Lake Chapala located less than forty-five minutes from the second largest city in Mexico Guadalajara. The lake is about fifty miles from end to end and twelve miles across at the widest. This large body of water helps mediate the temperature of the local towns and villages around the lake at an altitude of about five thousand feet or so. Reportedly the area enjoys some of the finest weather in the world with only a few days a year getting into the forties and a few over eighty. Of course when I show up the weather gets into the forties and I didn’t bring enough warm clothes so I had to buy a Mexican lady’s poncho to stay warm. Then the next day it warms up, go figure.
There are mountains on both sides of the lake. The village I stayed at the mountain was rather close. This mountain and lake area gives some dramatic views. The vegetation can be dramatic, at various times of the year different trees are in bloom and flowers seem to bloom all year around. This is the first place I have been where the poinsettia when planted in the ground can become a beautiful tree. Avocado trees are plentiful as are orange and mango trees, fresh coconut is sold at roadside stands by machete wielding vendors, a common snack is coconut meat with chili powder, I prefer coconut milk and rum 🙂
The bougainvillea vines are every where and cascading over garden walls in bright colors adding to the beauty of the area. When plants bloom in this area they are very colorful and profuse in their blossoms. Geraniums are planted in the ground like perennials as well as in pots, Lantana grows like a weed, a beautiful weed and blooms the year around. So many plants grow so well that gardening must be a joy.
The end of the day, the sunset, is watched by natives as well as visitors as slowly the sun sets at the west end of the lake and the mountains turn various shades of blue and purple than shadows cover the lower parts of the mountains and the last of the sunlight shines on the water with the lights twinkling from the villages across the lake. Such a tranquil scene as the light fades and the birds fly by in large flocks heading to their nightly roost. Then it is time for the cocktail hour in preparation for the evening meal with friends, life is good at the lake.