What do you notice most in this photo of a typical Chapala street?
Perhaps the paving? Yes, indeed, many of the streets, the residential streets at least, are paved with stone.
Or maybe the vibrant colors? The tightly clustered buildings are a kaleidoscope of eye-popping mixes.
Or the dust? It’s winter in Chapala and pretty dry (we only had two cloudy days in our first two months here and just a smattering of rain–every other day beautiful sun). Plus, there’s lot of road repair and construction happening all throughout downtown Chapala, part of an infrastructure upgrade and beautification project.
Part of the beautification program too is fresh paint on street-facing exteriors. Near us, some of the homes were recently painted.
Or the mixing of commercial and residential areas? It’s typical to pass house after house with a variety of shops on the ground floor (note that many buildings are two-story). Carnecias (butchers), tiny mercados (mini convenience stores would be the closest equivilent), pharmacies, professional services (doctors, dentists, tailors, key makers, bakers), and prepared food shops (typically selling one or two particular Mexican dishes).
The streets of Chapala are simply a feast for the eyes. But watch where you are going! The sidewalks are pretty narrow and often uneven. And with workers doing repairs, painters, and sign hangers as well as loading and unloading happening, we’re compelled to step into the street with frequency.
Also, watch out for the dogs (and their droppings). There are lots of them roaming around and they have a habit of simply lying down on a sidewalk and sleeping. They’re all friendly (at least the ones we’ve encountered). Still, someone who has a dog phobia will find Chapala difficult to navigate.
We love walking the streets. It’s typical as a person passes by to greet them with a smile and an “Hola” or “buenos dias” (good day).
So buy yourself a couple of pairs of really comfortable walking shoes and join us. See you there!
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