We left Aguascalientes, this time, not using the toll road as it was not going to save a lot of time and it was quite expensive. This road was going to take us past Guadalajara which we had decided was not worth stopping at, however, we thought Wi-Fi might be nice so Doug found a McDonald’s on what looked like the outskirts and into the fray we went. MISTAKE! Our GPS knew where the McD’s was but was not aware of the construction zone we had to go through to get there or how the locals will close off a street for a festival or funeral. We ended up on at a dead end one way street and then she took us down some narrow residential streets that we had to back out of and then back to a construction zone right opposite the Mcd’s but nowhere to park or a way across the construction zone so we gave up. That little escapade took over 90 minutes! We were so glad to leave the zoo of that city!
We went about 25 miles west of Guadalajara to the town of Teuchitlan to find the ruins called Guachimontones. We got to the site at 4:59 pm and they were closing at five. The attendant said we could not park there overnight so we went back into the village and found a wide street with lights and where a tour bus was parked and the driver said it was okay to park there overnight. We went for a walk to the main plaza (square) and back before we hunkered down for the night. There was little traffic and we spent an eventless night.
Friday morning, we drove back to the archeological site and were too early; didn’t open until nine but chatted with the attendants there. At nine they let us pay and in we went. First you visit the museum where were we treated to an excellent film about this find; felt like we were in a national park theatre.
Guachimontones is a site that was “officially” discovered in 1969 and is a series of altars, dwellings, temples, homes and ball courts that were built before the Aztecs, back around 300BC. They have found more of these sites in this area and in about five other states in Mexico. The museum depicts life in that time compared to life now in 2015 and you can walk around the first excavated site to see what they uncovered. It was a very nice find.
Interesting fact: the ball courts are not what we think they are. They were used to settle disputes. Two men who had a problem to resolve would enter the court with a heavy ball made of skins and would play to the end. They could only move the ball using their elbows and hips. Looked like hard work!
Next stop: Tequila! Doug is not a huge fan of the stuff but Fran insisted we shouldn’t miss this. We walked around the historic centre first, had some lunch (so as not to drink an empty stomachs!) and into the Jose Cuervo distillery we went. We chose this one as it is the oldest distillery in the world and was recommended in our guide book.
They show you a short movie about the history of their distillery and then an English or Spanish guide takes you through. It was a good tour with four chances to taste their product. Joaquin, our guide, spoke good English and the only other people on the English tour were a couple from New York.
We wandered back to Tigger after the tour and began our drive westward again towards Puerto Vallarta. We got ourselves a bonus week through our time share and check in on Saturday. We spent the night parked on a street in San Pedro Lagunillas (after asking a man who was in a fenced in farm equipment shop) and then went for a short walk to check out the town before the rain started.