Ah, Mexico! The home to my all-time favorite food – Tacos! I had high hopes from it and it did not disappoint (in the most part).
Let me be clear. I was not in Mexico City or Cancun or any other place which tourists call ‘Mexico’. I spent three weeks in rural Mexico – the smack dab center of the country – legit, the middle of nowhere. I was in Queretaro. Sounds exotic and fun, right? Well, I’ll let you decide that.
Mexican Wine That They Don’t Export
I get so excited about new things; you already know that. Whether it is exploring new locations, tasting new cuisines or meeting new people – I get all pumped up. So, when I visited Finca Sala Vive by Freixenet, I was there to add Mexican wine to my repertoire. The last wine tasting I went to was in South Africa, where I got to taste five different types of wines and in the end, indulged in a full pour of the wine of your choice. The last part was my favorite. So, I had high hopes from this tasting as well.
In the beginning itself, the host explained that we will be touring the vineyards and the wine cellar first, and only then proceed to taste the wine. I have to be honest, I did not enjoy the hour and a half long lecture from the guide. But, I was hanging on for the wine.
First of all, there was a total of one tasting. I was disappointed.
Then what did they do? They gave me a sparkling wine. And Wow! It was baaaad. Disappointed again!
I am all about second chances, so I bought a different wine – fruity sparkling rosé – to form a well-rounded opinion. Well, sorry to report but it too was quite gross. It tasted like Robitussin. So, if you are into that, you might have liked it. But, for me, I lost count of the number of times I had been disappointed by now. That’s when I remembered the tour guide saying Mexico doesn’t export their wine. You don’t say! All I can say is that a lot of sober pictures were taken that day.
The Underappreciated Pepto Bismol
My bio actually states – “Taco Specialist”. Only a few months ago, I posted ecstatically about the tacos I tried in Mexico City. So, the idea of trying authentic Mexican tacos excited me. But, the water in rural Mexico and my stomach were not the best of friends. I caught a terrible case of the runs with every meal I ate.
And before you call my stomach weak, I should tell you that traveler’s diarrhea is so common in Mexico that it has earned a name for itself in the culture. It is called Montezuma's Revenge. The reason is that the food and water is contaminated with fecal organisms and most commonly a bacteria called enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli or ETEC. So, here is some friendly advice. Use only sealed bottled water in Mexico. I don’t mean just for drinking. I mean for brushing teeth, for cooking meals, and for anything that you are going to put on your face. And if you do contract the bacteria somehow, buy some pepto bismol and go see a doctor immediately. Me, I got fine in a few days. After all, I found Jesus!
It Was So Perfect That I Found Jesus
I think it was during the Russia trip that I told you to secure a driver when you’re traveling to a city that isn’t well equipped with public transportation. Well, I took my own advice on this vacation. I book a taxi, and if I hit it off with the driver, I book them for the whole trip. That’s what I do.
During an Uber ride to San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city one hour away from Queretaro, I found Jesus. Well, he called himself “hay-SOOS”. And boy, am I glad I found him. San Miguel de Allende isn’t the easiest place to get a taxi from. But, from my research, it suggested that night time in San Miguel is worth the struggle of not finding a way back home. So, I hired Jesus for the whole trip. Now, that is a sentence I never thought I would say.
The main attraction in the town is the La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, but the party is right outside the church where there are tons of places to shop, enjoy rooftop margaritas, and devour Mexican eats. A pitcher of sangria and tamarindo margs later, I truly needed Jesus to take me back home.
I then asked him to accompany me the next day to see the pyramids, visit the vineyard, and travel to La Pena de Bernal. He agreed. He introduced me to sopes, gorditas and tacos served on “tortillas de maíz morado” (purple corn tortillas), spicy michelada’s and pan dulce. The company, the food, and the ambience, everything was perfect.
In the beginning, I told you I will let you decide how my Mexican adventure was. I still leave it up to you. For me, it was a series of interesting events that made for a surreal trip. I enjoyed the food, got sick, partied, had great company and got to meet Jesus. I am not sure if the trip could have been any more happening. But, I have to say that it was as colorful as Mexico itself.