Browsing in my photo collection from last year, I found these photos I had forgotten to process from RAW files.
Looking at them made me miss my hometown and its beach. It’s never been a highly touristic beach, although it does have its high season during spring break where thousands gather and there is no space to even stand. But it is a nice beach, most of the year is very calm with very few people around.
I have countless great memories here, as I grew up here and most of my teenage days I spent them at the beach, either alone or with friends, but I love being at the sea. It’s been a little more than 6 years that I’ve been living away from the sea and I still miss it every sunny day.
At the beach there’s always people selling all kinds of stuff. These are the most traditional things you’ll find people sell at the beach: sweets, coconuts and corn.
Whenever I see a bright sunny day, I always say “this is a great day to go to the beach”. A phrase commonly and easily said in my hometown. I guess old habits never die.
Finally after my long break from posting on this blog, here’s the last part of the Guadalajara Zoo visit, for the previous posts check part1 – Big animals, Part 2 – Birds and Part 3 – Reptiles. The last section visited was the aquarium. I have a special feeling towards fish in the water, I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s the calm sounds of water, maybe it’s the freedom fish express by swimming anywhere. I really never thought about it before, but I enjoy watching the fish.
Ever since I left my parents’ home and live my myself, I’ve always had fish tanks at my place. Nowadays a home without a fish tanks doesn’t feel like home for me.
Taking pictures of them is not easy but I think I got lucky and have some good shots to share.
I was very impressed by the peacock. I’ve seen quite a few in some places in Mexico but I rarely see them showing off their feathers. This guy was trying to impress a female and I think it even posed for my camera. Their personalities might be as cocky as they look.
I remember when I used to hunt pheasants for dinner back when I was living in Hungary. It’s been a while since the last time I saw one. They males have beautiful feather colors, the females are just brown. I remember they taste great served in soups.
The predator birds are the most fascinating to me. The look in their faces, the way they stand. They are great looking birds.
Oh the mexican eagle. A sad metaphor of our country these days to see this photo of this great eagle, symbol of our nation, behind a fence.
Pink flamingos are fun. They remind me of ballet dancers with the way the move and their leg extensions.
Their balance impresses me, how can they stand in one leg for so long and never fall down? I think I even saw one sleeping in that position.
There were many other birds that I couldn’t get the chance to take a good shot at, in a photographic way of course. Next post about the Guadalajara Zoo will be about the reptiles.
A few weeks ago I went with some friends to visit the Guadalajara zoo. I hadn’t gone to a zoo in many years. I remember not being too impressed by the animals as this time as an adult. It’s fascinating to see them up close and at the same time thinking they must be sad for being in captivity.
In a way they are no different than humans in modern day society: With the privacy scandals and freedom vs security debates lately, we’re not very different than these animals in limited areas that emulate freedom but safer than being in the wild while all our moves are being watched.
I took a lot of photos that I’d like to show here, so I decided to split the blog post into several posts, each with a group or type of animals. In this first post I’ll show the mammals, marsupials and one large bird that got in the mix.
The hippo area was at ground level and this happy guy was eating very very close to the fence, so I had a great opportunity for nice shots.
The titi monkey area was the most fun part of the trip. These little guys are very curious and will jump over you without notice. They also like to steal things from tourists like earrings, pens, lighters and anything removable from your person.
This titi monkey jumped on my back while I was photographing another monkey, then got very curious about my camera and tried to grab it from me.
Next we took a “safari” tour, where we saw many of the big herbivores from the African areas.
We also got the opportunity to feed the giraffes.
The last of the big animals we saw were the kangaroos. I thought they were not going to have them but there they were. I like the expression in this kangaroo’s face.
Before moving to other types of animals, we rested by the edge of the gully to take a landscape photo of this beautiful view. This place is called Barranca de Huentitan.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are a lot of nice places to visit around Guadalajara city. One of those places is a town called Tequila. It is the place where almost all of the world’s Tequila production is made and where the drink got its name.
There are two ways to get to Tequila. The first and most recommended one is by train. It’s a touristic train that includes mariachi music and lots of tequila sampling along the way. I think they also include a tour into the major tequila producer’s factories. The other one, the one I took, was by driving there. Next time I’ll take the train and let you know how that went.
Tequila is a very small town but there’s plenty to visit. Downtown is very traditional with its cathedral and its rocky streets. There is a Tequila museum where you can learn about the town’s history as well as the drink’s origins and production process.
But the best way to learn about tequila production is to take a tour into any of the many tequila factories around the town.
I went with my friend Luis Perez and we took a tour into La Cofradia. They have a very traditional way to make tequila and they bottle it in handcrafted bottles.
First the agave plant is cut and the heart of the plant is collected. They gather them and put them in large ovens.
Once it’s ‘cooked’ it’s smashed and all the juice and sugars are extracted, similar to the sugar cane process. At this point our guide let us try a piece of a cooked agave heart and it tasted very sweet, delicious.
The extracted juices are let to ferment in large containers and are then distilled several times until we have the commercial tequila ready for bottling.
I say several times because the first two times, the tequila has about 55% alcohol and it is forbidden for commercial use. But you get to try a large shot of it right there at the factory floor! Yes, you are expected to drink tequila like crazy during the whole tour.
Later we found out that guitar player Carlos Santana has a brand of tequila made right there at that factory called Casa Noble. I’ve never seen it before and got to try the three types of it.
At the end of the night we finished it enjoying some fresh tequila based drinks.
We walked around town and of course, we couldn’t miss stopping for some local tacos in the street.
And finished the night at a local bar enjoying some live music.
It was a very fun trip, with lots of new information to learn, a lot of drinking and good times.