We left Chapala in the afternoon after the girls’s school let out. About 40 minutes after pulling away from Chapala on our road trip to Guatemala, I realized I had forgotten to pack our Melaleuca essential oil. UGH!! It is an oil I use often for cuts, sore throats, and skin irritations. I was bummed—but losing 1 hour and 20 minutes turning around was not an option. I would have to wait nearly 2 weeks until we arrived in Guatemala and our friend would be bringing down a large oil order for me! (I had other oils with us–just not that oft used one!)
Less than an hour later I realized I forgotten something even more important—my laptop charger! Ahhhh!!! There was no way we could go without a charger for my laptop (the main business computer) for more than a month, and finding a charger to purchase along our route would prove to be very difficult, if not impossible. Facing the possibility of losing 3 hours to turn around and retrieve it, the thought suddenly struck me that my husband’s laptop (he has a Dell, I have an HP) had an identical plugin. A quick check of the laptop and charger confirmed this was correct—we were saved!
We pulled into Colima later that evening and found a hotel the outskirts of town with some big-name American hotels lining the highway leading to their new big mall. Not wanting to pay the price of the big hotels, we were relived to find Los Mangos, a family-run hotel that was still a bit under construction. For about $400 pesos ($30) we found a comfortable and modern room, that unfortunately didn’t have wifi available. No fear, we set up our Wifi antenna, and soon found an unsecured wifi signal available from the large hotel chain far down the street. We couldn’t even see their hotel from ours—but we could reach the signal! I’ll blog post about that secret little device sometime soon
The next morning we drove a short distance to the neighboring town of Comala, another little village on Mexico’s Magic Pueblo list. It’s a quaint little place without much going on, but it has a certain amount of charm that we enjoyed. Comala, as well as Colima, is overshadowed by the Volcano of Colima, a semi-active volcano .
We found a little eatery and ordered huevos divorciados (divorced eggs) and chilaquiles for breakfast. For a cheap price, it was very satisfying! Like Ajijic where we live, the roads in Comala are made of cobblestone, which makes for a bit of a bumpy ride…but adds to the authenticity and charm of this town. Every building in town is also painted white.
We stopped for breakfast at a little restaurant:
I find myself guilty of glancing into some people’s homes when they leave their doors open to the street. It fascinates me to see how different people live—some quite simply and others quite comfortably.
It was Ella’s birthday, and she had just turned 7. We gifted her one of our used digital cameras, and she was in heaven. We spent the morning taking photos of her taking photos.
On the way out of town, I convinced Jared to let us drive through Colima centro, so we could see what the downtown looked like. We have been through Colima several times, but only for quick stops for food, since it is a halfway point between Lake Chapala and some of our favorite Mexican beach towns like Melaque and Barra de Navidad.
When we started driving through the centro, we were pleasantly surprised to find colonial-style buildings and beautiful chapels. We parked and enjoyed the early afternoon walking around and enjoying the atmosphere.
Maiya didn’t enjoy all of the walking. And Ella, true-to-form, offered to carry Maiya for a brief period of time after we threatened to leave her behind (we wouldn’t). It never lasts long—but somehow Maiya always finds the motivation to walk after one of Ella’s pep-walks/carries.
I love the mix of old and restored buildings. This building has a bit of both.
Of course, no plaza is complete without a chapel or cathedral…
The plaza was bustling with activity, live performances, and lots of people generally just enjoying themselves. The kids found a dirt playground to play in for a while, which mandated a quick rinsing of the feet in a public fountain. Have you ever done that? We’re guilty.
Ethan was not too keen on taking a photo, but I think these kinds of photos show life as it really is!
We found a little walking/shopping street, and admired some of the ceramic crafts specific to this area. Mainly—laughing/dancing dogs.
A jazz performer played on the street…and after recognizing that he actually had musical talent (which I admit I am finding quite rare in Mexico…many performers lack pitch and skill), we had to contribute to his case. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s important to recognize talent and people trying to earn a dime through working on a skill. Have you ever seen the social project about the professional violinist playing in a downtown subway? If not—you should watch this.
Colima impressed us. So much that Jared could not stop talking about the possibility of living there for the next two months! It has a little bit of everything—an old colonial centro, volcanoes and canyons for hiking, close proximity to the beach (30 minutes), modern businesses and an overall cleanliness and orderliness that we really like. Colima, Mexico is a gem, and may very well be a future top place for Americans to retire in Mexico—once it is discovered.