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Hotel El Pequeno

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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:51 pm

Hola, amigos. Looks like I will be making my first voyage to the area on March 1st. I hope to see some of the Mardi Gras events and get a glimpse into what the area looks like in full fiesta mode. I plan on staying until March 10th so I can also get a feel for what the area offers when life returns to normality. I found what looks to be a nice little place in Chapala: The Hotel El Pequeno. I am curious if anyone has any input before I go forward with the booking. It seems like a perfect fit for my needs (quality, location, budget, etc) and the owner is very nice. Any input is appreciated and any information regarding the Mardi Gras events would be great; I really want to see the charreada. Thanks!
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Post by CheenaGringo Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:05 pm

Maybe you should check the dates for Carnival 2014?

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Post by Jim W Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:11 pm

Briantroy, weird intro......a 10 day stay?....so what is your question? There are better, and worse....enjoy!
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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:38 pm

Thanks for the responses. Why is my intro strange, Jim? I am coming as part vacation/part scouting journey to see if the community works for me as part-time resident. Ten days seems like  a reasonable amount of time to get a feeling for the basic rhythm. My question is: "I am curious if anyone has any input before I go forward with the booking." This is in regards to the hotel. In other words, I am here to find out if anyone knows this place or has anything to say about it. I have not yet booked and I thought someone might have a different suggestion that would help. In regards to the dates of Mardi Gras, I know that it falls on March 4th but I am curious if anyone can tell me, or direct me to, anything that might be published in regards to the schedule of events planned (if such info has even been made available). I cannot find anything regarding dates of the charreada. Thanks!


Last edited by briantroy on Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Jim W Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:50 pm

briantroy wrote:Thanks for the responses. Why is my intro strange, Jim? I am coming as part vacation/part scouting journey to see if the community works for me as part-time resident. Ten days seems like  a reasonable amount of time to get a feeling for the basic rhythm. My question is: "I am curious if anyone has any input before I go forward with the booking." This is in regards to the hotel. In other words, I am here to find out if anyone knows this place or has anything to say about it. In regards to the dates of Mardi Gras, I know that it falls on March 4th but I am curious if anyone can tell me, or direct me to, anything that might be published in regards to the schedule of events planned (if such info has even been made available). I cannot find anything regarding dates of the charreada. Thanks!

Moved to WEIRD! Try Google search
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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:52 pm

Yes, Jim, I have tried Google. I wouldn't be asking if I hadn't. If you can find something posted regarding these dates, I would appreciate the link. Thanks.
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Post by CheenaGringo Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Brian:

One of the truly unique things about Mexico is their haphzard methods of announcing actual dates for events, festivals or even regional cultural events. Even when State Tourism Departments have been involved, I have seen initial annoucements made after the event was over and done with. Carnival 2014 official dates appear to be 2/28 - 3/4 but they can vary country to country or city to city.

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Post by Lady Otter Latté Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:15 pm

If you stay at El Pequeno you will be in the heart of the action which can be very good or very bad, depending on your attitude. You will not get any a lot of sleep during Carnaval. As a party time it will be great. As a basis for judging every day life here, not so much.
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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:39 pm

Thank you Cheena. I figured that was the case. I am in no way new to the Mexican style of life, so I understand the methods, the madness and the beauty of these planned events.

Not finding anything published online got me frustrated, so I thought I should speak with locals and see if they had seen flyers or something physically posted. I still haven't booked, so I will wait until I find out more; I don't want to show up on March 1st only to find out the charreada happened on Feb 28th.

I look forward to not "getting frustrated" because I can't find exact dates for something. I have had extensive stays in Mexico (3 months in Guanajuato, 1 month in Nayarit and 6 months in Tijuana) and I look forward to revisiting the culture where NOT getting frustrated over trivial things is the norm. Thanks again!


Last edited by briantroy on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:51 pm

Thanks, Lady Otter! This is the type of feedback I was hoping to hear. I want to be in the heart of things for the fiesta, but after the 4th I dont want to be in "Party Central".. I will have a car, and I am not averse to changing venues and finding something more quiet if the downtown noise is too loud on a daily basis. Do you know if the hotel is relatively peaceful?
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Post by Lady Otter Latté Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:18 pm

I lived nearby and loved it, but I would not say it was quiet. It has all the regular noise of city life which over time becomes simply background sound. However, during fiestas and other celebrations the noise and activity level is very high and began to wear on me by about four or five days into the nine-day celebration. However, another benefit of being in the thick of it, is just walking over and joining in the celbration and then walking home again. That hotel is katty corner from the police station which can get very interesting during a fiesta when drunks are being hauled in. Some drunks are louder thna other. Oh, and the best aprt is when a couple (or more) drunks get hauled in after fighting. They are still arguing as they are hailed in. Then the fmailies show up and stand outside waiitng for thme to be released and the FAMILIOES begin arguing. This is not every night, of course. Part of the fun is mevber knowing what is going to happen next.
As for the hotel itself, I think it is a nice place and the owners go out of their way to make your stay comfortable based on the things they have comtrol over.
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Post by Pedro Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:20 pm

carnaval is in feb. not march. that hockey game we played on the temp ice rink was the 2nd week in feb. you can see pics from carnaval on this board. carnaval is the beginning of feb and runs about 10 days so you will miss it.
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Post by Pedro Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:23 pm

Lady Otter Latté wrote:I lived nearby and loved it, but I would not say it was quiet. It has all the regular noise of city life which over time becomes simply background sound. However, during fiestas and other celebrations the noise and activity level is very high and began to wear on me by about four or five days into the nine-day celebration. However, another benefit of being in the thick of it, is just walking over and joining in the celbration and then walking home again. That hotel is katty corner from the police station which can get very interesting during a fiesta when drunks are being hauled in. Some drunks are louder thna other. Oh, and the best aprt is when a couple (or more) drunks get hauled in after fighting. They are still arguing as they are hailed in. Then the fmailies show up and stand outside waiitng for thme to be released and the FAMILIOES begin arguing. This is not every night, of course. Part of the fun is mevber knowing what is going to happen next.
As for the hotel itself, I think it is a nice place and the owners go out of their way to make your stay comfortable based on the things they have comtrol over.
are you drunk and can't hit your keys because your eyes are glassy?
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Post by Lady Otter Latté Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:31 pm

Dates for Carnaval are based on the date of Easter each year. Easter 2014 is on April 20th which makes Ash Wednesday March 5. Carnaval ends the day before on Fat Tuesday. It looks as though Carnaval will begin about February 24 this year.
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Post by briantroy Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:45 pm

Thanks, Otter. I really enjoy life stories like that. It totally sounds like my kind of place! I am literally waiting for a single phone call tonight before I book the dates.  

Actually, Pedro, Carnaval is the celebration leading up to Ash Wed. Without going into much detail, Mardi Gras translates to "Fat Tuesday" and that denotes the day before Lent that is determined by Easter, which is determined by the the first Sunday after the full moon of the spring equinox. There are other things involved, such as 40 days (not counting Sundays), but let's call it Catholic Magic for now. The dates vary widely from year to year. But, its a party and that is all that counts; be it based on pagan lunar calendars or Catholic Christian...pass me a beer and a taco.
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Post by Smartalex Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:51 pm

Your hotel choice is a good one. You'll be in a central location, within easy walking distance to the carnaval, the plaza and the malecon. In Chapala, carnaval lasts for 12 days prior to the Catholic holiday of Ash Wednesday. Looks like Fat Tuesday, the final day of carnaval, falls on March 4 this year. The city publishes a schedule of events but that will not be available until we get closer to the event.
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Post by Lady Otter Latté Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:05 am

Glad you enjoyed the story Brian. My apologies for the many typos. I have a Spanish keyboard with half the letters worn off and that is the result of quickly typing a message on it. I usually proof before sending but I had a dog whining to go out. It sounded urgent, and I was distracted.
It sounds as though you have the perfect attitude for enjoying Carnaval 2014 in Chapala. As SmartAlex pointed out, you have the right location for what you want to do.
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Post by briantroy Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:41 am

Andale! Thanks Smartalex and Lady Otter. 12 days sounds like a real Mexican party. I would like to get my hands on that schedule of events. Stories are my life blood, never regret and never apologize. People either get it or they don't.
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Post by slainte39 Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:49 am

Lady Otter Latté wrote: As SmartAlex pointed out, you have the right location for what you want to do.  
And I would add, even more importantly, the right attitude.    Beer

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Post by briantroy Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:25 am

Thanks. I think I will probably make Pequeno my base and go from there. And, when I go to see Ajijic, I plan on tooling around in a golf cart and only popping a few wheelies.
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Post by RoofBob Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:04 am

For your first visit to Chapala you picked the perfect place to stay. The price is right, the location is central to everything and the owners live on site to ensure your stay is comfortable and enjoyable. Have fun and welcome to Lake Chapala!
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Post by briantroy Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:12 am

Right on RoofBob. This is feedback. Positive feedback. I can deal with negative feedback, but arbitrary bitterness had me wondering. I appreciate your input. Thank you.
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Post by CanuckBob Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:44 am

Agreed, the Hotel El Pequeno is a great location in Chapala. The facility is new, bright and clean. The owners are very nice and accommodating.

If you decide to spend a few days in Ajijic you may want to consider the Hotel Casa Blanca or Estrellita's B&B. They are both located in the prime area within walking distance to everything.
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Post by briantroy Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:25 am

Thanks Bob. I think Chapala is where I need to stay. Close, but not too close.
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Post by briantroy Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:26 am

I can and will be dangerous.
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