Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cruising part 3- San Sebastian

We pulled into Puerto Vallarta at about 7 am. Still on my adventure tour mindset adn not yet on my relaxation mindset I watched us throw the rope and tie onto the dock. Amazing what takes place on the dock before the passengers get off. But we were not staying in Pueto Valalrta for the day, we were flying up into the hills to San Sebatian, an old silver mining town.

6 am on a holiday is far, far too early to be up and watching them tie up the ship.

It was a half hour scenic flight down the coast, then up the hills. San Sebastian is about 4200 feet up in the Sierra Madre mountians. Our tour guide, Martin, was full of information and tried to give it all to us in the 5 hours he had us. My little brian could not take it all in.

But I can share with you a few things I can remember. When San Sebastian was in its heyday it had 5 silver mines. All the silver was sent to Spain. After a while people tired of sending everything away and then came the revelution!

San Sebastian was once known as the Paris of Mexico. In spite of its dirt streets the elite of the town wore fashions that would not be out of place in Europe's finest capitols.

As time wore on, the pure Spanish bloodlines became diluted. Some familes agreed to only marry between themselves causing things like being married to your uncle who is also your cousin and the father of your mother... or some such nonsense.
We had a traditional lunch at Casa Lupita's.

When the revelution came all the silver and gold was stripped off buildings including churches as the churches were seen to be part of the opression of the Spanish rulers. In spite of that, the interior of the cathedral at San Sebastian retained an elegent granduer.

San Sebastian is also one of three areas in Mexico that is designated as an area to grow Tequila. We flew in over the blue agave fields (above). The photo below is Lyle sampling the local brew. He said it did not have the same burn as the stuff you can get at home. I can't tell you anything from this experience as I took the photo with a telephoto lens from outside the room. I can tell you that regardless of the taste it still smelled like regular Tequila (and that is why I was FAR away from the tasting room). Lyle also told me that they still smash the blue agave the old fashioned way with naked people walking in the vats to crush and stir the tequila (the acid of the tequila rots the clothes off people, hence the nakedness of the workers).

We bought one bottle as a gift to our very tequila loving friends Ricky & Brad. None for me thank you.
Back on ship we had a farewell ceremony to Puerto Vallarta complete with streamers, party games, music and many, many cocktails.


Rachel said...

Oh that looks like you had fun!

Lewis said...

"Cruising part 3"....I had the wrong idea in my head there for a minute....damn.
I have to say that getting up early and watching the ship dock is one of my favorite times.....and your pics are beautiful!

Carolyn said...

Had a bad tequila experience, did you Jim? My question is, if the acid in the tequila rotted the clothes off people, what did it do to their...well, naked areas?

Let's hear about the bad tequila.