Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Visit to Mexico: Chapala

Hello folks! Here are some pictures from our visit to Mexico. Today I'll show you the town of Chapala, the largest town on the shores of Lake Chapala.

Lake Chapala is located south of Guadalajara, Mexico. It's a large lake, about 50 miles long but not very wide, and quite shallow in most parts. It's up on the mountainous central plateau of Mexico, so the altitude is about 5000 feet above sea level.

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How did we come to be visiting this part of Mexico? (Aside from the obvious -- we live in Wisconsin, of course we jumped at the chance to go south for 10 days!) Well, Jim's parents retired down here in 1982. Jim's dad was from Wisconsin, his mom was born in Canada. After they retired, they became "snowbirds" and traveled south for the winter, checking out various places. Eventually they decided to settle permanently on the north shore of Lake Chapala. Jim's dad died several years ago, and his mother has now moved into a nice assisted living place in the same area. (She said there was no way in **** she was moving back to Wisconsin!) So, we go down once a year or so to check up on her and have a nice vacation.

I'll post some more information about this area later on. It has long been a haven for expatriates and retirees, and has a large English-speaking population.

In the meantime, here are pictures from Chapala:

Looking northwest from the boat pier.

And northeast from the boat pier. There's a lovely park along the lakefront here, although the walkways were all torn up for renovation at the time we were there.

Looking east from the boat pier. There are a number of restaurants and cafes on the pier in left part of this picture. The white birds (pelicans, I think) are all standing in a particularly shallow part of the lake. Maybe it's a sort of bird cafe.

An egret -- there were lots of them around, too. The boat pier is in the background.

Then we walked a few blocks to the town plaza. I wish I'd taken a picture of the plaza -- all the towns in this area have one. But I didn't. Here's some of what we saw along the way.

A typical storefront. Small, brightly painted, and open to the street. This store sells office and school supplies. Quite a difference from Office Depot, no?

A store selling fruit and vegetables. The young lady is wearing the typical clothing of teenage girls and young women -- jeans and a tight and/or skimpy shirt. Sounds familiar, right? (Older ladies seem to go for slacks and a less revealing shirt.) Plus the smock, which is typical work-wear for women of all ages.

Chapala also has an indoor market. Here's one of the stalls. I recognized a lot of the fruit here -- but there were some things I'd never seen before.

This stall sells smoothies and desserts. Very tempting, but we weren't hungry.

There was a carneceria (meat-selling) stall just across from this one. Wish I'd taken a picture. Or maybe not -- it might have grossed out the vegetarians.

Jim in front of another stall in the indoor market.

That's all for now, folks!


ButterYum said...

What a colorful place to visit.

Annette said...

What a nice getaway. Something to look forward to every year. I've only been to Cabos San Lucas (which I enjoyed), but would like to explore other parts of Mexico someday. Have fun!

Shelly said...

Great photos! I grew up in Arizona so we would often go down to Mexico and do some traveling. I love the Mexican culture and the Mexican food!

Ziho said...

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

That places are tipically in Mexico, like a "papelería" a mini Office Depot jaja that help us to find some kind of paper, notebooks, pencils..etc so rapidly!

The place where you bought some fruit is called "mercado" and you're right, we found some that we haven't seen before!

Hope you can visit Monterrey, NL, MEXICO, where I am from!