Lakeside Serenity – Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Lake Chapala, about 25 miles south of Guadalajara, is the largest lake in Mexico and it really  is impressively sprawling. The lake is ringed by a number of towns including Ajijic, Chapala and Jocotepec. The Ajijic/Chapala area is home to one of the largest North American expat communities found anywhere in Mexico. Unlike other expat magnets in Mexico, like San Miguel de Allende, the Ajijic/Chapala area has also retained a booming Mexican population so the place doesn’t feel like “Canada South.”

Sunset on Lake Chapala from the Ajijic Malecon.

Sunset on Lake Chapala from the Ajijic Malecon.

Sunset on Lake Chapala from the Ajijic Malecon.

Sunset on Lake Chapala from the Ajijic Malecon.

 

Every year, thousands of American White Pelicans fly  south from central Canada to enjoy western Mexico’s warm winter. Much of the population annually winters on lake Chapala.

The American White Pelican winters on Lake Chapala, and particulary around the village of Petatan.

Flocks of American White Pelicans winter on Lake Chapala particularly around the village of Petatan.

The reason the pelicans congregate around Petatan is the fish processing plant located there. Every afternoon the waste from the factory is fed to the eagerly awaiting pelicans.

The reason the pelicans congregate around Petatan is that the fish processing plant there throws away the fish guts every afternoon, creating a feast for the birds.

A quiet town plaza makes the perfect siesta spot.

A quiet plaza makes the perfect siesta spot.

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Cinco de Mayo: Not So Big in Mexico

Mexico is a fiesta-happy country so we presumed Cinco de Mayo would warrant a big blowout celebration that would put the 2-for-1 margarita specials that “Mexican” food chains in the US trot out every May 5 to shame. Turns out, Cinco de Mayo is not so big in Mexico, with one big exception.

De-bunking Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is essentially a regional holiday celebrated in the city of Puebla to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over better equipped and much larger occupying French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

battle of puebla Cinco de Mayo

Battle of Puebla

Anywhere outside of Puebla, however, Cinco de Mayo is just something mentioned in history class.  Oh well, let’s have a cerveza anyway.

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Air Show Over the Lake – Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

A sunny day, a beautiful lake and an impressive display of aerial acrobatics. Oh, and cheap cold beer and good friends. Sign us up!

Sorry you couldn’t be there, but we hope you enjoy these photos of the Red Bull Air Team performing at the Lake Chapala Air Show. There’s even some video at the bottom of this post.

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And a few videos :

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