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May in Mexico

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Post by hound dog Tue May 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Or, at least, May 5th or so, means 70F or about 20C mas o menos with crystal skies in the Chiapas Highlands around San Cristóbal de Las Casas at 7,000 feet and, as memory serves me, as it only occasionally does these days, it is a wee bit warmer in my other stomping grounds on the shores of Lake Chapala. Now, about 45 kilometers from here in San Cristóbal down the escarpment in Tuxtla Gutierrez, it is reported to be about 95F at 1,300 feet and may cool down to 65F during the coming early morning hours.

No matter; I can say this without equivocation, if you are one of the folks as was I, who spent nights in July in South Alabama before air conditioning sweating like a stuck pig on top of sticky sheets unable to even doze off for a blessed few moments, you know why you chose to live out your life in the tropical highlands whether in Mexico or Kenya or Colombia or you name it and in those latter places you never need artificial air cooling day or night.

That reminds me of a story:

Back in about the mid-90s, when we were living in the Mayacamas Mountains at about 1,300 feet in Sonoma County, California, we experienced an unusually hot summer in July and one day I was speaking with my sister during that period who lives on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in the town of Montrose, Alabama. I happened to remark to her that we had had an unusually difficult heat wave that July and had had to use our air conditionng for about 10 full days during that month there in Sonoma County and I will never forgot her response:

"Bawb", said she, "we turn on the air conditioning down here on Mobile Bay in April and we turn it off in October."

Perspective is all.






Last edited by hound dog on Tue May 03, 2011 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by bobnliz Tue May 03, 2011 5:00 pm

Sounds like my wood stove when I lived at the North end of the San Luis Valley... it burned 24/7 from October 'till April.
One winter the water froze on the 26th of December and didn't run again until March 26. Lizzy
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Post by Uncle Jack Tue May 03, 2011 5:22 pm

Please don't tell me about crappy winters.

uj
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Post by kipissippi Tue May 03, 2011 5:30 pm

Uncle Jack?...have you seen the sun shine yet? Sounds like you need a vacation back to your old stomping grounds! Very Happy
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Post by gringal Tue May 03, 2011 6:07 pm

bobnliz wrote:Sounds like my wood stove when I lived at the North end of the San Luis Valley... it burned 24/7 from October 'till April.
One winter the water froze on the 26th of December and didn't run again until March 26. Lizzy

After doing time in various places where my butt froze or cooked........weather may not be the number one reason to live somewhere, but it is sure high on the list.
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Post by bobnliz Wed May 04, 2011 2:37 pm

AMEN to that! We have been splitting our time between the mountains and the beach, but we are seriously thinking about adding NM in the spring and fall.
For the climate, among other things. Lizzy May in Mexico 169387
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Post by hound dog Thu May 05, 2011 9:11 am

Ah well, I guess Dawg blew it starting this thread to brag about the splendid May weather in the Sierra Los Altos de Chiapas mainly because, having spent the past nine springs at Lake Chapala and knowing how hot it gets there in April and May, Dawg thought rubbing in the cool, sunny weather here in May for my friends suffering there, would be fun in the interim before we return to Lake Chapala in June when things cool off a bit with the advent of the rainy season. So, of course, as soon as I posted the comment that started this thread, it clouded up, started raining and got cold (well, coolish) and clammy and, I remind the reader that rain in the Chiapas Highlands is rain on steriods - Noah´s kind of deluge. Flooding streets and sliding hillsides burying towns and closing highways - that kind of stuff. Time to pack and head for the lake. The heat there is nothing a "Mojito Light"@ or two won´t cure. Pass the ice, rum, limes, Splenda and mint, Gordo here can´t get out of his chaise lounge in this 90 degree heat. Got to head northwest before that notorious autopista between Tuxtla Gutierrez and Minatitlán is covered with landslides. When they say "derrumbes" on highways in Chapas and Veracruz states, they mean derrumbes.

Heading back north for : mariachi


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Post by simpsca Thu May 05, 2011 9:18 am

We've had the most unusual weather lakeside the past two days. Had a terrible wind storm the other night and it was cold yesterday morning - this morning as well. Needed a blanket at night. Really strange for May.

Dawg, I am just curious. How long does it take you to drive from Chiapas to lakeside? A friend of mine who was an archaeologist went there many years back with her grown son and said the roads were pretty bad. Likely things have changed by now and the trip is not too bad.
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Post by hound dog Thu May 05, 2011 9:55 am

simpsca wrote:We've had the most unusual weather lakeside the past two days. Had a terrible wind storm the other night and it was cold yesterday morning - this morning as well. Needed a blanket at night. Really strange for May.

Dawg, I am just curious. How long does it take you to drive from Chiapas to lakeside? A friend of mine who was an archaeologist went there many years back with her grown son and said the roads were pretty bad. Likely things have changed by now and the trip is not too bad.

Yes, simpsca, we have experienced the same weather-related problems here this year. Normally, April and May are great here weather-wise except for the haze caused by widespread agricultural burning in April prior to the commencement of the rainy season in May. We have lived here part of the year since 2006 and have also inquired of locals who have lived here for many years and we all agree that this spring, with its copious clouds, coolish weather and unusual (if not nearly unheard of) rains is a significant anomaly. Maybe there is something to this global warming theory. As one who went to university in Tuscaloosa in the 1960s, I think they may be getting a dose of this wierd weather as well with those massive tornadoes.

The roads in Chiapas are now quite good for the most part. The autopistas from Veracruz to Tuxtla Gutierrez and new autopistas in many parts of the state once isolated by somewhat primitive back-country mountainous and coastal roads have changed the experience of highway travel down here but perhaps the most significant improvement as far as lakesiders are concerned has been the opening of the new Arco Norte autopista from Querétaro to Puebla that allows one to drive from west central Mexico to Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco and the Yucatan Peninsula without having to drive through Mexico City.

The shortest drive now from Chapala to San Cristóbal de Las Casas is about 18 hours mas o menos and by far the worst part of that whole drive is the drive from Chapala to Ocotlan - a terrible stretch of road that has been under construction and getting worse since we first moved to Lake Chapala ten years ago. Here is the way we go:

Chapala-Ocotlan-La Piedad-Irapuato-San Juan del Rio-Puebla (over the Arco Norte)-Orizaba-Minatitlán-Tuxtla Gutierrez-San Cristóbal. Eventually, the Arco Norte will be finished all the way to Atlacomulco and that may change our route to drive the Guadalajara-DF autopisto to Atlacomulco when it opens rather than drive north through Querétaro.

When the new autopista from Oaxaca City to Juchitan, Oaxaca opens soon, an alternative route would be to head for Oaxaca City after Puebla and drive that beautiful autopista though Oaxaca to Juchitan, Arriaga, Chiapas and Tuxtla Gutierrez. That will be mostly new and excellent autopistas to the Chiapas Highlands or the still-isolated but fascinating Western Oaxaca and Chiapas coasts. The Oaxaca drive will probably be a couple of hours longer than the Veracruz drive but may be well worth it as that is a splendidly beautiful drive and one can stop in Oaxaca City which I recommend highly.

The Arco Norte has made southern Mexico much more accessible to folks in Western Mexico and we are seeing far more Jalisco tourists down here than ever before as many potential visitors used to draed the drive through DF and they no longer have to do that.
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Post by hockables Thu May 05, 2011 12:10 pm

Uncle Jack wrote:Please don't tell me about crappy winters.

uj

Poor folks idea of a crappy winter is " frost on the oranges "
Spring seems to finally have found us in Beautiful Sunny Saskatchewan... but now water water everywhere...

we're in the middle of a 75 year spring flood... boathouses on both sides of the lake are gone...

I won't complain though... folks in Southern US are hav'n it a hell of a lot worse!!
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Post by johninajijic Thu May 05, 2011 12:42 pm

May in Mexico - HOT! HOT! HOT! Dust! Dust! and more Dust!!!

One of the least plasant months here.
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Post by simpsca Thu May 05, 2011 12:45 pm

Thanks Dawg,

I have been to Oaxaca and love it - and Puebla and many interesting things in between. But at that time you had to go through the center of Mexico DF - what a mess, to overnight in Puebla. And yes the drive from Puebla to Oaxaca was spectacular. When I visit I'll probably take the bus - arthritis in my right knee and hip too bad to drive for very long. And maybe one of these days I'll venture to Chiapas. I would love to do that but was only put off by the roads my friend told me were washed out on her last trip (5 years ago) to Chiapas. But she said the trip was worth it anyway - but she had an adult son to drive.

Gracias Dawg


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Post by bobnliz Thu May 05, 2011 2:15 pm

Dawg's right about the road improvements... they are busy as well with construction on the autopista between Nogales and Guaymas. The new bits we drove over on our way back this spring were beautiful and actually have shoulders... nice wide ones.
We hear from friends that they have been great improvements also on Hwy 2 from Santa Ana to San Luis Rio Colorado. We wait with bated breath for the same on Hwy 2 going east through Cananea to Agua Prieta. Lizzy
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Post by kipissippi Thu May 05, 2011 2:51 pm

Memphis is flooding in some areas and the Mississippi continues to rise. It won't crest until the 10th. The highest since 1927. The highest was 48.7 and they're predicting 48, but it sounds like it's rising faster than they thought it would so who knows! Just glad I live on a hill an hour away.

Unfortunately there are a whoooole lot of people who are going to get flooded out....the big difference between this one and the previous "BIG ONE" is that this time they at least have a heads up....just hope they they make the most of it.

Now they're talking about what's going to happen when all this water hits New Orleans. Not a great year to have water front property along the mighty...muddy.. Mississippi.
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Post by simpsca Thu May 05, 2011 6:15 pm

kipissippi wrote:Memphis is flooding in some areas and the Mississippi continues to rise. It won't crest until the 10th. The highest since 1927. The highest was 48.7 and they're predicting 48, but it sounds like it's rising faster than they thought it would so who knows! Just glad I live on a hill an hour away.

Unfortunately there are a whoooole lot of people who are going to get flooded out....the big difference between this one and the previous "BIG ONE" is that this time they at least have a heads up....just hope they they make the most of it.

Now they're talking about what's going to happen when all this water hits New Orleans. Not a great year to have water front property along the mighty...muddy.. Mississippi.

I forget - where are you - I hope not in the middle of this.
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Post by hound dog Thu May 05, 2011 7:32 pm

bobnliz wrote:Dawg's right about the road improvements... they are busy as well with construction on the autopista between Nogales and Guaymas.....

That´s good to hear, Lizzy. In July we must drive to Santa Fe for our first visit to the U.S. in ten years and, after careful consideration have decided to drive up the coastal route throgh Mazatlan, Guaymas and Nogales rather than drive up through Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. Just too nasty there from what we read in both the U.S. and Mexican press plus we hear the drive is a bore. We haven´t driven that coastal route since we first moved to Mexico in 2001 and your report of improvements in the toll roads is encouraging. Some of the drive was pretty hairy back in 2001 including the no-shoulder highways in some places. We plan to drive from Chapala with stops in Mazatlan and, perhaps, San Carlos in Mexico and then on to Tucson the following night before heading over to Santa Fe. Any ideas on good places to stay in Mazatlan and Guaymas or San Carlos preferably on the beach? No dogs this time , thank God so that is not an issue. Recommendations on really good seafood joints would be greatly appreciated. Down here in Highland Chiapas, the best seafood comes from the Chedraui supermarket and is cooked up at home. We have a dream of sittting on the beach under a palapa consuming great (or even pretty damn good) seafood and ice cold cerveza while enjoying the warm sea breeze. Perhaps today´s wet, chilly weather in San Cristóbal is fueling that dream.

Kippy; we´ve been watching the floods develop near your Mississippi homestead and are glad to hear you are on high ground although as a Bama boy I didn´t know they had "high ground" in the Magnolia State. I must say, the devastation in Tuscaloosa and suburban Birmingham with those (hopefully) once in a lifetime twisters was shocking news. Perhaps that move from Tuscaloosa to San Francisco and later to Mexico was fortuitous for us but we still have friends there who must be heartbroken. What a shame to see one´s fondly remembered university town in shambles.
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Post by GBATRUCKS Thu May 05, 2011 9:18 pm

simpsca wrote:
kipissippi wrote:Memphis is flooding in some areas and the Mississippi continues to rise. It won't crest until the 10th. The highest since 1927. The highest was 48.7 and they're predicting 48, but it sounds like it's rising faster than they thought it would so who knows! Just glad I live on a hill an hour away.

Unfortunately there are a whoooole lot of people who are going to get flooded out....the big difference between this one and the previous "BIG ONE" is that this time they at least have a heads up....just hope they they make the most of it.

Now they're talking about what's going to happen when all this water hits New Orleans. Not a great year to have water front property along the mighty...muddy.. Mississippi.

I forget - where are you - I hope not in the middle of this.

Well, with a name like KIPPISSIPPI I'll bet half a peach it's MISSISSIPPI
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Post by espíritu del lago Fri May 06, 2011 7:26 am

Any ideas on good places to stay in Mazatlan and Guaymas

Dawg,there is a place and I do not remember the name of it. scratch but it is reminisent of the fifties complete w/ pool and beautiful palms. There is a resturant in front, did I say great seafood? It is not luxury by any means.. It is a state of mind. The rooms were on the smallish side but very clean, also was not on the beach. They allowed dogs.

For the short time I was there, I said this is a keeper, just hope it is still the same and it fits somebody's criteria!! Surte Beer or two Beer

cheers
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Post by sparks Fri May 06, 2011 10:27 am

May is the beginning of Mango season. Got 4-5 yesterday off the tree nextdoor
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Post by hound dog Fri May 06, 2011 11:54 am

sparks wrote:May is the beginning of Mango season. Got 4-5 yesterday off the tree nextdoor

The act of appropriating mangos from a neighbor´s yard during the season when that fruit at its ripe stage, the fruit equivalent of batshit dripping on one´s tortilla pie, is akin to stealing snot from a rhinoceros just returned from his morning jog. Easy to find, of value to only a few and hard to get rid of unless you ingest it.

Everyone I know who has a mango tree with proilific seasonal fruit production would beg their neighbors to steal it.
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Post by bobnliz Fri May 06, 2011 6:22 pm

hound dog wrote:
bobnliz wrote:Dawg's right about the road improvements... they are busy as well with construction on the autopista between Nogales and Guaymas.....

That´s good to hear, Lizzy. In July we must drive to Santa Fe for our first visit to the U.S. in ten years and, after careful consideration have decided to drive up the coastal route throgh Mazatlan, Guaymas and Nogales rather than drive up through Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. Just too nasty there from what we read in both the U.S. and Mexican press plus we hear the drive is a bore. We haven´t driven that coastal route since we first moved to Mexico in 2001 and your report of improvements in the toll roads is encouraging. Some of the drive was pretty hairy back in 2001 including the no-shoulder highways in some places. We plan to drive from Chapala with stops in Mazatlan and, perhaps, San Carlos in Mexico and then on to Tucson the following night before heading over to Santa Fe. Any ideas on good places to stay in Mazatlan and Guaymas or San Carlos preferably on the beach? No dogs this time , thank God so that is not an issue. Recommendations on really good seafood joints would be greatly appreciated. Down here in Highland Chiapas, the best seafood comes from the Chedraui supermarket and is cooked up at home. We have a dream of sittting on the beach under a palapa consuming great (or even pretty damn good) seafood and ice cold cerveza while enjoying the warm sea breeze. Perhaps today´s wet, chilly weather in San Cristóbal is fueling that dream.


Dawg ~ I don't know about Mazatlán, but in Guaymas The Playa de Cortes in Miramar is exquisite. An old colonial style hotel built in 1936 in the manner of the previous century. The epitome of Old World elegance. They are on the Bahia de Bacochibampo and have their own beach. The place is exquisite. The rooms are on the expensive side (for us), but we camp and that is cheap. Truly a place of peace and quiet 99% of the time.
In San Carlos, on the beach... there's a rather chi chi place on the left as you come into town called "Fiesta Real Mexicana", I think that is probably high end from our POV.... for you?? We camp, so we don't know.
In economy class, a short distance further and on your right there is the Totonaka RV Park-Cuartos y Departamentos Economicas. They start at about $25 a night. This is another place we like to stay. They are right across the road from the oceam and you get a coupon for a free margarita at Los Arbolitos next door. They have good seafood al fresco and are popular with locals and visitors alike.
In the mid-range, right next door to Totonaka is the Tetakawi Best Western, nice folks, good restaurant we hear, though we have not yet sampled them. Nice pool too. They also have a campground, though the new owner has let it slide.
As to the toll roads... hopefully there will be even more improvements for you all. Watch for the GIANT SPIDER fabricated from an old black VW Beetle.... not too far North of Guaymas on your right... just off the highway a few yards. Lizzy May in Mexico 169387
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Post by hound dog Fri May 06, 2011 6:50 pm

Dawg ~ I don't know about Mazatlán, but in Guaymas The Playa de Cortes in Miramar is exquisite. An old colonial style hotel built in 1936 in the manner of the previous century. The epitome of Old World elegance. They are on the Bahia de Bacochibampo and have their own beach. The place is exquisite.

¡SOLD!

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Post by Uncle Jack Fri May 06, 2011 7:01 pm

+1

I first stayed there in June of 1958. Been there several times since. A little slice of what was once called classy.

uj
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Post by GBATRUCKS Sat May 07, 2011 9:33 am

"Everyone I know who has a mango tree with proilific seasonal fruit production would beg their neighbors to steal it. ."

I felt the same way about that damm messy monster of a pomegranate tree in my back yard...turned it into firewood.


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Post by simpsca Sat May 07, 2011 9:58 am

hound dog wrote:Dawg ~ I don't know about Mazatlán, but in Guaymas The Playa de Cortes in Miramar is exquisite. An old colonial style hotel built in 1936 in the manner of the previous century. The epitome of Old World elegance. They are on the Bahia de Bacochibampo and have their own beach. The place is exquisite.

¡SOLD!


Dawg will you let us know how it is after you stay there. I will be green with envy if it's as good as it sounds.
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