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Carretera trivia ?


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Parts of the Guadalajara-Chapala "highway" may have been cobbled in 1910, but my understanding is that it was not until 1933 when the entire road was cobblestones. As Islander indicates, virtually all the road was paved by 1938. For an account of driving from Chapala to Ajijic in the mid-1940s, see http://lakechapalaartists.com/?p=5104 for a description by Ross Parmenter in 1946.

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My understanding is that the "Camino Real" in Ajijic just south of the carretera is the old "highway"--am I right?

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Yes, JayBearII, the "rerouting" of the Chapala-Ajijic-Joco road was (I think) completed in about 1952 or so, when the entire road was upgraded. That is also the time when rerouting chopped 6km off the Guadalajara-Chapala highway, establishing (ignoring minor recent modifications) its current route.

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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.

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I understand that even in 60's Chapala-Ajijic road was still a disaster  some called it  'Ho Chi Minh Trail' :o

 

 

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Thank you both for your great information, and just think, if I am correct, coincidently you are both from or near the same area up north, just north of me, on or near Vancouver Island

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Xill Fessenden has been featuring photos of old Ajijic in her exhibit surrounding the Ajijic plaza. This recent one is nice with old photos of parades and rodeos,but the first one was spectacular with photos of the original plaza with a common fountain where the gazebo is now and the carretera as a dirt road with a small sign with an arrow "Ajijic" toward the lake. There should be a permanent place for these significant photos of our area so we may enjoy them for many years. It has been fun to see Mexicans gathered before the exhibits pointing out to family and friends their relatives and landmarks, truly a positive  interactive artistic display. We hope Xill has more photos to share and thank her for her community activism.

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