02.09.2014 - 02.15.2014 27 °C
This week we ventured east of Ajijic and visited the weekly Monday Market in Chapala. We’ve decided this is our favourite so far. Beautiful produce and fruit at even lower prices that Ajijic.
Chapala is a larger and more commercial centre than Ajijic but still with that Lakeside charm. There is another beautiful Malecon along the lake on the south end of the main street. Being a larger centre there seems to be a little more action here. We’ll know more as we explore.
With all the retirees in this area there is a lot of talent here. In addition to the local artists, musicians and performing dance groups there are two live theatres, music concerts of all genres and artists galore amongst the ‘gringo’s’.
On Valentines Day we enjoyed a live theatre performance of ‘the Cemetery Club’.
The big deal this weekend is the 36th Annual Mexican National Chili Cook-Off. This is a three day event that boasts itself to be the Lakeside area’s largest fund-raiser. Competitions include Best Margarita, Home Cooked Chili, Restaurant Chef and Tournament of Champions. There are raffles draws, food booths and many shopping booths all in support of local charities and service groups.
We missed the Saturday morning parade, having been out late last night, but went by the fair grounds to see what all the fuss was about. After wandering about for a while and deciding that the line-ups for the chilli tasting were just too long Charlie decided the rest was all about the shopping and got bored pretty quickly so wandered off back home. I stayed to see the afternoon’s entertainment:
Voladores de Papantla (pole flyers)
This group is from Papantla in the state of Veracruz. Volador means flyer - he who flies. It is amazing to watch the performance as four men gracefully ‘flying’ upside down from a 30 foot pole secured only by a rope tied around their waists.
Even more amazing is the flute player at the top, he’s balanced on a narrow wooden platform without a rope or safety net, and dances on top of the pole as he plays his flute This is apparently an ancient ritual dance and has something to do with asking the gods to end a severe drought. If you want to read more about the history, check this website:
Caballos danzantes (dancing horses)
These dancing horses was the hi-lite for me. The colourful costumes and the intricate footwork of the horses was something to see. I think Charlie missed out on something special this afternoon.