I didn’t waste a lot of time getting out of Chacala this morning. I did make a stop at the rudimentary bath house for an ice cold shower to kick start my day. I wove my way through the potholes of Chacala and made a stop at the Pemex in Las Varas to toss in some gasoline. The skinny road that is highway 200 was extra busy on a Saturday. You find yourself on the wheel of the slowest vehicle with little opportunity to pass unless your an uber macho Guadalajaran with a death wish. There was some construction going on promising an additional lane in the future, but for now it only served to slow everybody down and lengthen the soul train of cars following the Mack truck that was setting the pace. Things really slowed passing through La Penita but when we neared Guayabitos there was a brief section of two lane road and the peloton of stacked up vehicles went nuts trying to get ahead before it merged back into one lane.
Traffic in La Penita
Traffic in Lo de Marcos
It was a short drive today, less than 40 miles. I was soon at the turn into Lo de Marcos and took the first left in town even though it has a one way arrow going the other way. I know that Calle Zapata is smooth asphalt compared to the frame rattling cobblestones of the main road into town. I parked outside El Pequeno Paraiso and got abrazos and a warm welcome from Nancy and Miguel. They had a single RV spot left. Pretty tight to it’s the neighbors but I like the vibe here so I decided to squeeze myself in.
I had a bunch of neighbors step out to try to be helpful telling me how to back in. It took a few zigs and zags then someone was saying go back, back until I tapped the RV behind. The guy came out looking angry but couldn’t find any damage. It was bikes on racks vs. his ladder, no harm, no foul. He seemed disappointed and went back inside. I got set up then jumped in the ocean for a paddle out around the point to the private beach to the south. On the way back, I caught a small wave and rode it into the beach.
There are quite a number of French Canadians this time around. Seems some are getting bold enough to migrate down from Tlaquepaque on the north side where they have been holding court for the past several years. Cali came around the corner and I heard Pierre calling me. “Mike, Mike come and get your dog!” He had a cat on a leash and Cali was giving it a growl. I grabbed her as the neighbors beside me tried to tell me what the rules were. Just then, their friends came around the corner with their two dogs running loose kind of negating their enforcement of Paraiso’s lax leash laws. At first, I started to get a little attitude, but the guy’s just worried about his pet. Who am I to judge a wild man who would travel to Mexico with a cat.
I did a bike ride into town just to have a little look around. The little wetland across from Caracol was filled with water and water fowl. I stopped for a moment to admire the serene view. They’ve added a few benches and cleaned the area up. The spoonbill was extra cool looking with his little entourage of ducks.
The town has grown. Some restaurants and businesses have folded and others have stepped in to take their place. There are three new restaurants on the main road that are much fancier than anything else in town. They had quite a crowd catering to the gringo who is afraid of a taco shop and wants a more sanitized Mexico experience. A few more coffee shops and bakeries dotted the town along with a few massage places. I pedaled on home and took it easy.