The warmth of a friend’s presence brings joy to our hearts, sunlight to our souls, and pleasure to all of life. ~ Anonymous
We have been blessed with the company of two very special friends, Rosie and Jim, for the past two weeks. We looked forward to their visit for several weeks and, in a flash, two weeks went by and today we returned them to the airport to make their way back NOB (north of the border). We are now left with some beautiful memories and some lovely pictures, thanks to my husband the photographer.
We have been on foot or taking advantage of the public transportation system since our arrival in Mexico. Since we had places to see and much to do within a span of two weeks, we decided to rent a car for the duration of our friends’ visit. I knew from the start that I would be leaving the driving to Terry, not without a bit of trepidation on his part as well, given what we have seen of some of the local driving flair and the challenging street signage (or lack thereof).
Our first venture out beyond our little village was to a town across the lake from us called Mazamitla, whose name means “the place where arrows are made for hunting deer”. Many tourists refer to it as the “Switzerland of Mexico” and one can notice a resemblance in some of the architecture.
This village of 11,700 inhabitants was founded by the Aztec in 1165 and sits approximately 7200 feet above sea level. Many locals venture to this lovely little town when the temperatures begin to inch upwards during the summer months.
Our drive around the lake to arrive at our destination was interesting, to say the least. Suffice to say that Mexican drivers have nerves of steel or maybe very poor eyesight or love to play chicken with other traffic, or some combination of the above. I thought Terry was very courageous to accept the task of driving, as part of this drive consisted of a road with no shoulders, with large trucks attempting to pass under questionable conditions. Thank goodness when we got closer to Mazamitla the road conditions improved considerably and the landscape unfolded to pine, oak and mesquite trees, reminding us of states NOB.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch upon arrival and took a walk through the main part of town, with shop-lined streets that ended in a plaza and church, as do so many other towns. Many of the shops’ shelves were lined with canned fruits and sauces, along with a popular drink called rompope, a combination of milk, brandy, sugar and chocolate. Potted flowering plants were on sale in many shops as well.
Once we were fortified with a little food and enjoyed some window shopping, it was time to brave the roads once again. The area around Lake Chapala is highly agricultural, so we distracted ourselves with views of the greenhouses dotting the hillsides, with questions of what could be growing beneath them. Of course, our own “nerves of steel” driver kept eyes on the road as we ventured back around the lake!