Sunday started off to be a rather chilly day with an expected daytime high in the high 60’s (20° C). A group of about 35-40 residents of our park booked a “trip” across the border for the day. Tinka is almost invisible behind all the tall people waiting for our bus, courtesy of Viva Mexico.
Our bus arrived at about 10 AM and off we went to Roma, TX where we crossed the border into the town of Miquel Aleman.
This trip was obviously set up for those that had no Mexican experience what-so-ever. We were off to a hall where we met up with four other buses full of tourists. The hall was old and surrounded by your typical ethnic sites such as supermarkets, Auto Zone, Church’s Chicken, and Burger King.
We were served a pretty good meal and all the beer, soda, and margaritas that we could consume. Things were looking up. We were also treated to the entertainment of a Mariachi Band that was actually pretty good. By the way, they got all the beer they could drink too.
After lunch we were whisked off to the countryside to an arena where we were treated to demonstrations by cowboys, cowgirls, and cockfights. The cowgirls showed us their precision riding.
And stopping on a dime, in a cloud of dust.
All of this riding is done side-saddle. I never could figure out why they didn’t come flying off of the horses. Finally the secret revealed. Leg supports under the skirt.
We were treated to roping demonstrations
The cowboys showed us how they bring down a calf. They grab the tail and yank on it until the calf spins and trips to the ground.
The cockfight demonstration had the birds with their talons covered and going after each other. A real cockfight would have knives attached to the bird’s legs.
We were taken back to town and to the hall for more food, drink and the highlight of the day. The Viva Mexico people outdid themselves and arranged for a performance by a professional Ballet Folklorico group from Reynosa, another border town located about 60 miles to the east. The lighting was bad, so the photos suffered. (Not to mention the spots on the lens.) There were 6 men and 6 women in the group.
One skit consisted of the actors dressed as a bunch of really old men. I think they were silently making fun of the Winter Texans assembled in the hall.
Each skit was set in a different time of history and the costumes varied accordingly. It appears that they spent a fortune on some of these outfits.
We left the hall at about 6:00 PM and headed back along Mexican HWY 2 and through Reynosa. We re-entered the US at Hidalgo, TX and made it back home by about 9:00 PM.
We would have to say that this short little tour would be well worthwhile for newcomers to the Mexican experience. We enjoyed it, especially the ballet. Viva Mexico runs several tours that go much deeper into the country and some that extend for several days. The buses are very modern and provide plenty of leg room. As a group, we would certainly recommend Viva Mexico as a company.