January 19 to January 25, 2009
January 19, 2009 - Parked at Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico
Roca Azul RV Park
The closing of the PAL RV Park in Ajijic a few years ago was the end of an era. Folks who had been bringing their RVs to the Lake Chapala area for years packed it up and went home. Many gave up on Mexico altogether.
They may have jumped the gun. Just a few miles farther west, near the west end of Lake Chapala and just south of Jocotepec, there's a new destination RV park. And it's more than a replacement for the PAL park, in many ways it's an improvement.
The park is on the shore of Lake Chapala. The lake is doing great, the water is back to the perfect level after several years of low water. While there's no beach here, there is a rock pier and a lighthouse. The PAL park never had one of those! RVer residents use the area for frequent evening campfires.
There are about 50 full-hookup sites here with 30-amp power. If the business grows there's more than enough room for 50 more. Since the park is on the grounds of an established private sports club there are some unusual ammenities including a thermal-water swimming pool and a tennis court. The manager speaks perfect English and residents say he's doing a great job. He knows the area and can point the way toward a solution to any of their needs. That's in addition to hosting special events and even leading some tours.
Did I mention that there are excellent monthy rates?
For more information you can check Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping, Third Editon, page 224; our updates here; and their website:
January 20, 2009, Lake Chapala, Jalisco, México
As I mentioned above the lake level in Chapala is as near to perfect as we've ever seen it. For the last ten years or so it's been down, way down. Farmers were planting crops on the newly created flats and Ajijic even had a soccer field out there.
No one is quite certain why the lake is filling again. Probably it's due to increased winter rainfall over the last six years. However, those who blamed the falling water levels on unscrupulous politicians are trying to figure out what those same policians are up to now. No doubt the rising lake levels will somehow make the policians rich, but it's a situation the rest of us can enjoy now.
At Chapala there's now a sandy beach. From the pier the lanchas are taking people out to see Scorpion Island. This island is sacred to the local Huichol Indians. Residents tell us that an even better lancha trip is the one out to Isla Mezcala. At one time the island was used by Mexican independence forces to successfully fight off Spanish troops. The ruins of a fort are one of the attractions on the island.
January 23, 2009, Tequila, Jalisco, México
We've visited Tequila many times before, but we've never found it quite as ready for visitors as it is now.
Tequila is one of the new Pueblos Magicos. Under this government program special towns are selected for development as tourist destinations. Tequila has spiffed up the center of town to the point that the area is downright eye candy. Probably the most impressive offering is the Jose Cuervo visitor and events center, a destination similar to the Heinekin Experience in Amsterdam or the Guiness Storehouse in Dublin. It's known as Mundo Cuervo, here's the website: