Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lucky's Day At The Winery

A lot of what I love about traveling is learning about places as well as their history and Heaven knows there is a lot to learn about so many of the places along the route during La Carrera Panamericana. The problem is... While driving at break-neck speeds you simply don't have time to take in any of the sites and even during those long transit stages the last thing on your mind is taking in the sites. (Note; if you are able to take in any sites you don't belong at this event.)

Taking all of the above into consideration I was really surprised to learn about one of the places along the 2007 LCP route where we had a service stop. Not too far from Queretaro is Cavas Freixenet de Mexico one of Mexico's premier winery's. How ironic that a couple of guys from California who spend the majority of their time racing at Infineon Raceway located smack dab in the middle of one of the premier vineyards in California didn't even realize this was a winery.

Cavas Freixenet de Mexico

I must admit when I found out I was really surprised even though I didn't realize there was anything significant about the place. What I do recall is that it was a much welcome rest stop and I was able to wander around inside the walls of the compound and enjoy a nice fountain. It was here that Jon and I bought three tacos and a drink for less than two dollars. When a gentleman walked up and offered me a newspaper I assumed he was trying to sell it to me so I said no thank you until he pointed out we were on the front page. It was a great moment for me and I didn't even care if I couldn't read a newspaper printed in Spanish. The memory of this place has lasted three years and just now learning this makes me want to go back.

Gary and Mark "Techno Viking" Williams hamming it up.

Lucky parked out front all serviced and ready to go.

Today I learned another very interesting fact about Cavas Freixenet de Mexico. Like any other respectable, well know winery, they also have a nice wine cellar. In fact this is one of the largest in all of Mexico and as far as I know none of the teams had a clue that we were walking around above them the whole time we were there.

What a beautiful back-ground the rock formation land-mark located behind Cavas Freixenet de Mexico during a local fireworks celebration.

There's one more very significant memory that stands out for myself and Jon with respect to Cavas Freixenet de Mexico... No sooner than we left the gates of Cavas Freixenet de Mexico we were at the next starting point for the next speed stage. All rested up and raring to go Jon, Lucky and I were ready to kick some ass and take names and numbers. When the green flag lifted Lucky's tires did a burn out that left no doubt we were in a big hurry. As soon as we came up to the first corner Jon was quick to call out, "Right. One." As we came around the corner Lucky's tires griped the road perfectly and had used up all of the road which took us to the far left oncoming lane. It was just as Jon called out "Left, Zero." that Jon began to yell out some rather interesting explicative's that I don't dare write here. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, square in front of us was some old beat up cattle truck (similar to the one in the photo below) dead center in the middle of our lane and it was headed straight for us!

Luckily a quick snap of Lucky's wheel was all it took to narrowly miss being driven to market ourselves. I have to say that when you are in the frame of mind that believes there will not be any other traffic let alone coming directly at you during a race stage it's a bit overwhelming. The next thing out of Jon's mouth was something to the tune of, "Where in the hell did that son of a bitch come from?" and them some grumbling about making a note in the log book but then he calmly said, "No foul. OK, let's go like hell Baby."

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