December 2, 2015
We were picked up early this morning and went over to the Vallarta Adventures main office to check in and have some breakfast, before leaving on our tour. There were 27 people on the tour and our guide was Rubi. She was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We had a stop at a little place for a bathroom break and to buy snacks if you wanted them. We also stopped at an old silver mining hacienda, which was later owned by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (we seem to keep running into mention of them!). It must have been a grand place in its day. It is now a bed and breakfast and the main floor is really a museum. Our guide explained the silver mining process and how laborious it was to extract the ore from the rock. There was a huge poinsettia plant which was just gorgeous.
Then we finally went on to San Sebastian, which was also a silver mining town. It was one of the prime reasons the Spaniards stayed in Mexico, silver to mine with lots of cheap labour. There are not very many people living there now, no more silver mining, just tourism. It's a classic colonial town with the old stone and adobe buildings.
We visited a coffee plantation and I bought some ground coffee mixed with cinnamon and chocolate, as well we bought some guava leather. We also visited a silver workshop and a cigar workshop, but didn't make any purchases there.
There was also a museum run by one of the old families of the town - a couple of rooms in their house, with lots of pictures of their ancestors. We got a very complicated description of the family tree, which demonstrated how inbred the pure Spanish became in order to protect their Spanish "purity". Then we had a very nice four course lunch at a restaurant or eatery just for tours. They had an outdoor cooking area with their grill, clay oven and wood fired wok/tortilla maker.
As we started our trip back to the city, we stopped at a tequila distillery that is a small family business and had taste tests of all their different flavours of tequila. Very interesting and delicious and we did make a purchase there!
We got back to the city about 5:30 and shared a cab with another couple back to our part of town. After a rest for awhile in the hotel, we went to Joe Jack's Fish Shack for supper. We had just sat down on their balcony when a family procession for the Festival of Guadalupe went by. After a good supper, we walked along the malecon to the church and waited for the next procession to happen. Tonight they had the dancers, a marching band with singers, and a float with a young girl depicting Guadalupe and a couple of young angels. Apparently it get more complex every night - hard to imagine how they can keep this up for 10 more nights!