We decided to break our longstanding “Don’t Drive in Mexico at Night” rule to attend a benefit rodeo at the town of La Peñita. The drive is only about 8 miles on a fairly straight stretch of Hwy 200. The scary part is that farmers let their livestock graze on the side of the road. You’ll see everything from horses, cattle, sheep and goats. Anyway, our strategy was to get behind a truck and follow closely.
La Peñita rates right up there with some of the bumpiest cobblestone streets we have experienced. Down one of these roads, about two blocks from the beach, lies the rodeo arena. From our seats in the third row, we could see the ocean in the background.
While we filed in and throughout the evening we were treated to the best mariachi band that we have heard. They remained standing the entire evening and played as background for all events.
Early in the evening, as the crowd filed in, we found it to be comprised of mostly US and Canadian visitors. Apparently knowing that things don’t start on time, most Mexicans that attended arrived about 45 minutes late, but in time to see the start of the exhibitions.
This was really an exhibition rather than a rodeo competition. They didn’t have events that we are accustomed to such as bull riding, calf roping, etc. They were demonstrating their horsemanship skills as well as certain roping achievements. Instead of calves, they roped the hind legs of a speeding horse and tried to bring it to a stop. None succeeded.
This gal, who also carried the Mexican flag at the beginning, demonstrated her riding skills.
One amazing exhibition was put on by this group of women pictured below. (without the baby) They were the precision drill team and performed high speed figure eights and criss-cross formations without collision. The amazing thing is that they rode sidesaddle.
Unfortunately, as night fell, only 5 of the 9 stadium lights came on. The others flickered and stayed dark. I won’t waste your time with any further photos, except this one to demonstrate the photographic problems. It may be hard to tell, but this guy is performing a trick roping exhibition.
At “halftime” they served tamales to all attendees. It was included in the $10 ticket price.
Our driving tactic succeeded and we arrived back home safely.