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Everything posted by Islander

  1. My experience with ordering from China is very positive. I do it often for many years. I pay a few pennies for insurance and always got my refund when things did not work well . They even credit me for my custom charges. I never order above $100 just in case and use my credit card. The only problem is that it usually takes long time to get it (it always arrives eventually) and most of the time they do not offer free delivery.....so shipping fee is added on and I have to decide if its still worth the price. I use my address in Canada. China has now several e-commerce websites and I think they will become very popular . Reviews are from all over the world ...mainly from Asia and Europe but more and more from Americas and Arabic countries. So far so good but if they will become unreliable (as everything popular has ) I will stop to order.
  2. We drove that stretch numerous times. It is pretty straight forward route. Just stay on 15D all the time . The only problem we ever had was with gas stations. We got cheated ones and the part between Mazatlan and Tepic does not have many places to fill up ....so stop every time you see a Pemex. Now we know where they are so we plan accordingly. But the first time it was a challenge. The northern part is OK for gas stations. Now with the libramiento around Guaymas and Mazatlan the drive can be done in 2 days if you can find good place to stay around Los Mochis. There are few choices. But most people like to do that in 3days. Stops at Mazatlan (for mini holiday) and Navojoa are popular. We found out we were in Navojoa too early in the afternoon to stop for night.(going south). Having a Green Angels number will not hurt. They do have a visible presence on that highway and so does Mexican Army. You will see many convoys on the highway in Sinaloa and there are few Army check points as well. We were mostly just waived through. Have enough pesos for toll booths. They are good spots to go to bathroom and buy a snack. It is customary to give a bathroom lady few pesos if there is one. We never felt any danger. Under normal circumstances you should be fine. Put on your favorite CD and have a good and safe trip.
  3. Definitely "Cassia Fistula Lluvia De Oro" also called " Golden shower tree". Not Primavera. That is a lovely picture of it, Angus.
  4. I lost my better camera in Ajijic and it was returned to me. I knew where I most likely left it and 2 lovely Mexican ladies kept it there for me. Since then I taped my e-mail address on it. There are still honest people around. So do you know approximate location where you lost it? Asking around businesses in approximate location and putting up posters might help. Good luck.
  5. Lexy, you mentioned that the landlord wanted to put this house for sale if you will not act quickly ? Sounds like a pressuring tactic and how about if he will anyway after you move in.......even if you pay him monthly until he finds a buyer....then you will have to move again. Just a thought. I am sure your "guts" will tell you what to do. Good luck .
  6. I also suggest Dr. H.Valenzuela. My Other Half used him with a great success. Answered our e-mails and phone calls timely. Even our Doctor up North was impressed with his report and procedure.
  7. The FOM article presented the Lakeside situation pretty accurately. I personally could live with all of that and agree with what Natasha said, except for one main issue. omitted. in the article. ....there is no Law enforcement and no functioning judicial system.(very corrupted) Therefore the petty crime is rampant and people almost have to barricade themselves in their homes to avoid it. So if you have any valuable possessions you want to keep do not move to Mexico. If your enjoyment is to sit on the plaza (or on the beach) and drink cheap beer with nothing else to lose then Mexico is pretty good place to live. Nothing wrong with that in an old age. We are not quite there yet. We used to love Lakeside but it has changed dramatically in the past few years. The biggest problem is the attitude and behavior of so many Northeners who are attracted to Lakeside by already build gringo infrastructure and lower cost of living. . One does not have to speak a word of English to do well here. Lots of doctors and service people are moving to Lakeside from Guadalajara (and from up north too) to get in the action. Good and bad. .Lots of "illegals" form US are coming down too and some picked up pretty bad habits . We encountered one Taxi driver from NYC who was the most unpleasant (rude) person we have ever met. Most Mexicans are very gracious and patient and just smile and roll their eyes when they meet with the 'temper tantrum' I do not believe that all the people who claim that they moved down for the culture . They moved down for many other reasons and found the culture delightful and embraced it. All the articles and promotions are describing the place as it was in the past (they are copied from one to another) . Even the descriptions on vebsites like VRBO sound like a broken record. So for the people who consider to move down for retirement .....come and live for a while and do not cut all the ties with your former life....you might love it or hate it. It may seem charming for a week or two holiday. If one speaks Spanish....there are much more options of living in Mexico without the 'Sun City" feeling.
  8. Sybille Bedford in her travel log wrote this about this first road: (published in 1953) “The trail, conservative in the rhythm of its vagaries, continued-small hole, big hole, boulder, ditch; small hole, big hole, boulder, chasm. In turns, we walked, we rode, we pushed, propped luggage, steadied shafts and helped the mule. We sat by the chasms in discouragement. After some time, pips appeared and baby donkeys, then a banana grove, and presently we reached a sub-tropical village (San Antonio). Women with children at their breasts peered at us from leaf huts“ After another hour, we came to another much larger village with proper mud houses and a market place. For 300 yards, potholes were agreeably replaced by cobblestones ".Ajijic!” proudly called out my driver. -------------------------------------------- I understand that even in 60's Chapala-Ajijic road was still a disaster some called it 'Ho Chi Minh Trail'
  9. A decent road between Chapala and Ajijic was built in mid 1980's (1984-85?) I believe until then Ajijic was sort of isolated. A road from Chapala to Guadalajara was cobbled around 1910 and was paved by 1937.
  10. This is my observation: Video promotions are great for people who want to come for a short visit or a holiday but there is another side of the story that does not show in videos. People come and like what they see but after a while few stay and many leave. The new enthusiasm fades. For many it is hard to transplant and thrive in a new soil even with all the sunshine. I doubt that present longer time foreign residents will be pleased about Lakeside becoming a tourist's playground. It will raise prices on about everything. It will create more conjunction, more fly by night operations, more petty crime even more noise and all the negatives of tourist places. That is not what this area was all about. Times are changing (sigh). New era, new mentality. Only time will tell how the area will evolve. What ever it will be the past charm will be gone. Although, a local business and the government will be happy. It will help the local economy. Now, how is that for starting a lively conversation?
  11. We did that on our flat carport roof last summer (up north). The material used in applying is asphalt with additives. It can be a fire hazard so a near fire extinguisher is a must. Torch will melt the layers of asphalt together and there is lot of videos on You tube to show best analogies and comparisons. So far so good on our roof ...in V. Island's rainy season.
  12. Oh Kimanjome, be very careful . Do not go in the dispute alone. Sure, go ahead but as a neighbourhood, not as an individual and be prepared for disappointment. Mexicans love big loud venues. One has to be careful not to buy a house close to one of the many "eventos"
  13. This is interesting. I did not know that you have to have same status when selling or buying a house. We are coming on visitors visa and although I know we can purchase a house as visitors I had no idea that when selling it the immigration status of both owners must be the same. People explaining here how to obtain the a "permanente" but do you need it? There are people married to Mexican nationals. How are they able to sell their house (in case that they have the joined title)? I am outdated on the subject...rules change rapidly and not all make sense.
  14. These "golf carts" would be a complete nightmare in the village of narrow cobblestone lanes. Bigger buses carry hundreds of Mexican people. What we need is to widen the main road or get an underground built going from Chapala to Joco. Otherwise, I have no problem to hop on the local bus with the other population . We also got a taxi driver we like and treat him well. He is always available when we need him. This is not a "northern" way but it is how it is done here and works well. I know...no need to comment.
  15. Strong indication that he is going to win. It will be interesting to watch what all that will do to a peso and foreign investments..
  16. Good point OP. We all have our reasons to be here or not. Here goes my rant and scattered thoughts: Ajijic is romanticized by reading webboards like this . Most people who come here now should thank the previous generation of ex-pats for developing an infrastructure for easy living in Mexico. There are lovely places around Mexico but you pretty well need to have some Spanish which 90 percent of newcomers do not have. Lakeside is popular because you can live here without learning a word of Spanish. There are some issues in every place and we have to pick our poisons. --- Most people in the past moved here for weather and adventure and less for economic reasons. When we first arrived(1999-2000winter), it was a true paradise (minus the bashura which existed and bothered me even then). There were no developments. The Birds of Paradise condos were just finished and I thought in that time that it was in the "boonies". San Antonio was completely bypassed as it would not exist and Riberas was the place where people with big hair lived .....and look at it now. The weekend crowds from Guadalajara were miniscule. Interestingly, I remember that the Superlake already existed even then. In that time "El Parque" (one of the first developments) was a big campground....or more likely a place where you can park your RV. Ajijic was a place for creative people where artist and writers enjoyed their place in the sun. We came to visit for 2 weeks as a side trip from Puerto Vallarta and I never wanted to leave. There was something magical in the air. Then came the 2004-2005 and within few years Ajijic population expanded dramatically. So did the real estate business and rapid development started .There were plenty of shady deals in those times. We were looking for a place to move full time as well . We came for winters and rented in many places as the area was starting to develop. However, we never bought a house and stopped looking around 2008. The make up and feel of the Lakeside started to change . I do not say that it was for the worst or better... We just did not identify with this new economic refugee tsunami and a petty crime increase as a result. I did not want to live behind high walls, barred windows and razor wires. (My apologies to owner of this site) We still come for winters but would not want to live in the place full time now. Our stays are shorter and shorter now and often in combination of stays along the coast. As for OP question.....I am glad we did not buy a house because we would probably be among the selling crowd. What a hassle it would have been. If you feel that its congested now , wait another few years. I have a feeling that next huge wave of gringo emigrants to the area just started . It could be good or very bad depends which side of the fence one stands. I understand Michael's post as we live in similar conditions up north...high taxes...etc. But I agree with Rick as well. I would not change our Island lifestyle for any other. I definitely do not identify with scary pictures of "North" some people here describe. The weather Lakeside is still great and to me the village of Ajijic is very charming . People that are leaving will be replaced with new and the life will go on. As for reading this (or any) web board , we all know that : "the grass is always greener on the other side " so rent, do not burn all the bridges behind you right away. Coming for few weeks exploration will not reveal the whole picture. All the best to all and thanks this site and its participants for paving the road for a future generation, who ever they are. It is a great tool now as it was then.
  17. In my opinion......everything in moderation is good for us. Mental health and disposition can be a big factor on longevity of our life. So couple glasses of wine (not bottles) ....why not?
  18. Ajijic is a charming little village .Government service should just .pick up the garbage regularly and do minor repairs on the roads . Thanks to Gringos its free of graffiti and the houses are in good repair and attractive. Very photogenic. Some of the vistas in the area are breathtaking. Sunsets from Malecon are second to none. The only problem I have is some of our Nobies attitude and arrogance .They can ruin my feeling towards the village, but for a short time visitor this should not be an issue. I hope the village gets the title It deserves it.
  19. They will charge what the market will bear. Prices here (and everywhere else) are based on what customers are willing to pay. Some people (especially new arrivals) will argue that prices are very reasonable. And they are lots of new NOBies coming so there is no pressure on keeping prices low. It is not only taxis but every other service which is catering to foreigners. Mexicans will not pay the same price we do.
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