This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Tule RV Park
Feb 12

It was “The Long and Winding Road,” a mountain road, for almost the entire 145 miles today but it was worth it to leave the high school parking lot.  We started at an elevation close to sea level, went up as high as 6,400 feet, and are now parked at 4,780 feet.  The Tule RV Park is in the small town of Tule, about 5 miles from the city of Oaxaca, capital of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.  The RV park has only a few sites with power and sewer.  Carol Ann and I have a site with a sewer hookup but no electricity.  A few of the RV’s have power but I don’t know if it is usable.  I was able to fill my water tank with well water from a very long hose. 

In the middle of town there is a small square in which stands the “Tule Tree”.  It is a huge water cypress tree that is over 2,000 years old.  I’m not sure how they could tell its age without cutting it down and counting the rings, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t done.

The most interesting part of today’s trip other than the mountain scenery and the big drop in humidity was seeing field after field of the blue agave plant plus many small roadside distilleries that use the plant in the production of a rather potent alcoholic beverage called Mezcal.  Many people think that Mezcal and Tequila are the same.  That simply isn’t true.  They may be very similar yet they may also be very different, depending on how the Mezcal is made.  For example, Tequila must be distilled using 100% blue agave while Mezcal may be distilled from blue or any other variety of agave (the locals call it Maguey).

To be called Tequila, it must be produced in a particular area of Mexico and we are not in that area. The “heart” of the agave is boiled in Tequila production and “roasted” for Mezcal (thus a slight smokey flavor).  Tequila must also be aged a minimum of one year (the “better” Tequilas are aged longer) while Mezcal requires absolutely no aging at all (but may be).

I’ll know a little more about Mezcal after our guided tour of a Mezcal distillery on Tuesday.  However, I’m not sure I want to taste any because the last time I “tasted” Mezcal was a little over 20 years ago when I drank about a third of a bottle with two friends.  I was unable to remember who got the worm but I do remember worshiping the porcelain goddess, calling Ralph all night, and being deathly ill for almost 3 days.  Now I get nauseated just smelling it.  I’m not sure how I will make it through the tour.

There is no Telcel store here in Tule.  Maybe I can find one tomorrow when we go on a guided tour of the city of Oaxaca and the Oaxaca Mayan ruins. 

No comments :