snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative


#100
April 22, 2009, 11:54 am
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Taco #100, de barbacoa, at Bigo's in the Guadalajara market

Taco #100, de barbacoa, at Bigo's in the Guadalajara market



The Passion, Part 3
April 21, 2009, 10:43 am
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Looking out at the crowd from behind the participants

Looking out at the crowd from behind the participants



The Passion, Part 2
April 20, 2009, 11:17 am
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Arandas, Jalisco, Passion play on Good Friday.

Near the end of the procession

Near the end of the procession



The Passion, part 1
April 19, 2009, 9:13 am
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The Crucifixion, now with 20% more blood!

The Crucifixion, now with 20% more blood

Instead of a single Christ, the Arandas passion play had one for each station, along with the processional cross-bearing Christ flanked by Romans on horses.  This picture was taken shortly before the procession reached the crucifixion site, as the various characters got into their positions.  At the last minute, it was decided Christ wasn’t sufficiently bloody, and was called down off the cross to have further “blood” splashed, wiped, and poured all over him, returning to the cross just in time for the crowd’s arrival.

Mel Gibson would be proud.



Arandas
April 18, 2009, 3:11 pm
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Bigger Church, still a small town

Bigger church, still a small town

The final town we visited in Jalisco was Arandas, also in Los Altos de Jalisco.  It was very clearly a wealthy town, with a massive church, higher end stores and restaurants, well maintained streets and plazas, and one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in in all of Mexico.  While unfortunately much of the town was closed for Holy Week, our timing did allow us to see a passion performance in the street on Good Friday.  Expect photos over the next several days.



Atotonilco el Alto
April 17, 2009, 10:36 am
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Small town, Big church

Small town, Big church

We unintentionally spent an afternoon in the town of Atotonilco el Alto, another tequila town.  I say unintentional because we had only planned on grabbing lunch and connecting to another bus.  The other bus, it turned out, had decided not to run because of Holy Week, leaving us with a bit more time than we had planned for.  While waiting for another bus (which also didn’t come), we wandered into what I can only describe as the ultimate Mexican bar.  Swinging doors?  Check.  Dudes in cowboy hats openly gambling on the bar?  Check.  Bull horns on the wall?  Check.  No women anywhere?  Definite check.  Pretty great experience, even if everything momentarily screeched to a halt when I walked in.

Eventually, we ended up splitting a cab to our next destination with a woman who had also been stranded by the non-existent bus.



Tequila
April 16, 2009, 11:10 am
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Where your Cuervo comes from

Where your Cuervo comes from

Northwest of Guadalajara lies Tequila, a small town whose name is famous worldwide thanks to the distilled spirit the it has been producing for hundreds of years.  The town is surrounded by fields of maguey (blue agave)–the spikey plant used to make the town’s primary export–and highways lined with liquor shops trying to sell the town’s product to motorists passing through.  Odd buses shaped like giant barrels and bottles ply the streets shuttling tourists between distilleries.  A museum dedicated to the making of tequila sits just off the main square downtown.

It was a hot day when we were there, however, so we settled on spending our time in Tequila drinking a couple of margaritas and visiting a waterpark.  Now, to be clear, we didn’t intend to visit the waterpark.  We had been approached by a tour guide who tried to sell us on a trip to a waterfall in the canyon outside of town, but the bartender we asked said the waterfall was easily reached by taxi or bus for far cheaper.  The bartender, unfortunately, seemed to be confused on what waterfall we had planned to see, as following his directions led us to a water park partway down the canyon (where the above picture was taken).  While there was a manmade “waterfall” at the park, it was definitely not what we were looking for.  As we waited for the bus to return to the town, we were told that the real waterfall was a 45 minute trek further down the canyon.  Lesson learned:  never trust a liquor-country bartender’s tourism advice  if he needs you to explain how to make your drink (especially when it’s something as simple as a bandera).