I slipped out of Sayulita early one morning after hearing about a mountain bike ride with a guide company out of Puerto Vallarta. I drove south as the sun rose, uncertain of where I would stay that night or really what I would be doing. I would be getting out on my bike on some trails with some other riders though and that was all I needed to know. Turns out the ride was just a fireroad out to a waterfall, but it was a good chance to spin the legs out and I got to meet some great people that operate Eco Ride Mex. Our guide Anibal wasn’t able to show me any singletrack in the area, although apparently there is a DH trail in PV that is well maintained. However, he told me I should go south to Yelapa for camping and a deserted surf break at a little beach called Quimixto.
With a couple cans of salmon and chili, I loaded my gear into the boat at Boca de Tomatlan. The only way to access much of this area is by boat, and that significantly reduces the number of users. I shared the beach one afternoon with a couple local guys that were skim boarding, later they got surfboards and showed me how to ride this nice little left. At night a little chihuahua kept me company. I foraged coconuts and dried the meat on my tent ground sheet in the sun. The first night was noisey, camped less than 20m from the water, so the second night, I hiked my gear up the hill and had a nice viewpoint campspot all to myself. I had everything I needed with a secluded wave, a shower on the beach and coconuts in the trees, but I now had a deadline to get to Guadalajara for Friday.
Halfway in between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta is a small town called Mascota, that is home to some of the nicest singletrack in the area. The scene is fresh and the locals are excited about it. A couple homies from Mascota Bike took me out on some rides and I had a blast.
Visiting a tequila distillery was on my list, but when I arrived at the town of Tequila, a short trip from Guadalajara, it was December 12th, and a holiday for the virgin of Guadalupe, so the tours weren’t operating. I carried on and reached Amatitan, home of Casa Herradura as night fell. I noticed very little parking and then realized people were gathering on the street for a parade. I found a spot to park and grabbed my camera and bike to catch up to the procession. The parade had different types of traditional dancing and great, colorful outfits, as well as drummers and horn players. The parade wound its way through town, finishing at the cathedral with some rhythmic clapping by all as the statue of the virgin was hoisted high into the air and then into the church, followed by fireworks.
I arrived early at Casa Herradura to get on the first tour and was pleased to accompany a nice family from Atlanta. We tasted roasted agave, and tequila at different stages of distillation, as well as a few varieties of the finished product. The tequila making process is very interesting and roasting agave is my new favourite scent. The old factory is still intact right next door to the shiny new stainless-steel, state-of-the-art distillery that is used for production of Antigua, Jimador, and Herradura today. I hit the road to Guadalajara to meet up with Jorge to do some biking.