whim, we pulled in and were greeted by Tony, a really nice guy who spends 6 months of the year in Mexico and the other 6 in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Tony was very knowledgable and gave us a tour of what turned out to be the bottling and distribution facility for a Raicilla co-op.
The Raicilla distillery sign and blue agave plant that lured us in.
In our first week in mainland Mexico we experience a stark contrast of two different worlds – the loud, hot, dirty, abrasive madness of Mazatlan during Semana Santa, and the cool, quiet, peaceful serenity of a climbing excursion to the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.
Mexican Highway 40D.
When we arrived in La Paz, Baja California Sur, after many long and dusty roads, it was time to give Chimera some love. After all, he/she/it (shim) is our world right now. First we ventured out to get the oil changed. We had purchased a bunch of oil filters before leaving the states in anticipation that it may be hard to find the correct Subaru filters along the way. We pulled up to a shop that looked like it specialized in oil changes and were immediately directed to drive over the pit. Tim did the best he could to communicate in Spanish with the grease monkey and, with some help from the woman working the cash register, we found out that they did not have the proper weight oil (in fact they may not have had any oil at all at the moment). They were meant to get a shipment later in the day, but we were told that we could just go across the street to the supermarket and buy the oil we needed. So Tim headed off to do this while the grease monkey went to work on draining the oil.
In Baja California Sur we mostly stuck to paved and well-graded roads, on which we weaved back and forth between the Pacific coast and the Sea of Cortez, met some VW buddies, woke up to a red tide, and experienced the beginning of Semana Santa madness.
The long and not-so-winding road, the Mex 1.