The very anticipated day arrived, the start of our Mexico journey! Our first day was spent travelling via Mexico City through to Guadalajara, where we touched down and checked into our hotel, NH Collection.
After a good night's rest, we went into the next day all guns blazing, ready to finally meet Jesus and Carlos, Amigos Aotearoa’s Project Managers. They picked us up from our hotel and we got right into a day of touring the ‘tequila region’, exploring the tequila distillery while learning and sampling some of the best tequila we have ever tasted - truly nothing like what we inhale when someone yells ‘tequila shots’ on a night out.
It was also here that felt like the first time Amigos Aotearoa was a reality as we held our first bottle of Mezcal with a mock-up label on it. Surrounded by those who had helped us through this journey, we felt as though the hard work that had gone into the project was finally starting to pay off.
To wrap up what had been a surreal day, our lovely hosts took us to lunch at a restaurant in a rural town that much resembled a farmhouse backyard. With incredible hospitality and traditional BBQ Mexican food, it was clear we were no longer in the MexTex or TacoBell chains we had back in New Zealand.
Returning back to our hotel room, we found through Facebook that Adrian’s friend from University happened to be in the city visiting family! We quickly organised to meet for brunch the next day and had a lovely time catching up on life. From there, the afternoon was spent wandering around central Guadalajara, taking in the beauty of their old Spanish-style buildings and exploring Museum Cabanas which was once a home for orphaned children, elder citizens, and the forsaken people when it was developed by a Catholic Bishop back in 1810.
We ended our trip at Guadalajara at a restaurant, Karne Garibaldi, that was packed to the brim with families which we assumed was due to it being a Sunday which is traditionally a very popular day to eat out. We indulged in the city’s typical meals, consisting of stewed meat and beans and with that, we were back off to our hotel to rest before another full day of travelling.