By mid morning, Ricardo and I had traveled 110 miles west of Saltillo, across an extremely arid desert.  Our destination?  The beautiful grape oasis known as Parras de la Fuente, or in English, the grapevines of the fountains.

Parras, home of the Madero Winery, said to be the oldest winery in the Americans.  Parras, home to several artesian lakes, crystal clear and icy cold.  Parras, a city watched over by the beautiful Iglesias known as Santo Madero.  You must go to the "pictures" to see this graceful church sitting high over Parras on the must fragile mountain.  Parras, famous for the denim factories that employ much of the citizenry.

I discovered this wondrous city ten years ago and this is my third visit.  Never an international tourist destination, it is appreciated by us that love the deserts of Mexico.  And Ricardo?  He always loves a new destination with good friends.

Tonight we are safely at home in the colonial Hostal Arlington Farol.  This is a traditional colonial hotel with good rooms, new bathrooms and a fine restaurant and bar.  Tomorrow? We will start with a tour of the Madero Winery, then visit a second winery.  And maybe I can coax Ricardo into one of the icy lakes.  I like to see him in cold shock.