Visiting one of Mexico’s Magic Towns

LOCATION: Housesitting in Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico

WEATHER: Sunny. High 90

Today was a special treat. Hal and Jerry, the landlords of the house where we are housesitting, graciously invited us on a road trip. We can get to most places by bus, but today’s destination was not one of them.

We are on the northwest side of Lake Chapala. The entire north side of the lake is quite developed, some areas more gringo-ized than others. The south side, however, is still farmland and little towns. Driscoll Raspberry Company and other big fruit industries fill the landscape.

We left the perimeter of the lake and went away from the lake, south, and up the mountain. Here at Lake Chapala we are at about 5000 feet; today we drove up to an alpine town at 7000+ feet. The geography really changed to forest and tree farms (avocados).

Our destination was Mazamitla, one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Magicos”. There are about 35 of these towns scattered across the country. They are towns that have distinct character, like unique architeture, art, cuisine, and overall ambience. Mexico is trying to show tourists that it offers more than just beaches for tourism. Towns have to meet certain standards (including not much modernization) to attain this status.

Mazamitla did not disappoint.

A lot of the buildings date back from the 1500s, and many have old adobe sticking out of their crumbling walls.

The white paint on top with the red on the bottom is a distinct feature here. Also, lots of wood beams…

The main plaza with its beautiful church is the heart of the old town.

We strolled down the streets, and found a nice restaurant in a courtyard for lunch

The old wooden doors have so much character….

Back down the mountain to the house and to Frida. We lounged by the pool and did some shopping.

Wednesday is Labor Day. It is a big deal. Firecrackers have been going off at all hours of the day, in preparation of the holiday, and church bells start up at 6:30 AM. Tomorrow George leaves for the US and we wanted to go out to eat. Almost everything was closed.. We finally found a pizza place “Pizza Come” (Eat Pizza) and picked up a pizza to go.

While we were waiting for the pizza, we hung out at this open-air bar with some nice young men.

DINNER: The pizza wasn’t too bad, especially after I doctored it up with sauteed mushrooms and onions, and sprinkled on some basil from a plant in the back yard.

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