Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Puente del Progreso

On a somewhat excruciating tour bus trip (maybe more on that later) from Vallarta to San Sebastián del Oeste in December, one of the unexpected highlights was crossing the new bridge and the much upgraded road into the small town. While in good shape the narrowness of the highway together with an almost total lack of shoulders makes for some interesting views down into the gorge. Not long before the crossing our monotone voiced guide - who seemingly had not required a breath in 90 minutes - droned on the difficulties of the trip only 4 scant years earlier focusing on the steep descent to the river and the chugging climb back up the other side.
After travelling through a couple of older, typical Mexican country towns, getting used to historic or simpler architecture,  it comes as a surprise when a totally modernistic structure draws into view. Rather than or a blocky cementitious or steel monstrosity, a smoothly, arched minimalist structure spans the 420 feet across the 490 foot ravine. And most remarkably does not in any way look out of place; the bridge flows effortlessly into the surrounding landscape.
One of the pleasant side stops of the tour was in sight of the bridge - Hacienda San Sebastian - a short talk on the wonders of producing Tequila from agave plants and the chance to savour some of the product. So tasty - I had to purchase a bottle!

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