Page 7 of Dawn and Steve Travel Blog Posts

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Puerto Vallarta March 14th 2010

We arrived in Barra de Navidad with no reservations and with about three hotel possibilities from the travel guide, but because of our bad experience in Colima with their recommendation, we were prepared to be a little more discriminating. However, when you are tired, and it is the end of the day, and you arrive in a strange place with no idea of where you are or where to find things, and you are carrying a large pack on your back - well, you aren’t really so discriminating. We found one place, but it looked expensive, so we moved on. We found another, and asked to see a room. It was a little run down, but clean and basic, and right on the beach which we hadn’t had before, so we took it. Unfortunately, it was ... read more
Shops in Barra
Street of restaurants in Barra
Building in Barra - so run down, but with beautiful stained glass windows

North America » Mexico » Colima » Colima March 12th 2010

The city of Colima is in the small inland state of the same name. The state of Colima is home to two towering volcanoes, the active and constantly steaming Volcan de Fuego (3820m), and the extinct snowcapped Volcan Nevado de Colima (4240m). Three different tribes lived here: the Otomi, the Toltecs, and the Chichimecs, all of whom left behind exceptional pottery, mostly in tombs buried with their dead. The most famous of these are the plump hairless dogs called xoloitzcuintles. These dog statues were thought to accompany and help guide the dead to their final destination. The city of Colima, even though inland, has subtropical weather like the coast: very warm and humid. Volcan de Fuego is just 30 km to the north, and the city has been hit by several major earthquakes - the most ... read more
02 - Murals in the stiarwell of the government palace
03 - The Plaza Principal in Colima as seen from the balcony of our room
04 - Las Campanas archaeological site

North America » Mexico » Jalisco March 11th 2010

El Salto is a 105 meter high waterfall located about 15 km south of Tapalpa in the Sierra Tapalpa mountains. The Lonely planet guide gave a price for the taxi ride there, so we thought we would go. The roads are so badly rutted, twisting and winding through mountainous pasture land, and washed out by streams in some areas, that it took us over half an hour to get to our destination. It turned out that our destination was not the waterfall, but the start of a difficult mountain trail that would take another half hour of walking (so they said…) and a guide who was waiting for us, and of course who also needed to be paid. But OK, we thought how hard can it be? REALLY HARD!! The trail was uneven and rocky, and ... read more
Easy so far...little did I know
A view of the inactive volcano, Volcan de Colima
A view of the valley on the other side of the trail

North America » Mexico » Jalisco March 10th 2010

Tapalpa is a town with a population of 16,000 at an elevation of 2100 meters in the Sierra Tapalpa mountains southwest of Guadalajara. We had to take a bus from Chapala back to Guadalajara, then a different bus from Guadalajara to Tapalpa. I ran back and forth from one little shack to another at the station in Guadalajara trying to find out which bus to take, and all the buses are different companies, and nobody speaks English, and they point from one to the other……argh! Steve’s arthritis had flared up that morning too, so poor Steve was limping around trying to follow me with a big pack on his back. Anyway, we finally found the right bus, and got tickets, and were on our way. It took us all day to get there because the bus ... read more
Us at our hotel in Tapalpa
We bought barranca, rompope, and ponche
Another view of Tapalpa

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Ajijic March 6th 2010

Lake Chapala is the largest inland lake in Mexico. 90 miles long, as much as 15 miles wide, but only about 20 feet deep, so the water looks murky - much like the water in Wascana Lake at home. But although we have read accounts of the lake being choked with weeds and devoid of fish and bird life - essentially dead - we found it alive with birds, and watched fishermen set their lines from the shore. The government has made a great effort to restore life to the lake, cleaned up the water hyacinth that had covered much of the lake in the past, and has designated the lake as a protected area. One of the local men told us that while there are fish in the lake, and some of the restaurants use ... read more
Ajicic malecon
Trying a traditional drink made of rice and served with lemon ice
Street not in the tourist brochures

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Guadalajara March 5th 2010

“Las Sabilas” is the name of the hotel where we stayed in Guadalajara, which means “the succulents”. Garden designer Robert Clark won an award for his design of this place, which, true to the name, contains many different varieties of succulents (succulents you may be familiar with are jade plants and sansaveria that we have at home as house plants). There are also many vines covering the walls - some that bloom are varieties of thumbergina - like the brown-eyed susan hanging vines that we can grow in the summer - but many different colors and shapes that we have never seen before. Palms, bougainvillea, even a pomegranate tree. We stayed in the original building that was on the property when Robert took it over - 200 years old with foot-thick walls and 15 foot ... read more
The outside wall of our room
The entrance "foyer" at night
The new building at night

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Guadalajara March 4th 2010

We were able to take a first-class bus from Bucerias to Guadalajara, which was nice since it had air conditioning, a bathroom, a movie (in Spanish of course), and comfortable seats. We were even given a bag with a ham and cheese sandwich, a cookie, and a Pepsi. If we had known, we wouldn’t have packed our own sandwiches! Oh well. We had assigned seats, but when we got on the bus, there was a young man sleeping in one of our seats. Several people tried to wake him up, talking louder and louder to him and shaking him. The alcohol fumes rolling off him told the story - he was passed out cold and even shaking him couldn’t wake him up. We sat in the seats behind him, and luckily, nobody else wanted those seats, ... read more
One of the government buildings
View of the church's towers
Government Palace

North America » Mexico » Nayarit » La Penita February 25th 2010

On Thursday we hopped a bus north to go to the market at La Penita, which is the commercial town that serves the town of Rincon de Guayabitos which is right next to it, connected by a walking bridge (yes, another swinging bridge). For those of you at work, Guayabitos is the place that Jason Liggett stayed when he went to Mexico around Christmas time. Anyway, the market was three to four times bigger than the one in Bucerias, with much more selection and many different items. Have a look at some of the fantastic pictures that Steve took at the market here. Once again, the colors, the sounds, and the smells almost overwhelm the senses. It took us a couple of hours to wander through this fascinating place. Then, tired and hot, we found a ... read more
Interesting tree seen from the bus
Little town seen from the bus
Poblano peppers at the market

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Puerto Vallarta February 24th 2010

The one organized tour we took was to San Sebastian del Oeste in the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidentals. The bus tour included a stop at a family-run tequila distillery “Raicilla de El Nogalito de San Sebastion“, a stop at a small coffee plantation, and then on to the town of San Sebastian The guide was very knowledgable, and was fluent in both Spanish and English. He kept us entertained with stories of the history of the area, points of interest, and pointed out birds, animals, and plants native to this area. As we drove, we passed from the jungle vegetation found at sea level on the coast into oak and pine forests as we drove higher into the mountains - to San Sebastian at almost 5,000 feet. ·First, we visited the tequila plant. The ... read more
Sierra Madre Mountains
We went over this bridge in the mountains
Agave fields in the mountains

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Puerto Vallarta February 23rd 2010

Our whale watching trip was a full morning on a small fishing boat with just the 2 of us. We met the boat early, and despite the fact that they thought that we wanted to go fishing and were surprised that we wanted to go whale watching, it all turned out just fine. They had 2-way radio as well as cell phones, and after a while, got a tip from one of the other boats as to where the whales were being spotted. We motored over there as quick as we could (along with several other whale watching boats), and saw a mother and baby whale. The came up for air, and dived a number of times, then both of them breached (jumped out of the water) right in front of us! We were so close, ... read more
Whale breaching
Whale splash
Whale tail

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