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Lunch with the Volcano

This is the view of the Volcan de Colima from the deck of Jacal de San Antonio, a fantastic restaurant full of outdoor decks and amazing views to the volcano and towards the ocean too...

This is the view of the Volcan de Colima from the deck of Jacal de San Antonio, a fantastic restaurant full of outdoor decks and amazing views to the volcano and towards the ocean too…

After three wonderful days in Ciudad Guzman, we went further south to visit Alejandra and her kids in Colima. It’s a drop from the valley where Guzman is to Colima, and the weather is much warmer as we approached the long descent to the Pacific Ocean. Spectacularly, the Volcán de Colima was very clear and very active while we were there. The big fumarola we’d seen in the sky in Ciudad Guzman was just one of many regular emissions pumping out of the depths of the earth through the top of this gorgeous volcano. The volcano is clearly visible from Colima (when it’s not shrouded in clouds or fog) so we were delighted with the ever-changing light and the burbling lava flows and steam/ash clouds. It was hard to pay attention to much of anything else some of the time!

Ale has opened a new pastry shop with her friend Isa, and we spent an afternoon helping them test some Rosca de Reyes recipes, and generally put ourselves at their disposal as kitchen helpers. It was fun!

We only put the decorations on it, but we did our best to be helpful!

We only put the decorations on it, but we did our best to be helpful!

We drove north out of Colima past these modern housing projects, but with our thoughts on the volcano looming in the distance.

We drove north out of Colima past these modern housing projects, but with our thoughts on the volcano looming in the distance.

I am going to put a couple of satellite shots here, so you can see clearly where this is. The first is closer, with the Volcano, and the Nevado de Colima just north of it (the dormant volcano we visited from Ciudad Guzman). You can also see the valley in which C. Guzman sits, the Laguna de Zapotlan, and the relationship of the city of Colima (at southern edge) to the nearby pueblo of Comala (some shots from there coming).

At the north is Sayula where we went for dinner and to buy knives. You can see the national park around the Nevado de Colima, and then the active volcano just south of there... further south is Comala, and then Colima.

At the north is Sayula where we went for dinner and to buy knives. You can see the national park around the Nevado de Colima, and then the active volcano just south of there… further south is Comala, and then Colima.

On this shot you can see how Ciudad Guzman sits right between the port at Manzanillo and the big city of Guadalajara, dooming it perhaps to a kind of development path that it would do well to avoid.

On this shot you can see how Ciudad Guzman sits right between the port at Manzanillo and the big city of Guadalajara, dooming it perhaps to a kind of development path that it would do well to avoid.

On the road to lunch, the volcano came to life for us.

On the road to lunch, the volcano came to life for us.

Ale took us for lunch to this amazing outdoor restaurant, Jacal de San Antonio, a short distance north of Comala, about 30 km closer to the volcano than Colima. The last time she went it was very rustic, wooden decks and not at all modern. But like many things in this world, money had moved in and really upscaled the place. It is now a fancy restaurant with a series of decks and observation spots, stretched across several precarious ridges with steep drops into canyons on several sides. It’s like a Swiss chalet now! But the food was great and we had the deck to ourselves on a Tuesday afternoon. We got help from the waiters to move the umbrellas and create an unobstructed view of the volcano for us during our lunch. With the three of us around the table, the fourth side was reserved for the volcano… just like having lunch with it!

What a spot!

What a spot!

I moved her for the photo, but the rest of the time we ogled the view while enjoying a great meal.

I moved here for the photo, but the rest of the time we ogled the view while enjoying a great meal.

had to adjust these umbrellas to open up the vista.

had to adjust these umbrellas to open up the vista.

from the side, you can see how lush the surrounding forest is here.

from the side, you can see how lush the surrounding forest is here.

and now for a bunch of volcano views, as the afternoon went along...

and now for a bunch of volcano views, as the afternoon went along…

72_volcano-from-deck-at-Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-3-2015-1010751

72_volcano-w-lava-flow_Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-3-2015-1010765

72_Volcano_Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-3-2015-1010791

72_volcano-panoramic_Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-3-2015-1010777

72_Volcano-with-shadows-creeping-up_Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-6-2015-1010797

 

from one of the other decks.

from one of the other decks.

We were done with our leisurely lunch, we had taken a zillion photos, the light had begun to fall, and we were going to leave. But wait, let’s go over to this other deck and take one last photo.

Adriana and I had our backs to the volcano and Ale was taking our picture when she suddenly exclaimed, "Look! Look!"

Adriana and I had our backs to the volcano and Ale was taking our picture when she suddenly exclaimed, “Look! Look!”

A good-sized fumarola started rolling up out of the mountain and we heard the deep "pop" of the explosion.

A good-sized fumarola started rolling up out of the mountain and we heard the deep “pop” of the explosion.

We took as many photos as we could!

We took as many photos as we could!

72_adri-with-fumarola-beginning_Jacal-de-San-Antonio-January-6-2015-1010830

While all this excitement was going on at the volcano, there was this gorgeous sunset going on to the south over the ocean.

While all this excitement was going on at the volcano, there was this gorgeous sunset going on to the south over the ocean.

Lovely grounds.

Lovely grounds.

Happy volcano lover!

Happy volcano lover!

These Parota trees are endemic to the area and enjoy special protection. Here along the road to Comala there is also a lovely bike-and-pedestrian path which we walked the next day.

These Parota trees are endemic to the area and enjoy special protection. Here along the road to Comala there is also a lovely bike-and-pedestrian path which we walked the next day.

On our 5 km walk to Comala.

On our 5 km walk to Comala.

City Hall in Comala on its Zocalo.

City Hall in Comala on its Zocalo.

The volcano looms large not so far away!

The volcano looms large not so far away!

One more sunset shot from the day before!

One more sunset shot from the day before!

The last travelogue piece next: Tequila!

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