This is basically a brief travelogue, based on our holiday trip to visit Adriana’s family in Guadalajara. After New Year’s we went to visit one sister in Ciudad Guzman, and another in Colima. Today’s photo essay is from Ciudad Guzman, which I’d only heard bad things about before we went. People in both Guadalajara and Colima tend to speak very disparagingly about C. Guzman, making it sound like some kind of hellhole. But let me say for the record, quoting my sister-in-law Celia: Guzman rocks!
We enjoyed this amazing sunset over the Nevado de Colima, which you can see pretty clearly here is a long dormant volcano, last explosion 220,000 years ago. In the foreground buses at the local station, and a tiny circus tent.
We stayed with Celia and Andres at their Hotel Fuerte Real, a brand new, spotlessly maintained place a short distance from the historic train station. They will soon be building their new home in a nearby neighborhood, but for now they’re living in the hotel too. We were very comfortable there. On our second morning as we strolled across the parking lot to have breakfast we looked at the sky and saw a very weird cloud. I wish I’d taken a photo, but it was dense, dark gray, shaped like a christmas tree on its side, and we just shrugged it off as an anomaly (even though one of the hotel’s maids was standing and staring at it too). After breakfast we went back to the room and were covered in light ash falling, almost like a snowfall. The cloud had been belched out by the Volcán de Colima, a very active volcano which I will post photos of in the next entry.
Celia gave us a great tour on our arrival, first taking us to see the Laguna de Zapotlan, an impressively large freshwater lake that fills a corner of the sprawling agricultural valley. One of our strongest feelings after visiting was a sense of urgency that some good urban planners and motivated eco-activists would band together to make intelligent greenbelts and delimit the urbanization process before it overruns this beautiful valley.
This is a causeway built to accommodate rowing events on the Laguna de Zapotlan in the recently held Panamerican Games.
It’s a gorgeous lake, with lots of bird life too.
Not far off the edge of the lake are some of the hothouses that are replacing the traditional corn-and-cattle economy with a berry and avocado export agriculture.