El Real is a Feeling

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Festival NRMAL was put together with the help of Todd P. Todd is in love with Mexico and has done a great job at sharing it's unique magic with anyone bold enough to adventure south. Last year he began a tradition of inviting artists and volunteers on a 4 hour trip away from Monterrey, where the festival is held, to Real De Catorce for an epic adventure on horseback into the desert to pick peyote. He sent an invite to almost 200 people, of which 38 were down to go deep into the unknown.

Real de Catorce is a Spanish mining town founded in 1772, there is a legend that silver was found in the area after a traveling musician lit a fire at night and woke to find melted silver among the ashes. We were guided by a group of 'caballeros' that threw us on frisky horses at dusk, riding into the valley at sunset. We lit a fire. One of the cowboys grabbed Max Eisenberg, switching his cowboy hat with Max's Tap Out trucker hat, and ran into the night. Forty minutes later they returned with it filled with peyote. Peyote is like the accumulative source of all water in the desert, juicy and tangy. As soon as we finished eating our shares around the fire, the caballeros quickly got us all back on our horses for the treacherous ride back up the canyon.

Travis Egedy's horse nipped at mine which made mine jump uncomfortably close to the 100 foot drop-off. In the dark moonless night, i felt the world come alive. Amidst this, Ric Leichtung fell off his horse and a few people threw up. When we got back to the sleepy town, half the group raided the only open bar for beer. The streets were silent except for the deathly screeches of donkeys now and then. Some of us stayed up till dawn, some of us passed out hard after the strenuous ride, but all of us felt like we shared a part of Mexico that most people don't see.

Taking a peyote trip into the Mexican desert on horseback.