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Maleman


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Hello All!

I'm a noobie  here..so be kind! grin

I have never been to the Lake Chapala area. But an old roommate of mine lives in Guadalajara and really advocates for the area.

I'm debating between Lake Chapala area and Barcelona, Spain (yeah, big difference I know). MUCH more expensive in Barcelona, many more people, etc. BUT, I have been in Barcelona and I LOVE THAT CITY! Old Town alone there could occupy my time 50% of the day!

I'm just asking a couple of basic questions: 1)About the LAKE itself. CAN you swim in it. I've seen so many messages posted all over the place on the internet that says the lake is HEAVILY polluted and you should NOT swim in the lake. That's a big bummer for me if true as I love to swim! I love the temperature there and yes, just gazing out on the lake and listening to the waves would be very soothing..but I still want to swim! Are there PUBLIC pools in the Lake Chapala area that are ez to get to?

SECOND question, if you had to choose between living in Chapala or Ajijic, WHICH one would you choose and why?

For the record, single 73 yo man in decent health (I have my probs, yes!) I've been saving like crazy and want to spend those savings wisely! Have about 6 figures to live on.

Thanks MUCH for your responses in advance!

 

The Maleman aka Doug!

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If you have health concerns it is always an advantage to have the option to drive back to the US in the event a flight is not doable.  The word pandemia comes to mind.  

Lots of fraccionamientos have beautiful large pools.  And aquas termales in San Juan  Cosala.

Aquas Termales

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The Lake is wonderful to look at, and good fishing. Swimming, more difficult. Like most of the mostly unheated swimming pools here, they are cold. The pools warm up for two or three months a year, but the Lake, at its warmest, gets to 72F. You can buy a tropical 3mm tropical wetsuit, which should make you comfortable down to 65\F. There are thermal hotsprings here, and " balineros" businesses create.

It depends. Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? This places closes down at 8:30 at night. No problem, if you have an at home companion to return to. You would be a small minority of single mature men here, you wouldn't remain single for long, especially if you know how to slow dance and are respectful to women.

I don't know. Every time I think I am a city mouse, I am always disappointed. Things novel and new, become stale very quickly. Growing a small garden, year round, makes the time  go bye way too fast.

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I don't know any expats who swim in the lake.  Some Mexicans do, mainly those visiting Chapala where there are beaches.  The water is pretty chilly much of the time, however.

If swimming is a major thing for you, as noted renting in a Fracc with a pool is a good option.

Chapala used to be considerably less expensive to live in than Ajijic and there are more shopping options.  We live in Ajijic because we found the type of home we wanted to buy and settle into there.  If I were renting, I'd check out Chapala first.  Bear in mind it is a pretty busy place and that brings noise with it.

Chapala is definitely more Mexican by a long shot than Ajijic.  We refer to ourselves as living in the "gringo ghetto." :D 

 

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You cannot swim in the lake but there are pools with many houses 

I am not sure why you would ask yourself if you would like to live in Barcelona or the Chapala area.. You have to know if you want to live in a city , that is in especially with the young professionals , that is historically very attractive, especially the center or in a retiree area. I worked for a Cataloñan family and visited  the area various times and live in Chapala.. would have live in Barcelona when I was younger  but no longer.. The area is very beautiful, it is a short drive to Sitges to go and swim in the Mediterranean,, so it has pluses especially  if you can afford to live nicely.

Personally I like the Mexican people way more than the Spaniards or Catalans who have a major chip on their shoulder about the Spaniards  and the rest of Spain and life there is very differnt from here where life is more laid back.

When you are over there it is quite a long trip to go back to the US when Guadaljara is much closer.

Since you tell us you have some money go and live here or there for 6 months or a year and then try the other place and decide what you want to do.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

I don't know any expats who swim in the lake.  Some Mexicans do, mainly those visiting Chapala where there are beaches.  The water is pretty chilly much of the time, however.

 

Wrong! You know me and when I was physically able,I swam in the lake even on Jan. 1 and the water was warmer than the air on that date.

 

pedro kertesz

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I am I lower SAT in front of the lake, and recently there has been a large thick green sheen on the water close to the shore here. I am sure from pollution from the industries on the rivers leading into the lake that gathers on the inlets close to the shore such as this. No way would I get into that water or advise others to do so!!!

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1 hour ago, happyjillin said:

Wrong! You know me and when I was physically able,I swam in the lake even on Jan. 1 and the water was warmer than the air on that date.

 

pedro kertesz

You are right, If memory serves, Cruz Roja Volunteers had the Polar Bear Plunge in Lake Chapala until the bottom of the lake was so nasty that walking was difficult and one participant fell and was slightly injured. 

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I'm 73 and live in the hills outside Chapala. It's very peaceful and I can get into Chapala in 8 minutes or Ajijic in 15. If traffic bugs you, and you are going to have a car, it is much better out of Ajijic. I generally only go into Ajijic in the evenings for dinner. Chapala has some good restaurants as well, with a few between the two.

If you are a golfer, as I am, then this area is truly a golfer's dream. There are several options as far as courses, pricing etc. It's year round golfing here.

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11 hours ago, bmh said:

You cannot swim in the lake but there are pools with many houses 

I am not sure why you would ask yourself if you would like to live in Barcelona or the Chapala area.. You have to know if you want to live in a city , that is in especially with the young professionals , that is historically very attractive, especially the center or in a retiree area. I worked for a Cataloñan family and visited  the area various times and live in Chapala.. would have live in Barcelona when I was younger  but no longer.. The area is very beautiful, it is a short drive to Sitges to go and swim in the Mediterranean,, so it has pluses especially  if you can afford to live nicely.

Personally I like the Mexican people way more than the Spaniards or Catalans who have a major chip on their shoulder about the Spaniards  and the rest of Spain and life there is very differnt from here where life is more laid back.

When you are over there it is quite a long trip to go back to the US when Guadaljara is much closer.

Since you tell us you have some money go and live here or there for 6 months or a year and then try the other place and decide what you want to do.

 

 

 

Another vote for the Mexicans.

I worked as a European flight attendant for 14 years ( so,.....I discovered some common traits about my fellow Europeans....not always, but often correct )......and in general, Mexicans ( where I have lived for + 20 years...in Mexico ) are a lot nicer, warmer AND happier than the Spaniards.

The Spaniards also tell me that "my Spanish" is not real Spanish.  It is "Mexican".  They almost consider it as a dialect !( That alone says enough )

 

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Recent testing shows that the lake is safe to swim in. However, that doesn't mean it would be pleasant.  The bottom is a mess where it's shallow.  I'd also recommend buying a place in one of the developments with a well tended, large swimming pool (with warmed water.)  However, I'd check first to be sure it isn't one where the recent deluge caused mud slides, making access impossible or very messy.  Most of them are going west on the road past Ajijic.

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Whenever I drive towards Mescala  and stop at a beach the water  is sooo much cleaner looking, IF I were to swim in the lake it would definitely be east of Chapala. But walking through the muck and mud...no thanks.  

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16 hours ago, mudgirl said:

That doesn't mean it was warm enough for most sane people to consider warm enough to swim in 🙂

And you claim to be a Canadian? Other than hot springs in Canada the lake is warmer than any place that Canadians happily swim in. I suggest that sanity starts when one speaks of what they actually know. A group of Canadians,Mexicans and US expats and some perros went into the lake annually for 20 minutes on January 1st a few times and raised about $200000p for Cruz Roja. I have been in pools here that weren't as warm as the lake.

i'm swimmin' a.jpg

swim t-shirt 019.jpg

swim t-shirt 015.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Ferret said:

Agree with gringal. The sediment on the lake bottom is very soft. Any movement of the water stirs it up and makes it look mucky. If I can't see my feet, I aint't goin' in.

If you choose to swim in Chapala or Ajijic,you can avoid the muck by using the stairs on the piers. Unfortunately the brought in beach sand that was put in the lake over the silt has not been maintained.

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7 hours ago, Rony said:

Another vote for the Mexicans.

I worked as a European flight attendant for 14 years ( so,.....I discovered some common traits about my fellow Europeans....not always, but often correct )......and in general, Mexicans ( where I have lived for + 20 years...in Mexico ) are a lot nicer, warmer AND happier than the Spaniards.

The Spaniards also tell me that "my Spanish" is not real Spanish.  It is "Mexican".  They almost consider it as a dialect !( That alone says enough )

 

With respect for your opinion Rony, but my experience of visiting and staying with friends in Spain, I would rank that country way ahead of Mexico in all aspects. It's infrastructure, culture and buildings, c!eaner, and the Audulusa region is to die for. Spain has wisely spent monies it received on infrastructure from joining the common market. It's beach's etc in the Costa Brava are excellent, some being "sploit" by over festation from Europe !!

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30 minutes ago, lakeside7 said:

With respect for your opinion Rony, but my experience of visiting and staying with friends in Spain, I would rank that country way ahead of Mexico in all aspects. It's infrastructure, culture and buildings, c!eaner, and the Audulusa region is to die for. Spain has wisely spent monies it received on infrastructure from joining the common market. It's beach's etc in the Costa Brava are excellent, some being "sploit" by over festation from Europe !!

Having family  in Spain.., we are Basques and have family in both country  and gonee back and forth since a child   and worked for the Torres family  in Villafranca near Barcelona I would never chose Spain over Mexico gor many reasons, the main one being tbe people.

ONE DAY i travelled with a Frenchman who was raised in Mexico and married to a Mexican we shared our views.. He wanted to go and live in Europe and chose Barcelona.  He hated the attitude there and their put down of Spain versus Cataloñ and many other things so he movedto Switzerland to raise his cildren. He was close to retirement and missed Mexico. HE ever felt at home in Switzerland and wanted to stay in Europe because of the grand kids. He chose Portugal.. But still was missing Mexicl.

Another man I know , an Englishman. Lived in Mexico and loved it

H e worked in Portugal for 20 years and has his retirement house there, near retirement he was offered a great job in Vancouver sl he went there for a few years and vould not wait to retire in Portugal. His first choice was Mexicl but Portugal was closer to his kids as well..  Never clnsidered Spain becausd he could not  stand the mentality...

i share their opinion, if I did not live in Mexico I would chose Portugal over Spain without any hesitation

I must say,  i also went to work in Portugal, in Oporto   and the people there are way nicer than the Spaniards.

 

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8 hours ago, Rony said:

Another vote for the Mexicans.

I worked as a European flight attendant for 14 years ( so,.....I discovered some common traits about my fellow Europeans....not always, but often correct )......and in general, Mexicans ( where I have lived for + 20 years...in Mexico ) are a lot nicer, warmer AND happier than the Spaniards.

The Spaniards also tell me that "my Spanish" is not real Spanish.  It is "Mexican".  They almost consider it as a dialect !( That alone says enough )

 

 

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1 hour ago, lakeside7 said:

With respect for your opinion Rony, but my experience of visiting and staying with friends in Spain, I would rank that country way ahead of Mexico in all aspects. It's infrastructure, culture and buildings, c!eaner, and the Audulusa region is to die for. Spain has wisely spent monies it received on infrastructure from joining the common market. It's beach's etc in the Costa Brava are excellent, some being "sploit" by over festation from Europe !!

¡Adios!

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4 hours ago, happyjillin said:

And you claim to be a Canadian? Other than hot springs in Canada the lake is warmer than any place that Canadians happily swim in

I was just razzin ya, jilllin. I've always hated cold weather and cold water and the only places I went swimming in Canada is in rivers or lakes in the height of the summer when the air was hot and water not freezing.

Friends used to have outdoor parties in Oct. and I'd be freezing apart from the side of me that was facing the bonfire. My standard line was "Only Canadians and Siberians would consider this outdoor party weather".

It's really the main reason I live in Mexico, and on the coast. What most NOBers consider to be sweltering hot, miserable, "you can't survive without AC" weather is just fine for me. 

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2 hours ago, bmh said:

Having family  in Spain.., we are Basques and have family in both country  and gonee back and forth since a child   and worked for the Torres family  in Villafranca near Barcelona I would never chose Spain over Mexico gor many reasons, the main one being tbe people.

ONE DAY i travelled with a Frenchman who was raised in Mexico and married to a Mexican we shared our views.. He wanted to go and live in Europe and chose Barcelona.  He hated the attitude there and their put down of Spain versus Cataloñ and many other things so he movedto Switzerland to raise his cildren. He was close to retirement and missed Mexico. HE ever felt at home in Switzerland and wanted to stay in Europe because of the grand kids. He chose Portugal.. But still was missing Mexicl.

Another man I know , an Englishman. Lived in Mexico and loved it

H e worked in Portugal for 20 years and has his retirement house there, near retirement he was offered a great job in Vancouver sl he went there for a few years and vould not wait to retire in Portugal. His first choice was Mexicl but Portugal was closer to his kids as well..  Never clnsidered Spain becausd he could not  stand the mentality...

i share their opinion, if I did not live in Mexico I would chose Portugal over Spain without any hesitation

I must say,  i also went to work in Portugal, in Oporto   and the people there are way nicer than the Spaniards.

 

Interesting and I respect your observations. However have you ever noticed how middle class Mexicans with European/Spanish looks, very much treasure their heritage, blue eyes verses brown etc over the Mexican " indian" features

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