• Feb
    25

    On the Shores of Lake Chapala: Part 1

     

    The last time I went to Mexico, I’d hoped to do some traveling to several locations, but was unable to due to a project I was working on at the time. One of these was to visit Lake Chapala and some of the towns, specifically, Ajijic (ah, hee heek) and Chapala. This time, I finally made it.

    mexico ajijic waterfront

    Here’s one of many shots that I took of Lake Chapala, as seen from Ajijic. In reality, though, this journey didn’t begin at Ajijic, but at the nearby town of Jocotopec. It came about this way because, despite my best Internet searches, I was unable to find a hotel, except in Jocotopec.

    Getting there was a fairly long journey by taxi from Guadaljara. It took 1-1/2 hours and the cost was 400 pesos ($40.00US), but it was worth it.

    mexico jocotopec casita

    This is a shot of my room, er, small house (casita) at Jocotopec. The place is known as the Posada Del Pescador and was in a quiet part of this town. The layout was beautiful and roomy, as you’ll see in the next shots.

    mexico jocotopec casita

    The living room which featured a good wireless Internet signal.

    mexico jocotopec casita

    This little place was great and comfortable, but it didn’t take long to find out what it was missing. In reality, the casita was great. It was quiet and was in a good part of town, but there were no grocery stores nearby, only a Pemex gas station and one seafood restaurant.

    To get to the services you would need to use a car or bus. And the bus was the other wrinkle. It came by only once every hour, which made travel a pain in the ……. And to use a taxi for Ajijic, the cost was prohibitive, 120 pesos (about $12.00) each way.

    It was obvious that I was going to have to move. Fortunately, once I was in the area, it was easier to find something a new hotel.

    mexico ajijic Posada Las Calendrias

    My new hotel in Ajijic. It wasn’t fancy, but it was in town and the price was right, only $400 pesos (about $40.00 per night). On the down side, it was small, so I knew I didn’t want to spend much time here and being in the city also brought its share of annoyances, barking dogs at night and roosters crowing all over town.

    mexico ajijic posada las calandrias

    A shot of the pool at the Posada Las Calendrias.

    mexico ajijic posada las calandrias

    The second floor level where my apartment was located.

    mexico ajijic coffee shop

    Now that I was settled, it was time to start exploring this town, and in my usual fashion, I went off in search of the best coffee hangouts. Well, there wasn’t too much to offer. I found one.

    mexico ajijic coffee shop

    Coffee at the Cafe’ Grano. This cafe featured coffees from Oaxaca.

     

    mexico ajijic chapala society

    The grounds of the Lake Chapala society. This is a place which had information about Ajijic. In this location are several services, including video rental, library and more.

    When I went into the library, I didn’t get on well with the women there. In fact, after a bit of conversation with one of them, I suddenly had the thought, “My God, she’s putting me in my place!” The woman was quite condescending and her friend also chimed in and I wound up getting this treatment from both of them.

    I was astounded. I’d just gotten into town and I was being treated to this. Fortunately, when I went next door to the volunteer office that specialized in giving information to new visitors, they were much kinder. Still, that first encounter lingered.

    mexico ajijic mural at school

    I spent several hours that day roaming around Ajijic, getting a feeling for the place. More photos and info are to come, but those are the subject of my next post.

    mexico ajijic video club

    A strange title for a video store. When I asked about the origin of the name, the woman didn’t know.

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