Monday, December 23, 2019

Querétero, Mexico, el veintitrés de Deciembre, 2019

I left my apartment at 8:30 to join a tour for the day.  It only cost $65 and that included transportation to four villages as well as entrance fees.  We met at Plaza de la Corregidora which has a statue of Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez who was married to the mayor, the Corregidora, hence the name of the square.  On September 13, 1910, Porfirio Diaz ordered that this monument be built in her honour because she was an insurgent and supporter of the Mexican War of Independence-

There’s a lock on the statue that symbolize how she passed a message to another insurgent to advance the Revolution-

There were 9 of us on the tour - I visited with a family from San Cristobal who were very nice   Our first stop was at Flor de Alfalfa or Rancho Hondonada.  It was a Spanish tour and I asked the driver/guide to speak slowly but he didn’t.  I caught some of what he said but even less of what the guide at the ranch said because of all the vocabulary.   They have 1900 head of Jersey cattle that they run on 180 hectares which is 445 acres.  I couldn’t believe that and asked for clarification. 60% of their diet is grass from grazing and 40% feed.  They milk 1000 cows twice a day and 900 animals are either too young to milk or too old like these skinny ones.  They have Burger King here so I’m not sure what these are still doing on the ranch!

Look at the udders on these poor things-

They produce cheese-

 and yogurt so we had delicious samplings-

The countryside is beautiful-

After the ranch we went to La Peña de Bernal which is the third highest monolith in the world, after Rio and Gibraltar-

Bernal is a small touristy town in a valley-

Where I wouldn’t mind spending a night or two-

It’s known for cheese bread which is filled with delicious sweet cream cheese as well as gorditas. I had a huitlacoche that was excellent.  They use multigrain flour to make their tortillas so they taste like something-

The filling was very good:  cabolla and hongos which is fine but also corn smut!

Our third stop was at the Finca Sala Vivé de Freixenet.  They produce 2.5 million bottles of wine/year, mostly espumoso which is champagne but they can’t call it that.  We toured the cave-

and then she explained why the bottles are tilted in different ways but I didn’t understand-

The wine is kept in barrels for 3 to 30 months and of course the price goes up the longer it sits-

Then for the best part- we got.a glass of Brut with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Ugni Blanc.  It was very good.  Of course they were selling bottles and they were flying off the shelves.  I guess people are getting ready for New Years.  I think I’ll go to Oxxo and get a bottle for about 30% less or that’s how it usually is-

Our last stop was at Tequisquiapan which is known for hand woven canastas (baskets)-

and muñeca and Frida aprons-

They also have a church built in 1814 and a sign-

 It’s very bright and light feeling inside the church-

Looking up-

Of course they have a Nativity scene too-

 And a beautiful advent wreath-

In the square are three gigantic magi and one puny me-

I had elote for supper.  It was so good!  It’s a very well steamed cob of corn, covered with mayo, then rolled in queso and sprinkled with piquante-

 I also had my first michelada this trip-

This is the only way to have to drink a Corona!

Traffic was horrendous once we were back close to the centro because the police had most of the streets blocked off so people could walk on them. I got out and walked back into the centro and bought a muñeca-

I sat on a bench, listened to Christmas music and watched the lights.  It has finally warmed up so it was a great evening-

These lights danced to the Christmas carols playing-

San Francisco was lit up too-

I’ve got an Uber booked for 8 am to take me to the bus station to go to Guanajauto.  I have loved Queratero and am looking forward to whatever is coming next!  

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