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Week 7 ajijic 7/12-7/18

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

Another week whizzed on by with lots of work on the house plus a few fun adventures. Chile, our muralist has started adding color to the wall. It’s so exciting. He sprayed the whole wall with a bluish green. This will be the background to everything else he will put on the wall. It’s going to be a jungle with lots of tropical trees, plants and flowers. He will incorporate animals, birds, insects and reptiles. Since the wall is so huge, I think we will have plenty of room to get everything we want on it. Chile says this is the biggest wall he’s ever painted. He’s so brave!

We squeezed in two bike rides. One to Chapala to get cash from the bank. Mexico is mainly a cash based country. It seems we are always running to the bank. The ride to Chapala is only 4.6 kilometers but it has two good hills to climb. I love the ride because of the great bike trail. I enjoy being able to see more along the way too. A lot of the time when we ride into Chapala, we head to the Malecon to see what is going on. Chapala is a huge tourist destination for weekenders from Guadalajara. There’s lots of restaurants, vendors, carnival rides, and boat operators. Tons of stuff for everyone here.

Our other bike ride was into Ajijic. It was another short ride, only 5.3 kilometers to the Malecon. We parked our bikes at the Ajijic plaza which is the center of town. The Malecon is a few short blocks away. It’s easier to walk once we get there. The narrow cobblestone roads are hard to maneuver with a bike. We were there to see the unveiling of a mural by one of Ajijic’s famous artists, Efren Gonzalez. He has a studio and gallery in Ajijic and also teaches painting classes. He does many murals in Ajijic and donates his time for the community. We thought it would be a fun activity for the evening. We had a quick dinner at Tango. It’s a very good restaurant that caters to Ex pats. They have a huge menu with lots of vegetarian options. At the event, they had a few bands playing on stage before the main event. Very much to the Mexican lifestyle, the event did not start on time. Very typical. We walked around and heard some music from a small bar on the corner called Camaleon. It was a young man playing an electric violin and it was amazing. We listened outside for a bit. We found out later the name of the group is Black String. It’s a father son team. Next we headed back to see if the unveiling was happening. It seemed to be a pretty big deal. There must have been over 100 folks seated plus 50 or so milling about, like us. After many speeches by important people, Efren thanked everyone including his mom and wife, they pulled the rope and nothing happened! LOL They had a small malfunction but eventually the huge cloth exposed the newly refurbished mural. Efren had painted the front of the school 20 years ago and it was time to freshen it up. It was beautiful and everyone clapped. We headed to our bikes as it was dark...we don’t have lights on the bikes. The bike trail was lit well and we arrived home safely.

We were able to hike with the Ajijic Hiking group on Tuesday and Friday. We met a new gal on Tuesday named Roberta. She was originally from Brazil but has lived in this area for some time. She’s a photographer in Guadalajara and an avid hiker. She has a lot of fun energy and it was nice chatting with her along the way. We went on a new trail for us to Tempisque, the ceremonial grounds. It was a loop trail of about 4 miles. It was a beautiful hike with very nice new friends. We got done at lunch time so we all went to a nearby restaurant called Baja Norte. It was tasty and the company was good. We agreed to arrive early for the Friday hike to do a more challenging one to the Chupinaya. This trail is the one they do at the yearly Chupinaya footrace. The race was cancelled last year but they are hoping to do it at the end of October this year. . Ajijic’s “Chupinaya Carrera de Montana” attracts about 500 males and females from all over Mexico each July for a grueling 13.8 kilometer foot race to the summit of Cerro La Chupinaya (2,400 meters, 7,874 feet) and back to the Ajijic Plaza in about 90 minutes for the best runners/climbers.

The Friday hike was way more challenging than I anticipated. These other hikers are a bunch faster than me. I was having to literally run to try and keep up. Eventually, we just let them all go ahead. We didn’t want them to have to wait for us. We met up with them again at the top of the Chupinaya. The whole morning it was drizzly and off and on rain. We were up in the clouds and couldn’t see the lake anymore. On the way down, we took the wrong trail...for quite some time but we agreed to return to the place where we stopped being lost and return the same way down. I thought the Chupinaya was a loop trail but we never found it. We ran into some Bomberos (firefighters) that were marking the trail and they got us to the trail by the tres cruces. We knew how to get down from there.

We received an invitation from Angie and Victor to play paddle ball at the Chapala Yacht Club. Angie and Victor live in our neighborhood. We have been trying to do something with them for the last few weeks and we're happy to go see the Yacht club. The paddle ball was new to us but Larry and I did very well for beginners, I think. We played 6 games and each team won 3. We were evenly matched. It was a fun game and pretty good exercise. We had lunch at the restaurant afterwards. Angie explained that the club is only for Mexicans and their guests. We lucked out because they don’t sell memberships, day passes or anything to Gringos. LOL It's a fancy club for the rich folks from Guadalajara.

We made a few more purchases for the house this week as well. We found a great table at an estate sale/bazaar for only $130 US plus we found a huge plant in a ceramic pot for only $6….it was marked down 50% off from the previous day. We took them both. Score! The table matches our coffee table and end table in the living/kitchen area. The house is slowly but surely coming together. When It’s done….It will be time to get back on the road in the Airstream!

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