It has been a whirlwind of a month since leaving Troncones. Our plans have changed as has our compass bearing, should you have not checked our InReach GPS tracker @Our Route.
So, what the hell happened? Before getting to that let’s work our way there chronologically.
We left Troncones and headed for Edgar’s home in Salamanca. Our first trip was to Guadalajara, where we searched the city for a winch for TGB. We found the best deal and purchased a Smittybuilt X20 10,000lbs waterproof winch.
Over the course of the next three weeks, Edgar’s welding and fabrication shop designed, built and installed a new front bumper to accommodate the new winch, a new high clearance rear bumper with a tow-bar for Pepita and a new aluminium skidplate. Soph and I learned a ton of spanish while hanging around the shop and developed some great relationships with the guys working on the truck.
In between shop days we also took the opportunity to explore the surrounding cities and the rich cultural heritage of the geographical centre of Mexico. Our first exploratory foray was south to a village known for its handmade guitars named Paracho, Michoacán. It was a long drive but it was gorgeous once we got off the Cuota (toll highway) and into the Michoacán countryside. As we drove through small farming villages the landscape reminded us a lot of our home in British Columbia with the many tall sweeping pine trees and big mountain valleys full of farmland. The colourful and ornate dresses that we saw and horse drawn loads pulling split trees down the roads kept us from getting to lost in reverie about home; Mexican culture is not easily confused with that of Canada.
Once we reached Paracho, we took a walk through the street market and down to the plaza, sampling the local tastes and revelling in the music that one would expect in a town known for its guitars. It didn’t take us long to find our Luthier, David Valencia. David has been hand crafting guitars for 50 years and was kind enough to give us a tour of his workshop too.
I picked one of David’s mid-range guitars with a beautiful Monarch butterfly design around the sound hole. What drew me to it was the beautiful woodgrain on the body. It took David 15 days to construct my guitar by hand in hid workshop right behind he store front. After our tour of his shop we parted ways and returned to Salamanca.