Yeah! Time to do my happy dance!
Last Thursday, the malecon re-opened.
For months now, I’ve only really seen the lake for fleeting moments driving in and out of Chapala. Not long after the virus crisis began, the city closed the malecon and closed the city to all but residential and essential services traffic.
Now, Mexico is slowly re-opening.
It’s been tough on many Mexicans. This is still largely a land of independent shop owners and crafts and trades persons. A lot of families are dependent on their small shops to put food in their mouths.
Last month some of the shop owners along the malecon marched in protest of their continued closure while other shops in town (off the malecon) were allowed to re-open.
At last, they’re coming back.
And we get to see the beautiful lakeside again.
The timing also corresponds with the beginning of rainy season. Here in Chapala that generally means storms at night and clear sunny days. Still, on occasion, we do have a few overcast days and last Thursday was one of them.
Nevertheless, I took advantage of the opening to walk the malecon for the first time since late February.
As you can see, not many people were yet aware of the change. I only heard about it from my neighbor. I suspect that the city quietly made the decision and thus had a “soft” opening.
Not surprisingly, the lake has significantly decreased in volume. The shoreline has receded extensively. Six months ago, the pier in the photo above was almost under water. Now, dry land.
Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the malecon was busier and busier. Musicians were returning as were vendors and shop owners. The shop area is still separated from the main part of the malecon by a plastic fence you can see in some of the photos below, in part, I assume, to divert foot traffic to areas where city personnel can monitor the volume of visitors and see to social distancing and masking.
Oh what a joy it is to be back near the lake!