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Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

Ajijic, A Town of Murals in Mexico



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Ajijic, A Town of Murals in Mexico

wall mural, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

As Bob and I toured the small town of Ajijic, Mexico, also known for its heavy contingent of resident Canadians, we soon discovered why it is referred to as a Town of Murals.

hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

After landing at Hacienda del Lago Boutique Hotel in Ajijic, we had every intention of doing some birding along the shore of Lake Chapala.  Bob and I were on the last leg of our trip, a cross-country drive from San Blas on the Pacific Coast of Mexico to its capital, Mexico City.

hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Allowing a stop for one night in Ajijic divided the drive into 2 segments.  The sumptuous and well-appointed accommodations at our hotel had us deciding to lounge on our private patio throughout the lazy afternoon.

jean on the malecon, promenade, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Before dinner, Bob and I sauntered down to the lake where we discovered a fabulous malecon, a raised stone esplanade, that stretched in front of the upscale haciendas and restaurants.  It was abuzz with people and children playing, picnicking, skateboarding and strolling.

bob on exercise equipment, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Young kids were not the only ones taking advantage of the exercise equipment in the adjacent park.

jean in lakeside park, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Bob and I had a blast attempting to use some of the apparatus.

jean in a lakeside park, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

It was a good way to work up an appetite because it wasn’t as easy as it looks.

graffiti along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

As Bob and I took in the sights, we were really impressed by the extensive array of street murals decorating many of the buildings and businesses along the promenade.

street mural along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

The murals in Ajijic are used to beautify otherwise plain facades, but they serve a dual purpose.

street art along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Exposing residents and visitors alike to such vibrant and culturally significant works gives everyone the chance to appreciate the paintings by talented local artists without stepping inside a gallery.

In fact, many professional artists have provided their expertise to render a variety of works from mosaic tiles, wall murals and graffiti murals along the Ajijic Malecon.

street mural along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Some of the murals tell stories about the political or cultural aspects of the community using unusual “canvases” such as lamp posts, doors and even sidewalks on which to create their masterpieces.

We found some interesting paintings in the oddest of places but they helped turn the mundane into extraordinary.

street art along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

It was the efforts of one Neill James who, in 1954, organized Lake Chapala Society’s Children’s Art Program.  That gave rise to Ajijic as an art centre.

street art along the malecon, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Many local artists went on to become famous, several of whom were Neill’s original students.  Their art adorns buildings both in Ajijic and communities throughout the surrounding area.

storm clouds gather over lake chapala, ajijic, mexico

As Bob and I moseyed along the lakeshore, a threatening storm front moved in boding another afternoon downpour.

sunset over lake chapala, mexico

All pleasure seekers were holding tight in hopes that they could continue to enjoy the dying hours of the day by the water.

storm clouds at sunset, lake chapala, mexico

We were fortunate that little rain fell, and the clouds gave way to a wonderful, dramatic sunset.

storm clouds at sunset, lake chapala, mexico

As the clouds shifted and moved off, remarkable views of Lake Chapala were afforded.  Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake.  It is a shallow lake with depths ranging from 23-34 feet.

horseback rider at sunset, lake chapala, mexico

Just before we returned to our lodgings, a lone horseback rider cantered down the thin stretch of sand, dust carried on the onshore breeze.  His trusty canine pal led the way.

hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Back at Hacienda del Lago Boutique Hotel, a warm and friendly atmosphere enveloped us.

chef and kitchen staff, hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

The cheerful chefs and kitchen staff allowed us a sneak peak into their culinary world, tempting us with descriptions of dishes on the evening’s menu.

hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Later, we descended from our room in the 3-storey turret to dine on authentic Mexican cuisine in the cozy dining room of our hotel.

hacienda del lago boutique hotel, ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

The floral scent of roses wafted through the air in the flower-festooned courtyard, while glowing orbs of golden light reflected from wet patio stones created a romantic atmosphere and made it quite magical.

sunrise over ajijic, lake chapala, mexico

Roosters cockadoodling in an adjacent “farmyard”, really a tiny, cramped dooryard filled with pens and cages, rousted us from our sleep at an early hour the next morning.  All was silent in our hotel establishment, but we had the benefit of seeing a glorious pink sunrise.  We were off to another good start!

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