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Published: February 17th 2014
Our lovely host at Quinta del Sol, Eleanor, drove us to Jocotepic today to catch the bus to Mazamitla. We only had a 10 minute wait along the highway for the bus to Mazamitla. We shared the bus stop with a nearly toothless old man who was delighted to speak with us...and the man running the tire stand next to the bus stop.
The bus circled the far side of Lake Chapala and then turned south and started up the mountains. Oaks changed to pines...and the bus began to falter. We were going about 10 miles/hour. The driver pulled into a gas station, and dumped two big buckets of water into the radiator (I assume) and we made it into town.
Mazamitla is promoted as the Switzerland of Mexico. It is also on the list of Mexican "Magical Towns". "A 'Magical Village' is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, day-to-day life – in other words, "magic" in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_M%!C(MISSING)3%!A(MISSING)1gico
The houses have wooden decorations, and wood is used much more than in the lower elevation towns. This a weekend destination for young people and families from Guadalajara, and
the town was crowded when we arrived. Our hotel is on a quiet side street, but I can still hear the car stereos blasting as the kids cruise the streets after dark...the church is lit with neon crosses on all three steeples. Earlier tonight, we could see the active Colima volcano shoot up an ash plume!
The actual night wasn't as much fun. Turns out that the beautiful church has an electronic chime every quarter hour and bells on the hour...ALL NIGHT! The chime is like an incredibly loud doorbell. I got my earplugs in better than Bill did, since he was also entertained by a loud fight around 4:00am and even louder make-up sex....I heard nothing. But when I got up in the night, I noticed that all the lights were flickering and even flashing, despite being turned off....very strange and unsettling!
For those of you from Longview, we are staying at the Hostal "Lenador", which means "lumberjack" in Spanish!
Our second day here, we took a 2 hour truck tour of the nearby mountain and another smaller town on a lake. Our guide told jokes and made us play games for most of the trip,
La Foresta in Ajijic
Huge private homes, and no one around...
and then we were taken to a ice cream shop before going home...the rest of the group were Mexicans, except for a Mexican-American extended family from North Dakota and Riverside, CA. The guide had lived part of his short life in the States and plans on heading back in the next year. Don't know how he gets there, and didn't ask....
Mazamitla is all white-washed buildings with dark red trim and varnished wood. The roofs are brick colored tiles. The guide told us that the red stands for the blood of the warriors and the white for peace. The town is surrounded by pine forests and is at 7260ft...Nights are quite cool and days are warm.
Tomorrow we may walk five miles to the local waterfall (not impressive by Northwest standards...) and then we head for the Pacific Coast by bus on Wednesday.
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