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Mon Jan 07 2013: Ex-Pat Enclave at Lake Chapala

After 10 restful days in Guadalajara, we laden our bikes with all our gear once again and set off to explore more of the state of Jalisco. A popular destination for Guadalajarans and others in the region is Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest fresh-water lake. It's only about an hour away and the weather is sunny and beautiful for the afternoon ride.

Riding through the cobblestone streets of Ajijic

We're told to explore Ajijic, which is a very pretty town 5 minutes away from the lake. Our internal organs are given a bit of a shuffle as we bounced up and down over the cobblestone streets of the old city. The weather and scenery here are idyllic, however it seems that alot of Americans and Canadians have also caught onto this fact. There are over 20,000 gringos and Cangringos living in Ajijic and you can't turn a corner without that North American twang of English wafting through the air like a bad smell.

To underscore the point, every other building in Ajijic seems to be a real estate agency...

Lunch at the funky Nuevo Posada Hotel

Giving our kidneys a break by walking the streets of Ajijic

Pretty side streets in Ajijic

The ex-pat community here is fairly old, made up of American retirees, Canadian snowbirds and families who have brought their elderly parents here for the cheap cost of assisted living. We've noticed that ex-pats greatly change the landscape of the culture wherever they tend to coagulate, raising the prices of real estate and food, and creating a very non-Mexican bubble supported by their influx of foreign dollars.

Ajijic is a beautiful town, but we wouldn't want to live here.

San Francisco Church just off the Malecon in Chapala

About 5 minutes away is the town of Chapala, and the main draw here is the Malecon, from where you can watch the prettiest sunsets in Jalisco. We spent the entire afternoon people-watching, while tracking the movement of the sun as it fell from the clouds overhead to a more photogenic position just above the horizon over the waters of Lake Chapala.

Walking the pier on the Malecon in Chapala

Ice cream break! Neda really likes her skirt

The native whitefish population of Lake Chapala was decimated when they brought
foreign Tilapia into the waters. Huh? What metaphor...?

Boats watch the sunset like angels on the beach

I see a little silhouette of a man...

The Sun of King Midas touches the waters, turning them to an iridescent gold

Street vendor resting his arms

Walking the Malecon at sunset is a popular activity here

So cute! Stray dogs were running all over the beaches, playfully chasing each other. None of them looked like they wanted for food

We have about 300 more shots like this...

299 more.

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