Saturday, October 3, 2009

Search for a New Home in Mexico

In the summer of 2008 we left our floating home for the past eight years in a safe hurricane cradle in Florida and headed to Ajijic, Mexico. While cruising on our 40' sailboat "Pipe Dream" along the coast lines of Mexico and Central America, we got intimately familiar with the interior of those countries by taking "chicken busses" to many destinations.

When we decided to give up cruising, our choice of a new place to live fell on Mexico. In the summer of 2006 we bought a small car "The Rocket" and drove all over Mexico searching out interesting places for our new home.

We started in Phoenix, crossed the border at El Paso, and headed south toward Chihuahua. This photo was taken at the cable car station above Zacatecas.

Zacatecas was one of  the most impressive colonial cities we had visited but it was too cold in the winter and too difficult to get to from outside Mexico.

Guanajuato - oh so romantic - but again, too remote.

Another lovely view of Guanajuato.

We had high hopes for San Miguel de Allende but where so disillusioned by the snobbishness of the expats that we fled the next day without taking any pictures.

Xalapa - Up in the pines with an awe inspiring view of Popocatepetl - university town with an incredibly well laid-out anthropology museum. Again, too remote and difficult to get to. After all, we were hoping to find a place where our kids could easily visit us.

Colorful, vibrant, clean Xalapa in the state of Veracruz.

Veracruz - smelly, dirty, way too hot and humid.

On we went to Oaxaca - fascinating - but again, too remote and too political.

Oaxaca Graffiti

We headed west again through the gorgeous countryside of Michoacan to the sophisticated city of Morelia. We were impressed. This was definitely a possibility and it had an airport with flights to the US without having to go through Mexico City.

Morelia's aqueduct that until  not so long ago brought fresh mountain water to its citizens.

We left Morelia and drove on to Patzcuaro, the ancient capital of Michoacan. Lovely town with narrow cobblestone streets close to all the interesting little villages surrounding Lake Patzcuaro. We really injoyed our stay there but because of its high altitude it gets chilly at night - even in the summer.

Hot coffee under the arches in Patzcuaro waiting for the sun to warm the chilly morning.

The avocado growing center of Uruapan with its tropical lush water park.

Time to visit the Pacific Coast at Barra de Navidad - although we had no intention of settling there. We spent a lot of time cruising the tropical coasts of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean - beautiful, but far too hot and humid during the summer months.

On the way back to the US we visited some of our favorite boating stops at Tenacatita Bay, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Our intended visit to La Paz on the Baja Peninsula was hampered by hurricane John and we drove back to Phoenix on the mainland through Sinaloa and Sonora. We couldn't decide on any particular place where we wanted to live in Mexico, so we returned to our sailboat "Pipe Dream" and sailed to the Bahamas.

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