A Travellerspoint blog

Random pics . . .

sunny 30 °C

Not too much new or exciting this week. Here are just a few more random shots . . .

Definitely fascinated with the doors . . .

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Flowers, some unusual ones . . .

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Humming birds, love watching them at the feeder on our patio . . .

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Lake Chapala, view of the berry farms across the lake and the panorama view from up the hill above where we're staying . . .

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Fishermen on the lake; you can see how low the water is. The stairs are there for stepping off your boat onto the pier . . .

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The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom and beautiful! . . .

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

Mexican Coffee . . .

sunny 29 °C

We love coffee. This morning going for coffee was unlike anything we’ve have experienced before.

In the company of our new friends Paul Rainville (Lethbridge) and Nelson and Virginia Wood (Ont), we drove out of Ajijic for about half an hour and we pulled over on a gravel strip in front of a . . . well, nothing more than a dirty and ripped white tarp pulled over a steel frame in front of a cow pasture . . .

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Under the tarp are three cows, a couple of dogs, a number of cowboys drinking coffee out of huge Styrofoam cups, and the lady who owns the business. We order 5 coffees and she asks for 12 pesos each. Paul chuckles as he suggests this is the local equivalent of a Tim Hortons.

The making of the coffee is quite a process : she starts with a spoon of what we learn is a mixture of sugar and shaved chocolate,
so I get two spoonfuls . . .

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To this she adds some instant coffee, one spoonful for me . . .

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Then comes the homemade hooch . . . which she pours and pours -
I hadn’t learned yet that each step is ‘till taste’ , meaning you have to tell her when to stop lol! . . .

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Then you take the cup over to a cowboy sitting on a milking stool beside a cow
and he starts milking the cow right into your cup!
Some will say the hooch kills any bugs in the unpasteurized milk. . . .

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Whatever you may think, it’s the best cup of coffee ever. Not only delicious but it’s now three hours later and I still have a buzz.

all the ingredients needed . . . DSC_1050.jpg

look closer at his shirt . . . DSC_1054.jpg

appropriate, don't you think? . . . DSC_1055.jpg

Posted by cnmcgeehan 13:28 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Street Party . . . Gossips Restaurant

sunny 29 °C

Well the windup to Mardi Gras week arrived and we booked tables at Gossips Restaurant . . . for a party of 36. Yup, there were 36 partiers from Birds and we barely made a dent in the restaurant seating.

A restaurant with permission to block off a good portion of the street in front of their establishment, so picture this . . .

a city street full of tables and chairs, a stage for a rock band, and the best Cajun restaurant this side of New Orleans (or so they boast).
The menu was restricted to four items: thick jumbo, jambalaya, hamburger and a po' boy sandwich.

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The beer was cold, the wine was red or white and we all partied past our bedtimes.

Posted by cnmcgeehan 13:27 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Carnival and Mardi Gras in Ajijic

sunny 29 °C

Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day of the carnival season which always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. In the Catholic faith, Lent is the beginning of forty days of prayer, fasting and alms giving.

This morning in Ajijic there is much excitement in anticipation of the largest of the annual Carnival Parades. Lots of loud music, laughter, colourful costumes, amazing face masks. Very different from the one in Chapala a few days ago.

We were there early and this group posed for us . . . DSC_0821.jpg

Always the balloon sellers . . . DSC_0826.jpg

More participants heading towards the start . . . DSC_0827.jpg

Chair anyone? . . .DSC_0829.jpg

The masks are worn to give the revellers an escape from society and class constraints. Mardi Gras is a Christian festival borrowed from the pagans. The pagans who survived the dreaded winter, showed their appreciation to their gods for surviving by throwing flour (the symbol of life) into the fields. In today’s parades an alternative to this is the throwing of coloured confetti. Depending on the ‘devil’ in front of you, you won’t know which he’s throwing until he does.

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There were many men dressed like women, devils, monsters, etc. And hoards of participants carried a bag or sack (although disguised) of flour to throw on parade participants and the crowds that lined the sidewalks.

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The men dressed like well endowed women are called Sayacas and the idea is to try to outrun them before they pummel you with flour. Not easily done. Lots of people covered in flour by the end of the parade. Great fun for everyone participating!

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Off course there's always the COWboys, ha-ha . . . DSC_0931.jpgDSC_0924.jpgDSC_0912.jpg

Walking in the square afterwards we found all the tools of a good Carnaval Parade reveller . . .
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Those balls are actually hollowed out eggs filled with flour.

(Nellie was a little concerned about the effect of the flour dust on the camera, but managed to clean it up just fine)

Posted by cnmcgeehan 06:45 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Carnival in Chapala

sunny 28 °C

I remember reading a few years ago something that Erma Bombeck wrote about her sister. She said that every time she invited her sister out for lunch she was too busy doing laundry or she said she couldn’t go out because the house was a mess. Unfortunately, her sister passed away and they never did have lunch together. I think too many of us are like that giving up ‘people time’ for ‘things to do’ time.

We were eating breakfast out the other morning and I said to Nellie “that the Mexicans are far too busy enjoying life to waste time trying to make everything around them perfect”. These people simply embrace every opportunity to have a party, a parade or a celebration.

This week it’s Carnaval and Mardi Gras festivities all over the region. We had to chuckle when reading a newspaper announcement that the annual Chapala Carnaval Parade would take place on Sunday, Mar 02 and I quote “starting at 10 am or thereabouts”. lol

Carnaval Festivities in Chapala and Ajijic are marked by 12 endless days and nights of carousing that involve music, dancing, colourful parades and thongs of masked revellers.
The ten days before the Mardi Gras parade are typically days of many parties and smaller parades throughout the Lakeside area. Some nights you could hear the cohetes (fireworks) shooting off and lots of music coming from the nearby nightclub and streets.

On Sunday the Chapala parade started about an hour late (almost as expected) but no one seemed to mind. The parade started with a float featuring the Queen and Princesses of the Miss Chapala pageant, followed by colourful floats, marching bands and hot cars. Although it was shorter than we had expected, it was surprisingly fairly typical of any festival parade we would see at home . . . all in all a good time.

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Posted by cnmcgeehan 06:39 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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