We got up last Sunday morning watched the morning news shows, made my usual big breakfast with a couple of bloody mary’s for good measure watched a little football, but as it was such a beautiful day we just couldn’t stay inside so we decided to load up Kona our lab and drive around to the other side of Lake Chapala to see what’s over there. This lake is large at over 50-60 miles long with mountains rimming it all around. The scenery is striking as you zip along, beautiful farmland on both sides of the highway with the ever present lake and mountains framing it all.
You pass through several small villages and everyone’s out on the sidewalks either eating or shopping for local foods or crafts and the smells are to die for and we just ate. Berries are in season so there countless stands set up along the road selling blueberries, black berries, raspberries and strawberries. You get a large plastic container about a quart for 15-20 pesos, man were they good. Some even made it home for having with our yogurt or cereal in the mornings.
As we were about at the halfway point we came to a sign for a Mazamitla turning right and heading up into the mountains towards the coast. This wasn’t our intended goal but we couldn’t resist checking it out.
It was 25 miles to this famous little town that has been given the status of a Pueblo Magico town, it has major historical significance. We had heard about it from reading some forums or new friends here. The drive was nice and we were climbing up the whole way to over 7,200 feet elevation by the time we got into the valley. The locals call it Mexico’s little Switzerland. It has a whole different feel to it from most towns. Clearly it gets cold at night as all of the cabins or casitas have wood burning fireplaces and you see bundles of wood for sale everywhere.
Big tall pine tree’s and sweeping views across the valley are impressive. Kona was eager to sniff out the new smells as I think it reminded him of being back in Oregon.
The town has quite a reputation for crafts and other locally produced items. We drove thru town and almost got caught up in 2 local parades not sure what they were celebrating but the police were blocking off streets so we keep going. We had noticed this restaurant driving up the hill into the village that looked like a Swiss Chalet with big outdoor decks overlooking the entire valley so we doubled back to have a beer and take in the local vibe.
It was a great place to take a break, they had a awesome green verde and red rojo sauce for dipping your tortilla’s chips in just how I like it lots of flavor but not burning your taste buds off in the process. I pit this stuff on almost everything I eat now especially my eggs or any chicken dish.
All in all a great afternoon drive and we will spend the day up there next time and possible a night or two. It has become a haven for those escaping the heat from the coastal or inland cities during the summer months.