Thursday, 10 May 2012

Valle de Banderas (Day 4)

Quad Day!! This is something we have never done before so we were pretty stoked. It was really nice of Gary & Jean to offer to take us on a guided tour of the area and up to the "Tequila Ranch". Gran Reserva del Jaguar is the name of this privately distilled tequila. Like a boutique tequila.....but first, the ride up:

ooops...first we had to get around this accident!! we went from the roadside through this cement ditch (well, at least Doug did), I got off and hopped back on when he was on this pathway beside the road....

...okay, I admit it, it took me a few minutes to get "comfortable"!!

Checked in with the security guard for the Ejido property. Ejido's are basically private lands, owned & managed by native Mexicans and one must always treat their passage on them and through them, with respect, and let them know you are there. This is Martin. Gary and Jean know him!

Some pretty rough, but cool, trails....

It took about 20 minutes on these trails. We thought it was really neat and were very thankful that Gary and Jean took the time to bring us up here. Again, these aren't things that we normally get to do, so it makes it pretty special. Then, we got to the ranch: 

Outdoor oven for the restaurant...

Jean and Gary!! (hey, who put that tequila there??)

Juan, ranch owner, shows us the marinated beef he will be using for our lunch...

Now, this looks yummy...

After lunch, Juan brought out all the different speciality tequilas that they make. Many are infused with different flavours like Green Apple, Almond or Peach. He very generously poured us samples of everything....we really liked them all, but the Anejo was the best for us....yup, there is one in the van now too!! He explained a lot about all the special steps that they use for their tequila. It was really interesting.

Juan told us a really neat story about when the Indians first made tequila and part of the name is derived from this black rock that they make arrowheads out of. I can't remember all the details, but that is the reason the rock is in the photo....Sorry Juan, I am pretty sure I messed that up a bit!!

Juan has some pretty big plans for this ranch. It really is going to be a type of "eco-park" with some of the grounds expanded, some sleeping rooms, etc, but never forgetting the focus of his speciality tequila brand, Gran Reserva del Jaguar. My photos don't really depict how beautiful it is here. This is not a place that you just drive up to. It's a bit of an invitation only type of thing. Besides, you would never be able to find it!! We really considered ourselves lucky to have been able to see it. Good Luck to Juan with all his plans!! 

So with that, it was time to head back down. Thank goodness we weren't on our own because we would still be driving around up there! Gary and Jean took us back down another way, through some arroyos (dried up river beds), some back roads, oh my!!

What are cows doing on our roadway??? 

This mountain is called "Old Mountain" and was at one time, a volcano. You can see the big dip in the middle where the whole top blew off. Gary says it is part of the "Ring of Fire"  in the volcano/earthquake zone that stretches right up from South America, up and around the Pacific Coast and over across Aleutian Trench at the top and back down past Japan. I love getting information like that. I find it really interesting!!

Now, that was a day and a half, don't you agree? (hey...girls at Catalyst, what do you all think??) We will be leaving here on Friday and will be heading not too far away, to Rincon de Guayabitos or Lo de Marcos, about 60 kms north of here. We will see which we like the best, although it will be hard to beat the hospitality of Rancho Alta Rosa ( and Gary and Jean. People, you should come and visit here!! If you do, don't forget to say hi to Reno & Missy:



Not often that you can say your laundry was hanging up on a palm tree....



  1. the machete on the front rack of the quad is pretty legit!

    1. I know!! Even the security guard looked twice at it! I think it really gave us some "street cred"!! ha ha

  2. Gary and Jean took us up there too...great fun!