Tequila, a Land Full of Blue Agave

“When will I go to Tequila? I think I should just go alone”, I said couple months ago.

Traveling alone in Mexico has been a very crazy idea after those scary experiences I had here. But trying is the key, right? Or you will never know, EVER. So I just got this crazy idea to leave Nayarit and also my work. Literally I just wanna leave all those stress and sh*t I was facing at the moment. Turns out to be a brilliant idea.

Looking that I have only have 7 days out of ‘jail’, I planned my trip starting from Guadalajara-Tequila-San Miguel de Allende-Guanajuato-Nayarit. But on this blogpost, it’s time to share about my tequila experience. I booked my Tequila trip just in front of the Guadalajara Cathedral. Because of my “job” as a student, they gave me a 100 pesos discount, show your student card!! Will be even better if you guys book the tour a day prior, it gets full.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Guadalajara+Cathedral/@20.674739,-103.3490365,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8428b1faa928f63f:0x25dcb2cdab10691a!8m2!3d20.677034!4d-103.346984

The next day I went at 9.45 in the morning, people are very on time surprisingly. We started walking to the bus parking area, just a 5–minute walk from the cathedral. The tour that I booked is the premium 9-hour tour, that’s why all the explanations are both in Spanish and English. Even though I speak Spanish, English is still easier for me. Back to the game! We all went for an hour ride to our first stop.

 

  1. Fortuna Cerveza Artesanal

We were welcomed with a lady which turns out to be our tour guide for this place. She explained so well how they make their greatest beer line. Starting on how they choose the grains, hops, and also the special formulas. Their machines are greatly clean, I can see that they are doing it with love and passion. Regardless, the packaging is also great, I can feel the spark of young creatives.

 

 

The staffs are also very friendly! They are very welcome to pictures.

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After the tour and explanations, she brought us to the bar where we will get the beer tasting. This is what I’m waiting for!! Honestly, I haven’t drink since forever. AND, artisanal beers are actually my favorite. Let’s see how it goes. She started the explanation about IBU and ABV, very useful for a hospitality student like me. Remember, the tasting is not free, you have to pay an extra 100 pesos for it. But anyways, who will complain for $7 tasting for 6 baby glasses of great beer? Also, I did ask for a bonus, their Sake Ale which have a touch of sake taste.

 

We started from Canita Lager, California, AFortunada, Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA), Stout, and lastly the great Sake Ale. Dear mother nature, thank you for all the plants you grant us!!! To be honest, AFortunada is the best ever for me, can’t even imagine them drinking it with Asian cuisines. After that, we left to the second spot.

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Full explanations from the guide;)

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The brewer (the guy)

  1. Tres Mujeres Tequila (Three Lady Tequila)

 

Bless me from alcohol. Hahahah! After those lovely beers, we went to the real tequila trip. Our guide explained us how (only) blue agave can make a beverage called ‘tequila’. We can only use the blue agave which has a grown piña (pine) because it means that it’s ready to be used as the base of fermentation. This all information is very new. She also showed us how they make tequila in the old days, from extracting the liquid of the blue agave’s pine and the process of boiling it in a special room.

 

“After those days with tequila, from Shanghai to Mexico, I just knew this now?!”, I said.

Moving on, we started walking to the plantation, it’s not that huge though. I think this place is family-owned? But most importantly, it’s well maintained.

 

We tried 4 types of tequila, the blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo. It was great, but I don’t think it’s the best tequila producer. Imagine going to Don Julio’s!? Daaaamn. We were very happy there, following some sentences before enjoying our baby tequila glasses. Then, we continued our journey to the buffet lunch spot (which I decided not to eat because I’m on budget!). Soooo, skip to:

 

 

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  1. Tequila Town

We literally have 1 complete hour here, what can we even do with that?! I started walking to find a post card and a post office to send a post card back home. Tick, done! Then, I went to see some souvenir shops and start walking into the small streets. It’s indeed colorful, but it doesn’t catch my full interest.

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You can start looking at the Parroquia Santiago Apostol, the alleys, and then the plaza. Look at the town!! No es mi favorita (not my favorite). The tour ended there, the drive back to Guadalajara took us a little bit more than an hour. Greatly recommended though!

 

 

Tips on what to bring: a water bottle to dilute your alcohol content, some extra money for tasting and souvenirs.

 

Petak 9 : Jakarta’s Old Street

Once in a while, I feel really bored about going to the mall each weekend, eat in some sort of fancy restaurants, or cycle around around my house residence (like its been more than a thousand time). As you know, I am an outdoor person and I always wanted to stay active that I can’t sit on my desk more than 2 hours. Somehow, spending my whole Saturday on a mall will make my head extremely tired. Crazy but true!

Last September, I’ve been asked to join my sister and her friends to explore Petak 9, a small region in West Jakarta. Seeing through the past 20 years, it was one of Jakarta’s business central and also the place where the 1998-riot happened.

“Such an opportunity! It will be extremely fun”, I said.

When the D-day came, the excitement is within me. Oh! It was really fortunate that my parents did allow me to go because the week before this, I was hospitalized for food poisoning. So yeah, here I come Petak 9! My sister brought 3 of her friends and one of them live in Petak 9.

After an hour drive, we finally made it to Gedung Chandraan old building located in Pancoran, Petak 9. That was our starting point. My sister’s friend, Dwika told me that this bulding is exactly the same since he was a little kid, approximately about 22 years ago. When we came in, it’s obvious that all of the tiles were really shabby. Also, I didn’t expect that they still have an active game arcade.

The game arcade situation.

Hmm that was quite unique right? Then, we continue our journey to the traditional market because we were really hungry. Guess what? We did some kind of a culinary stuff right here. My sister’s friend gave us some recommendation of the best restaurants on that market.

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One of the famous noodle restaurant.

Foods I tried on the traditional market.

Afterwards, we went to Petak 9’s housing hall. Certainly all of the houses seemed aged because the design was old fashioned.

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A trash cart on the corner of the housing

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One of the house in Petak 9 housing resident.

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Two of my sister’s friend.

Right after passing through the housing hall, we went to 2 viharas (Buddha’s place of prayer) and a church. At first, I went to Toasebio Vihara which located is in Kemenangan Street 3 no.48. I saw statues of gods and goddesses inside this place. The color theme of the place was red , from its lantern to its candles.

Next up, we went to Dewi Dharma Bakti Vihara. This place was burnt several months ago that most of its buildings were still under construction. Locals stated that this vihara is one of the biggest in Jakarta. As long I know, the fire was caused by an incense that fell on a cloth. Luckily, the precious Kwan Im Goddess statue survived the fire.

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Candles inside Toasebio Vihara.

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Lanterns inside “Dewi Dharma Bakti” Vihara.

I was really surprised that Petak 9 have this kind of places. Even though I’ve been here for more than 30 times with my mom (to go shopping), I will never know this place until my sister’s friend told me about it. In my opinion, Petak 9 is a place you should visit while in Jakarta because you can see the “the old Jakarta” in present times.