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Mexico Part 7: The Tide is out on Mexico’s Largest Lake.

Tide is out on the Lake

Next we visit the town of Chapala.  I’m informed this is little Canada because so many Canadians’ live here, usually because they retired here.  It is on the shore of Lake Chapala,  Mexico’s largest natural lake – 70 kilometres.

The bus stops on the edge of the lake.  Gloria let us know  that the bus will leave and we have an hour to walk about and then we must be on time or the police will be unhappy with the bus if it is lingering in the area.  I didn’t understand what she said but I understood the word ‘police’ so got the drift of what she said.

Adrianna and I decided to walk out to the island on which there is a large statue.  I live in Vancouver, Canada on the Pacific Ocean.  It looks to me like the tide is out because the water level is obviously low.  It does not smell like the ocean though.  Adrianna tells me the lake is  contaminated.  So sad, such a beautiful lake.  According to what I read – the lake it dying.

We walked along the shore and then through some of the stalls.  Most of the merchandise we saw was not made in Mexico so it didn’t interest me.  We spent some time in Saint Francis Church.  We go back to where the bus is to pick us up and then head of to Ajijic for lunch.

With  care and concern,


Mexico Part: 6 Yikes! We’ve missed our bus!

Gloria tour guide
I was relieved to find Adrianna who spoke English.  We chatted away as we wandered back to our bus.  We discovered we were on different buses.  Gloria came along and asked me if I wanted to go with Adrianna on her bus. (I think Gloria felt shy about her English.)  I am by nature and nurture a shy person and I automatically said ‘no’.  But I thought about not having Adrianna to translate and quickly changed my mind.  It turned out that Adrianna decided to join our group.  Great?  Gloria and I are both relieved.  Gloria sent Adrianna and I into the store to wait until the rest of the group showed up.  (I still didn’t buy anything.) We welcomed the shade and the store had a circle of comfortable chairs to relax in.
We re-engaged in our conversation, finding out we have many views in common.  A short while later, Suddenly I realize  the store has become very quiet.  I look around and see no customers, only staff.  Feeling a little panic, we go looking for Gloria.  We find her, but she cannot find the others.  There are 14 on the tour, and 10 are lost.  We wait on the bus while Gloria goes back into Fernandez’s ranch.  Adrianna translates for me that the couple with us are annoyed at the waste of time. I am too.  I was surprised Gloria didn’t realize she was missing most of her group when we left the ranch. I was a tour guide for 6 years on Blackcomb Mountain at Whistler and learned to always to count heads on my tours. When I traveled in Egypt, our tour was often with other tours. Our guide always made sure we could identify him and he kept track of us.    Given there was an incident the day before at Fernandez’s ranch,  I thought she might be more vigilant of the people on her tour so another incident didn’t happen.  But with so many tours arriving at once, I can see how it could happen and it wasn’t life or death..
Finally, Gloria comes back with the others.  Apparently, no one told them it was time to go, so they didn’t. We resumed our journey. The problem was solved.  Nobody is upset. Everyone is happy. The joking and laughter continues.  This is Mexico.
With care and concern,
Dr. Bea

Mexico Part 5: Through the large metal gates to Fernandez’s ranch


After more milling around and warnings not to take pictures of his house or go near it, the big gates open and we start down the beautiful cobbled stone road to his place.  The whole area is beautifully manicured and obviously well-maintain.  Good Canadian that I am, I stay clear of his home ( grab only one quick photo) and explore the walled- off (low wall) pool area.  There are two peacocks strolling around a wired off area with chicks inside it.  Can you see them in the photo?  I wonder why they are fenced off from mama peacock (to keep them all from wandering off?). Then I go into the stables.

I grew up on a farm so the barn is a familiar place for me.  Our barn housed cows and horses and was not kept nearly as well as these stables.  I noticed that the horses were tether so close to the walls that they could not move around the stall.  This puzzled me.  I have a deep concern for animals.  So I searched out Gloria and asked her about it.  It took a little bit for her to figure out what I was asking, but she got it.  She told me the horse are tethered like that when the stalls are being cleaned out. The horses are let loose in the stall once it’s cleaned.  My concern alleviated,  I wandered over to the paddock where cowboys ( is that the right terms these days? I have trouble keeping up.) are training horses for the rodeo. The paddock is covered, spacious and like the rest of the farm, very well-maintained.  Gloria informs me that the main function of the stables are for horse sales, training for rodeos and providing horses for movies.

We head back to the bus.  At the gates, before we leave, there is thanks paid to staff of the ranch for their help with the tour. Of course the hat is passed to invite tips.  It’s all in Spanish so I approach the woman who translated for me before and she translates again for me.  We introduce ourselves.  Her name is Adrianna.  she was born in Argentina and has been working for a large USA company for 37 years.

A friendship begins.

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea