Day 8. Saturday, March 15, 2008 Ajijic to Mazamitla, 60 miles
Morning soft light. Hotel Ajijic garden.
La Nueva Posada hotel
Hotcakes and no beans
I walk down to La Nueva Posada
for breakfast. A big gang of gringos cluster around the front door. Old gringos. "Mature" gringos. They're probably not that far from 60 but they still make me nervous. They are part of some sort of walking tour and chatter away in English.
At the outdoor restaurant garden overlooking the lake, the Americans order in English. I overhear someone ordering,
"And I want.... two eggs..., over-easy..., hotcakes...., and no beans".
The ex-pat crowd in Ajijic is definitely older. I'm somehow reminded of the younger hip crowd I encountered in Sayulito last year. Ahhh, Sayulito. The walking tour comes in for breakfast and as tolerant as I am, there comes a point. Ok, they ruin the ambiance. I go.
Hotel Casa Blanca B & B
Hang out at the Lake Chapala Society
. An outfit run by the ex-pats here. Nicely done, gardens, library, snack shop, something for the local kids. Nicely done.
Ex-pats at Lake Chapala Society. The signs are in English.
View from "la cruz"
Climb "Camino a la cruz" a hill overlooking Ajijic, for the views. Its got the 12 stations of Christ along the way. About 30 min strenuous hike, 50 min from the hotel. Oh My God, when crossing the hwy I see long lines of cars at the light. The tapatios
(what Guadalajarans call themselves) are out in force. In hordes. Its Saturday. From my view point, overlooking the lake, I can see that much of the newer development is on the mountain side of the hwy. The old Ajijic is between the hwy and lake. All of the north shore of Lake Chapala is slowing being developed, as an extension of Guadalarara.
On the hwy thru town
Hard to leave Ajijic, I kept meeting interesting people.
Dr Jesus Martinez is a retired pediatrician who wants to sell me a house for $81,000 on the otherside of the lake. His daughter is married to the manager of my hotel.
Vince, sholder length white pig tails. Claims to be of American Indian descent and is doing his best to prove it by being alcoholic. Wears red bandana Indian style on his forehead. White pigtails.
Ever been shot in the back?
Then there was Ricardo. Ex law enforcement. Ex Colorado county sheriff. He didn't like No Country for Old Men
"I guess that law enforcement job isn't all that glorious, like they depict in the movies I mean," I'm trying to be sensitive here.
"Oh it was a kick in the a**!," he sez, "until some sonofa***** shot me in the back..... And I saw my buddy killed."
"Have you ever seen a man shot in the gut?" he goes on. "With a shotgun?"
"I've never seen anyone shot," I admit. "I've barely even fired a gun."
He also served as the law in Texas, but I never got where. He talked about Tom Russel and Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, and his favorite, Guy Clark. He knew all the words to their songs.
And then there was Scott, my favorite. Scott tells me he rode a Harley Davidson Low Rider all the way down to Tierra del Fuego.
"It's in Argentina, now." I'm in shock and awe.
He crossed the Darien Gap in a sailboat! He said there was a video clip of it on YouTube. I got his email address but..... no answer, yet. He said he was a geologist, and he had a house in Guadalajara and Lima, Peru. I'm wondering if its too late to change professions. I wanna be a geologist too.
I finally say farewell to Ajijic and move on. Around Lake Chapala. Nothing could be finer than a slow putt around Lake Chapala on a Saturday afternoon. Nothing, 'cept maybe chasin' my buddy Richard Black thru the Texas hill country on any Saturday morning.
Leaving Lake Chapala, still heading south, looking back
Approaching Magical Mazamitla
On the other side of the lake I climb into the hills, finallly leaving Chapala behind.
Into the Jalisco hill country. Small town of Mazamitla. Everybody has a cabana. I am not prepared to be picky here. I pick Cabanas Gloria. It's a "cabana" right on the main road into town. Oh, well. It's just one night. And I wanted to be near town. It's a suite for $50, includes kitchen, living room, as well as bedroom. Plus a working fireplace, which I fire up in the middle of the night.
Eat at El Troje, a big restaurant on one of the roads into town, nice but I wish I'd picked a smaller more local place in the center of town. The place is hoppin'. It's Saturday night and many young people from Guadalajara make a weekend of Mazamitla. There were a couple of discotecs that are going strong way past midnight. I hang with the all-night crew camped out on the church steps. They were making these palm weavings for Palm Sunday, tomorrow, and work on them all night long.