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Sightskipping #4: Get a drink

Rick Steves Lesson

I have learned so many things from Rick Steves. We see him often at travel shows and he takes and teaches an approach to travel that is like the T+L “Sightskipping” approach. Avoid the crowds, stick your nose in it. Eat with the locals, etc.

One thing he does (I saw this on his show last weekend- he was in the hill towns of Umbria) is to walk  into local bars and pubs. I often do this as well and it is almost always a great intro to local people and ways.

Raicilla on the Beach in Jalisco

Travel writer Craig Zabranzky on his Stay Adventurous blog wrote of a local spirit called raicilla. His account of his first sip on the beach in south Jalisco and his info on this local drink are a good example of this. Craig never saw a bar he didn’t want to walk into and it is one of the qualities that makes him an excellent writer. It puts him in touch with a location.

Here is his account from the beach at Yelapa when he was asked a question:

“Queieres a probrar Raicilla?”

Did I want to try Raicilla? Of course I did and after one sip, I was in love. I sensed a happiness I am not sure tequila, mezcal or sotol has shown in me in my many recent rounds with them. It was something special.

The thing is, raicilla is a part of the authentic culture of Jalisco and sightkipping got Craig in touch with it.

Antigua Paz in Chihuahua

A busy night at Antigua Paz in Chihuahua- great place to sightskip.

A busy night at Antigua Paz in Chihuahua- great place to sightskip.

Antigua Paz is the oldest bar in Chihuahua City- over 100 years in the same spot. It carries much of the flavor of old Mexican cantinas and is a great place to sightskip. The moment I first walked into this place about 5 years ago I knew I had stepped into history and into local Chihuahuense culture.

Not far from the city cemter just of O’Campo street this place is buzzing thursday through Sunday–usually packed with business people, mariachis, vendors, shoe shine guys- and of course the plain clothes wait guys who just look at you –none of this “I’m Bryan and I’ll be your server tonight.” They just stare and wait for you to yell Sol or tequila oe whatever.

Only in the past couple of years were non- prostitute ladys seen in the place and the mujere bathroom is just a converted closet.

Great place to sightskip…and I often take often take our Copper Canyon trips there.

This dive in Chihuahua City is over 100 years old.

This dive in Chihuahua City is over 100 years old.

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