Trip Around Lake Chapala, Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I met with Hector, my Qi Gong instructor, in Christiana park where we have an early morning session. Joining us was Hector’s esposa (wife), Ilda, and another student and professional, Lolita. I’m the odd man out in the conversation given my lack of Spanish, although I’m working on that. They are very conscious of including me, despite my communications challenges.

I asked them to speak only Spanish with me so that I’d have to learn. At some point I mentioned, in Spanish, that I’d love to take a trip around the lake one of these days. Well, lots of Spanish flew and before I knew it, a trip was planned for Wednesday (it was Monday). Wonderful!

We met at the main entrance to the park at 7AM and drove off in Hector’s car. We drove west, headed through Ajijic and other populated lakeside towns along the north side of the lake.  Lots of restaurants and houses and several towns. After Ajijic, the populations are mostly Mexican. There’s several expat enclaves that are gated communities, little fortresses of the homeland here in Mexico.

After an hour or so of driving, we arrived in Jocotepec at the west end of the lake.  It was time for some coffee and some breakfast and a little stretch.

Every town in Mexico, at least all I’ve encountered has a public square which is anchored by a Catholic church. We parked just off the square and walked toward the mercado area, or the public market.

Jocotepec was just coming awake. Vendors were setting up, preparing good and cooking.

We even encountered an old but still functional foosball machine!

After some sustenance and a breath of Jocotepec, we headed off to the road around the south side of Lake Chapala.

After Jocotepec, we’re in local Mexican territory. No gringos here, except a few renegades.

The south side of the lake is primarily farming territory. Miles and miles of covered crops, in this case, lots of berries. Blueberries and raspberries. Tomatoes. Lots of goodies!

The shore of the lake here is wild. Farms extend right down to the shore. There are no beaches in the traditional sense of the word.

And there’s the occasional town.

After another hour or so, we arrived at Tlazapan. An inviting town!

More to follow.

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