Mexico My Love: Caroline Aguiar

SAYULITA ART PLACE 300
The sign says “This is Mexico

Written by Caroline Aguiar

 

I’ve lived in Baja California, Mexico for 20 years, and until recently, I’ve never traveled farther than Loreto, which is a scenic ocean side town about halfway down the Baja peninsula.  There are many places in Mexico I would love to visit someday.  Some of the most historical sites, and equally beautiful are Guanajuato, San Miguel De Allende, Oaxaca, and of course, majestic Guadalajara, just to name a few.

Three weeks ago, for the first time in ten years, Raul and I took a vacation. Our daughter Christine finished up her university internship, which was a significant part of her university studies in Business Administration and Tourism. She decided to do her internship in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico where she lived for 3 months, while working for a tourism company called Vallarta Adventures.

Raul and I overlooking the bay in Mazatlan
Raul and I overlooking the bay in Mazatlan

Coincidently, Raul has talked about a road trip in Mexico, but what eluded us from actually doing it was time. We’re so busy at the ranch how could we possibly leave for two whole weeks?  Needless to say, we saw a great opportunity to take our much-needed trip, get off the grid, and at the same time, pick up our daughter, and bring her home. Finally, the right time had arrived!

We left Ensenada on Aug. 1st. I was a little worried about the heat since we would drive through most of the Sonoran desert, then through Sinaloa, and eventually into Nayarit. I made sure to pack the car with plenty of water, electrolyte drinks, and an entire pharmaceutical in case of any maladies which might come our way.  I’m happy to say, I didn’t use anything in my first aid kit. Both Raul and I were in good spirits, great health, and even though it was mighty hot, and humid, we drive along quite comfortably with the air conditioner turned up full blast, and the radio, with our specially prepared USB’s, thanks to our nephew Adolfo, who provided us with our favorite songs, and singers during our entire adventure.

Raul and I added 3,000 miles to the speedometer on this trip. We drove a lot, but we also took time to see different places like the famous surf town of Sayulita, in Nayarit, where we stayed in a lovely bungalow with Christine for 2 days.  We went to Tequila, Jalisco where we met some of the local Tequila makers who were actively producing tequila. Sr. Luna, from  El Castillo de Los Luna Tequila brewery, was very kind to give us a personal tour while he explained the entire tequila distillation process. Oh, and here’s an interesting note.  He has a small crocodile living in the pond just behind his house!

A Mexican folkloric art shop in Sayulita, Nayarit
A Mexican folkloric art shop in Sayulita, Nayarit”in preparation for their national holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead

Those of you who are coming to the ranch this fall get ready for some special tequila tasting when you arrive. Raul is ready for whoever wants to try 100% Agave Tequila, home-made and absolutely delicious, straight from Tequila, Jalisco!

I think the most important point of this article I wanted to get across to the reader is as an American Citizen living in Mexico, I feel the need to express how much this trip made me fall in love with Mexico even more than I already was before. I think this is because I saw a deeper layer of Mexico, rather than judging solely on what I’ve heard aboout it, especially from the media, or the little I’ve actually seen of it.

This trip was the perfect chance for me to see more of its interior which represented Mexico’s profound culture, with all it’s vibrant colors, and deeply rooted tradition. I was reminded of its significant history, which still holds sway in many areas of the republic, and of the struggles people endured as they won their freedom from both Spain, and France so many years ago.

The monumental old missions, and churches, most of which were built in the mid 1700’s, and still in use today, are timeless, stoic, masterpieces and replicas of early Mexico.  Every city has a plaza where folks gather, and visit with each other in the afternoons, in the evenings, and often on into the wee morning hours!

Such a friendly, hospitable atmosphere!  By the way, as a rule, with so much visiting going on, and warm weather, in some areas, no one goes to sleep until at least midnight or one in the morning.  That’s because everyone in town is out in the plaza!

The Plaza and the old church in Tequila, Jalisco.

What struck me most was the amazing scenery. Many people believe Mexico is the land of dust and cactus, but I’m here to tell you it ain’t so!  Never in my life have I seen such pristine beaches, with crystal blue water, or so much green, thick forests, and jungle vegetation.

Mexico Lindo is indeed “muy Lindo” (very beautiful), and I’m so glad I was able to see this part of a country that has become very dear to my heart.  I’m ready for another 3,000 miles of adventure and exploration in beautiful  Mexico any day!

When groups are with us at the ranch, on the last night after dinner, while we’re all sitting around the table, Raul asks each person the same question.  “What was the highlight of your weekend?”  On the last day of our trip, when we had only 40 more miles to go before we reached Ensenada, he asked Christine and I the same question.

My answer was this.  The highlight was of course the beach town of Sayulita, and our Rhythms of the Night Cruise and Dinner with Vallarta Adventures, but there was one more very important aspect of the trip I wanted to mention.  This particular highlight was simply enjoying a relaxing time with my family (except we were missing our son Ricky), and there were no schedules to keep me glued to my watch either. That was nice!

In addition, I saw much more of Mexico that I’ve only heard about from others, and I’m so glad I did.  I’ve lived in this country for 20 years now, and this is where I’ve laid down my roots, and this is also where it has become my wonderful home.

The town plaza in Sayulita
The town plaza in Sayulita

Raul and I are putting together specific packages to different destinations, guided by us in Mexico.  There were many places we visited that we thought our guests would enjoy seeing.  The old Baja missions, Tequila, Jalisco, and the picturesque, beach town of Sayulita, which is also a haven for artists, and whale watching in the antiqua town of San Ignacio, which is located on the Baja Peninsula. Would you like to get out there on the water with the gentle grey whales, and perhaps touch one?  I sure would!

We’ll keep you posted on upcoming dates. We will definitely post a date for the whale watching tour. If anyone is interested in more information about our travels or seeing more of Mexico you know where to find us!  www.rancholabellota@yahoo.com

I hope you enjoy the pictures below!

 

 

VACACIONES 107

A beautiful desert scene in Baja. These are the famous Cardon cacti which are well known among Baja travelers.
A beautiful desert scene in Baja. These are the famous Cardon cacti which are well known among Baja travelers.
The church of San Ignacio
The church of San Ignacio
The old church in Loreto complete with it's plaza
The old church in Loreto complete with it’s plaza
The Bay of Loreto in Baja Sur
The Bay of Loreto in Baja Sur
VACACIONES 322
Raul and I with his bottle of tequila Sr. Luna of El Castillo de Los Luna Tequila Brewery kindly gave him. Sr. Luna’s pet crocodile is somewhere in the backround.
The majestic Sierra Giganta in the state of Baja Sur
The majestic Sierra Giganta in the state of Baja Sur

 

 

 

The Plaza and the old church in Tequila, Jalisco.
The Plaza and the old church in Tequila, Jalisco.
Ready to dock on Las Caletas Island for our Rythms of the Night Aztec dance show and beach front dinner!
Ready to dock on Las Caletas Island for our Rythms of the Night Aztec dance show and beach front dinner!
Some Agave fields in Jalisco
Some Agave fields in Jalisco
Church and plaza in Tequila, Jalisco
Church and plaza in Tequila, Jalisco

VACACIONES 370

Raul and Christine
Raul and Christine

VACACIONES 379

The beautiful bungalow where we stayed in Sayulita
The beautiful bungalow where we stayed in Sayulita
Sayulita mural work
Sayulita mural work

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