Saturday, June 05, 2004

Tequila, Mexico--Day 126

After breakfast this morning I caught a cab to Guadalajara’s train station to board the “Tequila Express” which was a tour down to Tequila, where all the tequila in the world is made (surprise!). I had my ticket from yesterday and found that I was in the “Verde” group (green). I was give n a badge to wear around my neck showing my group and I found Swati, Cory and William who had already checked in. While we waited to board the train we were entertained by mariachis. We boarded the train by groups (red, green, blue and orange) and soon we were off to Tequila. The trip took about 2 hours as we meandered down from Guadalajara through agave fields and hills. All throughout the trip we were offered tequila and drinks with tequila in it! Already people were enjoying themselves.

We made it to Tequila and got off (again in groups) and our group had to wait for the last bus to come and pick us up to take us to the Tequila factory that we would be touring. Our tour of the factory was in Spanish, which we chose instead of the English tour so that we could practice our Spanish. Anyways, the tour of the old and new parts of the factory was great-- the factory is over 100 years old and has all of its old agave ovens and fermenting tanks. I definitely learned a lot about tequila making!

After the tour, we were led to a big picnic area with tents all set up for a barbeque with a stage and an area for dancing. It was great- it was like we had just happened upon a huge family gathering or wedding reception or something. The food was great and as soon as we got there there was entertainment from the mariachis as well as several other singers and traditional dancers. It was so much fun! Plus the tequila was flowing like crazy. Never have I been to an event with unlimited drinks included and while I didn’t take advantage of the continuing flow of alcohol, it was clear that several people were!

Several hours of dancing and drinking later, we were all having just a blast. Everyone in the entire place was in a great mood and we had so, so much fun dancing and goofing around. And I didn’t even have that much to drink! It really was so much fun and felt like I had just walked into someone’s private family gathering.

At 6 o’clock our fun was not quite over, but our time at the tequila factory was so we all boarded the buses back to the train and got on. The ride back was defiantly more full of life than the trip down as we had the rows filled with people dancing and the mariachi band playing practically the entire way back. It was so crazy and never before could I say that I had done the Macarena with several old ladies in a moving train before, but hey, today was a start!

So crazy. So fun. We got back to the train station around 8 o’clock at night and William and I headed to our respective places in a shared taxi (his host family lives semi-near my hotel) and we all agreed to meet up in the morning to go see the Ballet Folklorico, which I am quite excited about.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.