The winds howling down the Sea of Cortez are keeping us here in Banderas Bay. Lucky for us, Arland is back and he offered to rent a car and drive us all up to San Sebastián de Oeste. This is an old mining town 4,500 feet up in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The ride up was beautiful with cattle, corn and coffee plantations. Lots of small towns with speed bumps. Mexico has speed bumps entering and leaving every town no matter if the town only has a few buildings. We stopped at a tequila distillery on the way. Pretty little place but the prices were way over our budget.
San Sebastián De Oeste was founded in 1605 as a gold and silver mine. At one time the population was 40,000, but only 600 live there now. The mines are said to be partly responsible for the development of Puerto Vallarta, known then as Las Peñas. It supplied salt by mules to the mines which was used in the smelting process. The gold and silver was sent by mule to Veracruz, where it was delivered to Spain once a year.
Busses and tourist vans visit the town but it still has an old town feel to it. In part because there are only a few shops, restaurants and hotel rooms. Many buildings have been saved and reconstruction is done with an eye on the history of the town.
The town had a fort in order to protect the mines. Today it is used for special events.
We enjoyed a nice Italian meal at Montebello.
The church was originally built in the 1600’s then rebuilt after an earthquake in 1868.
A shopkeeper came running after us asking if we would come visit her newly opened store. She mentioned the word ‘candy’ so we just had to stop by. We came away with some very different candies.