A Travellerspoint blog

Day Trip to Guadalajara

sunny 30 °C

Another trip into Guadalajara . . . this time with a tour company to see the highlights of the city.

Lots of historical buildings and interesting architecture . . .
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Other ways to tour the city . . . A19F44812219AC681790047B67A5A8AE.jpg698BDAF92219AC6817208BECD1656C2C.jpg

Shoe Shine stalls everywhere . . .A19BFB212219AC6817538038742E7941.jpg

The usual array of street vendors . . . A1A26ABA2219AC68178512ADD5543A1B.jpgA1A54ABA2219AC6817C7ABABB62690D7.jpg

A couple of great ways to cool off and enjoy a hot day . . . A1A8DAB42219AC6817D94D99C6E94213.jpgA1B88AD32219AC68172A9764B6F487DB.jpg

Mercado Libertad (Liberty Market) . . . A1AC03592219AC68177E7108192442E5.jpgA1AF6F8D2219AC6817F15A8DBF2306BC.jpg
A crazy place! Don't know how many square blocks it is but it's on three levels;
you can buy almost everything here if you can stand to shop in such a hot, humid, crowded mall.

Art in the Park . . . A1B308C72219AC6817538CC7F282FA69.jpg

Posted by cnmcgeehan 08:44 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Day Trip to Teuchitlan - Guachimotones

sunny 30 °C

We headed for Teuchitlan, about two hours drive from Ajijic and directly west of Guadalajara. There we will visit the Guachimotones . . . a prehispanic archaeological site.

Along the way we saw field after field of sugar cane and the highway was full of truck loads on the way to the processing plant on the outskirts of Guadalajara.
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The only circular pyramids in the world were found here just 30 years ago. It then took another 10 years to get the funding required to start the full excavation. Over the years, money has run out and there is still much to be uncovered.

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There is a museum and interpretive centre that is well worth the visit. Jonathan, our onsite guide, is very enthusiastic and passionate about his work there.

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While the ladies are roaming around the site listening intently to the tour guide I can’t help but let my mind wander to a time when these were built::

A pyramid (from Greek: pyramis) is a structure whose shape is roughly that of a pyramid in the geometric sense; that is, its outer surfaces are triangular and converge to a single point at the top. Historians generally agree that the Egyptians were the premier pyramid builders of all time. They also generally agree that during the year 327BC they sent out an information packet to all the peoples of the world outlining the reasons for building a pyramid and showing the best building practices. We know that the Aztecs and the Mayans followed these directions perfectly as these monuments to their cultures still stand today. Even the North American Indians embraced these ideas: they did not build pyramids per se, however, the shape and idea was used in building their homes called teepees.

The Nahuatlacas that populated central Mexico from 200AD until about 900AD somehow got things mixed up. Historians blame the use of Pulque, this traditional product is made by cutting off the flowering stem of an agave plant and scooping out the fermenting watery goo inside. Apparently Ralph, the high priest of the first millennium was enjoying a weekend binge on Pulque and he somehow got the plans for the pyramid mixed up with the drawings for his daughters’ wedding cake. Once the first layered wedding cake pyramid was built the people simply carried on the tradition until this culture died out. Today this unique site draws visitors from all over the world wanting to view these unique pyramids and of course jugs of Pulque are passed among the tourists so everyone can enjoy the area in a traditional way. lol!

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. . similar ball courts as we've seen in other ruin sites in Mexico

Posted by cnmcgeehan 08:44 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Spder Bite?

sunny 28 °C

During the day trip to Mazamitla my left arm swelled (from finger tip to elbow) and became quite painful. By the time we returned home I had a fever and the chills. Putting on my thinking cap I decided the best course of action would be to have an early night and see how things looked in the morning. Nellie was afraid it might be a reaction to something and felt I should go see the Doctor. I tried to reassure her that it was probably just a negative reaction to her sisters arrival. We debated the issue for a couple of minutes with the usual outcome . . . we went to see the Doctor.
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We sat only about five minutes in the waiting room at the Ajijic Medical Clinic, Si -sólo cinco minutos, and after a thorough exam and questioning the doctor felt it was likely an insect or spider bite. He writes prescriptions for an antibiotic and an anti- inflammatory thinking this should take care of things. The level of concern and professionalism were genuine and he made sure we knew that if it wasn’t completely 100% right at the end of the treatment prescribed to come back to see him.

Not to belabour a point: the Doc did not see any bite marks and he quietly agreed the problem was more likely caused by the familial arrivals. lol

Cost for the clinic visit - $200 pesos (about $16.00 Cdn) and we were on our way.
Cost for the two prescriptions - $470 pesos.

Interestingly, the prescriptions were filled in about 10 seconds. There’s none of this counting of pills or tablets here. These two items at least (and many more that we could see) were on the shelf pre-packaged in the exact dose and quantity he prescribed.
Again, Mexican efficiency at work?

Posted by cnmcgeehan 08:44 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Day Trip to Mazamitla

sunny 30 °C

Our day trip to Mazamitla took us into the mountain range, Sierra del Tigre, about two hours drive on the other side of the lake and heading southeast.

As we came around the west tip of Lake Chapala we saw rows and rows of white tarps covering the hillsides. These tarps are visible from the Ajijic side of the lake but until now we hadn’t first hand what they were. This land is owned by MexiBerries and we saw huge patches of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and strawberry crops shielded by the tarps to protect the fruit against the blazing sun. In our grocery stores at home right now all the berries you see with the label ‘Driscoll . . . product of Mexico’ are likely grown and shipped from right here.

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(not a great shot but hard to take from a moving vehicle)

Also along the way, we noticed first hand how Mexico is investing in infrastructure with many roads here receiving upgrades.

Mazamitla is sometimes referred to as ‘little ‘Switzerland’ not because many of the buildings resemble the architecture you might find in Switzerland but because of the beautiful meadows surrounding the town which are covered in alpine flowers albeit one week a year (in September). All buildings here are made of wood and are painted white with the bottom third painted red. It was told to us that this is to limit the number of times any re-painting would need to be done as the dirt, dust and rain splatter on the lower half of the walls would more easily blend into that colour. Mexican efficiency!

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Of course, the ever present Church in the town square . . . DSC_0049.jpg

The town site sits at 7,000 feet above sea level and is in close proximity to a pine forest and we certainly noticed the fragrant and clean, crisp air. It is an area favoured by wealthy Guadalajarans for a summer retreat as the weather is pleasant and there are many cabins and holiday homes here. The mean temperature in March is 16C so we were glad of the light jackets we brought along.

We had a short walking tour of the central area of the town before we climbed on the back of a 1950's era truck. It was a stake truck with an awning over the top and hard bench seats for our discomfort.

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After a short drive thru the town itself we proceeded up the mountain until we reached 9,000 feet. Cori and Stynie experienced first hand what the guide called your ‘free new makeup’ as they were sitting right at the back of the truck and were covered in road dust when we arrived at the top of the mountain.

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We stopped to take pictures of the beautiful view and then hurried back down the mountain as it was cooler and windy at the top. On the way down we passed properties belonging to the latest drug lord to be imprisoned in Mexico, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman . . . impressive, and now belonging to the state.

After lunch we had some free time to roam which the ladies used for shopping and the men used to enjoy a beverage in the sunshine at the Zocalo (town square).

A pretty nice day.

Posted by cnmcgeehan 13:28 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Sisters come for a visit . . .

sunny 30 °C

Two of Nellie’s sisters have arrived from Canada for a ten day visit. Stynie from Calgary, AB and Cori from Keswick, Ont (an hour north of Toronto).

We’ve got a full itinerary setup for them and are looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned of the area so far.

First up is a trip to Chapala for the Monday market . . .

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Oaxaca string cheese, hmmm . . . IMG_0426.jpgIMG_0420.jpg

Chapala has an indoor every day market as well . . .

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Posted by cnmcgeehan 13:28 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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