Driving the Lake

We went on an excursion (Everette, Toveli and I) intending on viewing a house that a friend at Hotel Perico saw online.  We knew it would be accessible if we went north and caught the highway that would lead east to Morelia, but instead we decided to take The Scenic Route!

It’s important to not have time restrictions when one chooses to make such a decision.

colima

The view was great at times.  This, looking back from whence we came, was possibly the active volcano (hidden behind the cold volcano) near Colima puffing ash, forming this odd grey cloud that continued to grow from one source.

The ‘short cut’ was NO short cut but certainly an adventure….one of those “I survived ________ and lived to tell about it!” adventures.  Truth be told, I would do it again but next time in a Jeep.

Everette had slowed down to peek at the view when we suddenly heard a quick soft Peep! behind us…. a bus full of people heading to only-god-knows-where.  And when the road turned terribly bad, like a dried up river bed but with jagged stones Everette said, “I doubt the bus came this way!” but I doubted that very statement.  We’ve run into buses in the most unlikely places before.  They are tough machines down here!  A bus ride in Latin America is NOT for the faint-of-heart!

The following video gives you a taste of what the road was like, but unfortunately I missed the worst of it.  Think I was holding on instead of filming!!

So we got stuck behind a truck picking up crates of fruit (chayote) along the side of the road, and there was no possibility of passing him so we waited.  Everette conversed with the driver while all his ‘boys’ did the grunt work.

We bumped along the lakeside for about 2hrs total before we found a road up and over the hills.  This is the view as we left the lakeside, entered a sparse pine forest (looked like Ponderosas!!) atop the hills and was met by lovely agricultural land (and an intimidating bull) as we dropped down towards the highway a couple kilometres east of Poncitlán.

Collage Scenery

All told, it was a great day along Lake Chapala.  Just not what we had originally expected.  Best thing to do is….go with the punches & embrace the moments.

Leather Stools

I’ve been meaning to share these cool finds from our time at Barra de Navidad with my mom and my sister, Joanne.  Visiting the weekly market was one of the few things we actually did the week they visited and our family was sick in bed.  But in the few hours we shopped the Farmer’s Market of course we all spent money!  Isn’t that what one is supposed to do when visiting a foreign country?

Well, we really try to not spend and collect stuff.  Its helpful to remember that there are 9 of us in a 15-passenger van.  No trailer.  No room.  We don’t need Stuff.

But we were on the search for chairs of some sort for when we are camping: somewhere to rest our weary butts.  The camp seats we’ve had have done their fair share while baking in the intense tropical sun.  Now they are tempted to drop our butts thru to the ground. We are down from five to only two left.

So this is what we found at the market.stool

Thick leather dyed with a pattern stamped into it.  Mayan.  Aztec.  Other styles I don’t recall.  Made by a family in Colima.

Three sleeves on the backside of each corner where any type of post can be inserted.  They came with posts that are similar to bamboo, but I don’t recall what type of wood they actually are.  For traveling, the posts come out to stack with each other, and all the leather lays flat in another corner of no-space.

Joanne and Mom each bought us one, and we bought two additional ones.  They are comfortable, and we think they will last for many years to come.

Beautiful.

Each completely unique….like the butts that will stratal them.stools 2

Week in Review 26/1/14

For those that are curious of where we’ve traveled on mainland Mexico you can check out the map I’ve marked and copied of our trail down the coast.  I only marked thus far to Barra de Navidad where we spent New Years.  I’ll post a different map/picture later of our in-land travels.

Along the coast we spent nearly a week getting re-vitalized at the quiet beach of San Juan de Alima in Michoacan,  about a 40 minute drive south of Tecoman.  This is were we watched the harvesting of Coconuts.

When headed inland to Colima where we skirted the Venting Volcano, and on to Chapala where we’ve decided to unpack and stay a while.

Have you ever been to Mexico?  If so, where is your favourite place?  Do you like the mountains, the coast, the desert?  Do tell!

yellow fleur

Volcan de Fuego Venting

Is it crazy to seek out an active volcano?  We can’t climb up to it, but we can be in its shadow (sort of, around the bend) and that’s what we did.

We climbed elevation from sea level at San Juan de Alima to 1,248m (4,093ft) where we camped at Laguna La Maria past the city of Colima.

A walk down to the Laguna in the evening we enjoyed the sky-pinks reflecting off the water as we walked under massive towering trees.  We met 3 male cousins who bragged about their city and state, both called Colima.  We could see so much natural beauty here, no wonder they are proud.  Sometimes it was easy to image we were back in British Columbia.

We spent only one evening at Laguna La Maria and then we started to curve our way up and down along the mountainous highway towards Guadalajara.  We got good views of the twin volcanoes.  The dormant one they call Volcan Nevado, of snow.  The active one is Volcan de Fuego, of Fire.

Volcan de Fuego

Volcan de Fuego

We thought it was cool to be so close to an active volcano, imaging sometime looking up to the crest and seeing the orange glow of lava sliding down its edges.

Then Mitchell said casually “Look at the mountain.”  We glanced again, for the umpteenth time….

Volcan de Fuego

Volcan de Fuego venting, with Nevado to the right and behind. 

Laguna La Maria (paid camping)    N  19.45858   W  103.70556