Chapala is high up and boasts a huge lake. Makes for some spectacular sunsets and a temperate-ish climate. I can breathe ! I am not ( so much ) a puddle of ginger damp.
This micro-gringo friendly climate attracts a great number of retirees mainly from USA & Canada . There are a great number of folk of a certain age escaping weather and ever reducing attractions of home to be here.
There is also a great under current of good works happening here. The Shriners ( Masonic philanthropists ) are very well represented and are responsible for many acts of kindness both large and small. They are our friends here after Jayne & her brother were adopted during their motor bike trip. www.ultimateride.ca . Entire hospitals from here to Mexico City are built and funded. We are introduced to local children who have been sent to the best hospitals to regain their hearing. During dinner our waiter shows off his new teeth and administered free endless Margaritas. A hammock salesman we meet with a single tusk is next on the list. Local children met this morning in the square to be presented with two new buses to get them to school. The local water is polluted with industrial mercury causing significant renal failure. A new fully funded water treatment plant is opening soon. It’s never ending. Keeps everyone very busy and soul happy.
We are a lesser project but are being very well hosted. Three extraordinary couples have united to feed us , house us and connect us up. First great connection was to a local family who run an auto-shop. We plan to meet them soon.
We in fact meet another couple that met Jayne on her trip in 2013. There is much talk of motorbikes and permaculture and spoon carving lubricated with tequila and freezing cold beers. We leave while we are still able-ish and venture off to find a truck.
At the auto-shop our new Mexican friend and his wife from Chicago ( they have 7 kids) run the family business keeping local gringos on wheels. They have a odd dog that has been run over at least once and looks like its been washed and left out to dry a few too many times. We introduce ourselves at exactly the time said dog decides to chew through an extension cable and gets an impressive shock , leaps high , yelps loud and lands on Jayne. Oh how we laughed….
After some days & many miles , kicking tyres on some specially crap overpriced rust buckets and some jacked up off-road monster trucks we find her ! A Toyota T100 4×4 at a price we can deploy the Jayne to reduce to well within budget. Our new addition currently resides in the shop getting the full 5 star spa treatment ( and aircon) . Should be ready to drive “home” soon.
Another thing…. A stranger and more random thing has appeared. A friend of our friend drives it 2 hours to meet us.
Its what locals call a 4×4 Rug Rod . It’s a Cat front welded to a Blazer and wrapped in a Jeep body. It’s fully ridiculous. No hood. Open engine. It required new tyres, indicators, seat belts , roll cage and rear shocks. It’s beyond daft. So we buy it.
Happy Birthday Jayne… that’s that issue solved !
It’s going in the shop for a week or so before we come back to Chapala to collect it. We kinda forgot that we have three vehicles in Chapala now…. Oops ! We are rather content and considerably poorer.
Our newly arrived Rug Rod friend is dispatched to Guadalajara to work his magic in order for two gringos with no official status in Mexico yet become legal owners of two vehicles. We do not ask questions.
Our closing date for the land has moved back a few days due to legal apathy and a random National holiday ( for Jayne’s Birthday she is reminding everyone) …which works for us. Extra few days in pamper land before we hack our way back.
Tonight is a huge party night to celebrate Mexican Independence and the run up to Jayne’s birthday tomorrow. … this could get messy.