Lake Chapala is a short drive from Guadalajara. If you are from Manitoba, you will understand my comparison of Lake Chapala-Ajijic to Winnipeg Beach-Gimli. Except that the water at Lake Chapala is disappearing from the lake! Three years ago when I first visited this area, it looked like this.
Today it looks like this.
However it is still a lovely place for a day trip from Guadalajara. And Lake Chapala also boasts a large expat community. English is widely spoken here as well. A large WalMart is minutes away, in between Lake Chapala and Ajijic, another large expat community. There are numerous restaurants, shops and businesses. I enjoy walking along the malecon and strolling through the tianguis.
I decided to play tourist on this visit and made my way to the Chapala Inn, my favorite lunch spot right on the lake. Here I purchased a ticket for the Chapala Express, a quaint trolley that tours the streets of Chapala and then proceeds on to Ajijic. The tour is given in Spanish and I was amazed at how much I understood. And the tour went by a sports park and a cultural centre that I had never seen before.
I also spent some time in the church. I love rambling around in old churches in Mexico. The architecture is amazing, as well as the stained glass, art and statues. Fortunately there were few people there so I was able to take quite a few photos. I always limit my photos when there are lots of people focused on prayer.
On my way back to the bus station, I stopped for a quesadilla and a cerveza by the square. The shade was very welcome and I sat for a while, enjoying the scenery.
All too soon it was time to head back to the city. The bus station was bustling with activity and the buses were crowded. I boarded a direct bus and was blessed with air-conditioning. Traffic was surprisingly light and an hour later I was back in Guadalajara.
I love my life in Mexico. Tlaquepaque is a delightful place to live. The one drawback is that there is no beach close by. By bus it’s just over five hours to Puerto Vallarta or seven hours to Mazatlan. I decided that the time had come to explore new beaches.
I headed for Central Nueva and boarded a bus for Manzanillo. I enjoyed the scenery as we traveled out of Jalisco and into the state of Colima.
As well as a popular tourist destination, Manzanillo is also a major cargo port and has a small malecon. The Centro area is that of a typical Mexican puebla with a sizeable mercado and streets lined with small tiendas.
I stayed at a hotel in the hotel zone area. There was very little within walking distance of the hotel itself; only a small mall and a few taquerias. However when I stepped out of my room, the view was spectacular.
Steps down from the pool was the beach. The red flags were out and the tide was high. But I really did enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. This beautiful music lulled me to sleep at night and woke me from dreamland in the morning.
I also enjoyed seeing the ships at a distance. Some were fishing trawlers and others were cargo. There were no cruise ships in view in the time I was there. Here are photos I took at sunset.
There is something so peaceful and serene about watching the sun slowly disappear from view in the evening. Do you agree?