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esperanza

Apr 18, 2007, 5:55 AM

Post #26 of 37 (6564 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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Last night my wife came down from our hot bedroom and informed me that we are either going to get air conditioning or travel for a lot of May. Since air conditioning is only needed for about six weeks of the year and I love to travel, I quickly chose the travel option.

I'm considering a couple of days in the Patzcuaro area, followed by one or two days in Cuernavaca, and then Oaxaca for a week or more, making day trips from there.

I'm looking for inexpensive accommodations. I was shocked by the prices on Travelocity for Cuernavaca and am hoping for better suggestions. We prefer accommodations that are clean, attractive, and located on or near a central plaza, though for a week in Oaxaca and economy are willing to give up the central plaza part.

We enjoy either hotel or B&B accommodations and would like to travel with our dog if possible - and perhaps will be accompanied by another couple for all or part of the trip.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I think you'll find that during May it's as hot nearly everywhere in Mexico as it is at Lake Chapala. Even at higher altitudes such as Pátzcuaro and Oaxaca--and Cuernavaca--it can be warmer for just a few weeks than you'd both like.

Might be a good time to go to California instead.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Papirex


Apr 18, 2007, 9:29 AM

Post #27 of 37 (6543 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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Dick, if you visit Cuernavaca you might want to check this B&B out.
http://www.rx-villa.com/index.htm
I have never stayed there, but it looks nice. Their website says they speak French, English, Spanish, and Canadian Smile It is located in the Fraccionamiento of Rancho Cortes, which is in my opinion the nicest neighborhood in Cuernavaca. It is in the northern part of the city, and it is cooler there. It is warm, but never hot in Cuernavaca in May.

The rooms are not cheap, but they seem reasonable for such a nice place. Their website advertises a room for one at $50 USD, and a room for two at $70USD. Other B&Bs that I have checked out online here seem to be a little pricey for what they offer, at $100 to$120 USD per day. This site says they do not accept credit cards.

I have no other recommendations for a reasonably priced place to stay here. We only stayed in a hotel here for one night when we were moving here several years ago. The place was OK, but the service was terrible. We finally got tired of waiting for our dinner to be served; I think they were out on the street trying to hire a cook. We paid for our drinks and then went across the street to The Cuernavaca Mall, and ate at the Sanborns there.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Apr 18, 2007, 11:21 AM)


Bubba

Apr 18, 2007, 11:22 AM

Post #28 of 37 (6521 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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Last night my wife came down from our hot bedroom and informed me that we are either going to get air conditioning or travel for a lot of May. Since air conditioning is only needed for about six weeks of the year and I love to travel, I quickly chose the travel option.

I'm considering a couple of days in the Patzcuaro area, followed by one or two days in Cuernavaca, and then Oaxaca for a week or more, making day trips from there.


I knew it! My wife and I have always loved Ajijic during the April/May "hot" season since we are down by the lake with lots of tree cover so the weather is supurb during the hottest time of the year. No matter how hot it gets in Ajijic, a simple ceiling fan is all that is needed to sleep in total cool comfort. Now, on the other hand, that means our winters are much colder than the winters for those up on the hill so we have lots of gas heat for those chilly damp days. We had always speculated that those hillside homes must get brutally hot during the spring but now Dlyman confirms our suspicions.

You don´t need to travel, Dick, just move a few blocks down the hill to the shady lake side area and your rented home will be cool as a cucumber.

However, you seem to be determined to travel so you might want to seek out a place that is at or over 7,000 feet such as Toluca, DF, Pachuca or Zacatecas. I personally. would opt for splendid Oaxaca but stay in an air conditioned hotel room as it can get pretty hot there in the spring as well. I would recommend a couple of great places near the zocalo in Oaxaca but if you are looking for something cheap I can´t help you there. If you want to spend between $60 and $100USD a night, PM me and I´ll get back to you. We were in San Cristóbal last May and, at 7,000 feet. it was refreshingly cool and pleasant but that is also when the rainy season starts there so look for afternoon downpours starting at between 2:00PM and 4:00PM

Maybe you should rent a room on a monthly basis in a cooler colonia of Mexico City - perhaps with a/c. You can do that on the internet. The luxury bus there is cheap and you don´t need a car to get around. Great restaurants and cultural events all within easy reach by subway or taxi. Man, if I weren´t already on my way to San Cristóbal I think I´d do that myself.

I didn´t think any homeowners needed a/c at Lake Chapala. You learn something new every day.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Apr 18, 2007, 11:27 AM)


Bloviator

Apr 18, 2007, 12:27 PM

Post #29 of 37 (6507 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Southern Mexico

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You're probably right about not needing air conditioning Lakeside, but I do remember it being very hot all night the last two Mays - replete with smoke and dust all day and sharing my bed with mosquitoes all night.

When I went to bed last night, it was already cooled off, so my wife was being somewhat premature and possibly a little alarmist. But, since I love to travel, I won't argue with her about getting away during May.

Evidently, my idea that it will be cool in Patzcuaro, Cuernavaca, and Oaxaca in May is misguided. I hope that they will at least be a little cooler at night than it is here.

I suspect that you are also right about it being cooler by the lake than it is up the hill. However, there is a trade off for everything. I love sitting on our terrazza in the evening watching the sun go down and the lights come on across the lake - and of course, now that Spring is here, the rainbirds whirring.

I've heard them tuning up for the past two nights. Does that mean that the rainy season is six weeks away or is it nine weeks? Six sounds good to me.


Bubba

Apr 18, 2007, 5:45 PM

Post #30 of 37 (6475 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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now that Spring is here, the rainbirds whirring.

That´s interesting. Here by the lake we have had no rainbirds at all and I´m just down the hill from you.

I swear that this April is much cooler than last April at Lake Chapala.

In the interest of full disclosure, Oaxaca is at 1,545 meters or 5,069 feet while Chapala is at 1,520 meters or 4,987 feet. No real difference. However, that Oaxaca is one splendid town worthy of an extended visit and within a few kilometers of the city you can drive to eco-tourist cabins run by indigenous tribes that are up above 8,000 feet and chilly all the time but with beautiful pine forests and good trout restaurants. The roads are very good for the most part and the drive spectacular.

Hands down more fun that Pátzcuaro (IMHO) but don´t tell Esperanza I said that.


Bloviator

Apr 19, 2007, 5:25 AM

Post #31 of 37 (6449 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Southern Mexico

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As I mentioned, I have heard only two rainbirds so far, one each two and three nights ago. I've been listening carefully. It seems to me also that they are later than the last couple of years.

My ignorance is absolute. I thought that Oaxaca was about 7K feet above sea level. Obviously, since it is further south than Ajijic, it is not a good choice to find cooler weather. I doubt the 80 or so feet difference will make a profound difference. So, I will start to look at other possibilities for my main destination.


Bubba

Apr 19, 2007, 11:27 AM

Post #32 of 37 (6425 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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Dlyman:

Good idea. Bubba has spent quite a bit of time in Oaxaca and it is very hot much of the time. It can also be polluted with anarchic traffic and incessant loud traffic noise. The city buses are driven dangerously and lawlessly with impunity and if one of them runs over you that´s it. No recourse. The city newspapers, upon my last visit, reported that, despite many accidents and deaths caused by reckless bus drivers, not one bus driver in 2006 was punished or lost his job as a result. Not one. Local authorities are scared to death of the bus driver´s union. The city outside of the historic center is ratty and often butt ugly. Depressing slums surround the city in most directions. The economy is notoriousy inequitable and infrastructural services are geared to the rich and tourists in a town with a huge impoverished population and serious water shortages among other infrastuctural problems.

The city seems to attract expats who are often space cadets who write effusively about a town they fail to comprehend and who studiously avoid the zocalo like the plague lest they be seen there by other space cadets or, alternatively, phonies sitting around the zocalo swilling overpriced beer in their presumed intrepid explorer hats and clothing from LL Bean, so rule one when visiting this town is to avoid 90% of the expats who move there. OK, 75%.

That having been said, the architecture can be splendid and it is a great walker´s town if you can tolerate the traffic noise and exhaust fumes and avoid the out-of-control public buses. The restaurants are almost universally mediocre to really bad. Íf driving in Mexico City is purgatory then driving in Oaxaca is hell. If I´m not driving I like the place but then I´m insane.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Apr 19, 2007, 11:36 AM)


Camille

Apr 19, 2007, 6:21 PM

Post #33 of 37 (6384 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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I spent a week in Patzcuaro last mid-May. We wore sleeveless shirts in the daytime, and it was warm, but not hot. Every night we had a fire in the fireplace and enjoyed a couple of spectacular downpours.
If I were going back, I'd book room #15 at Meson de San Antonio for $50US, start planning some serious meals at Restaurant ChaChaCha, and thinking about the pottery in Capula.... maybe another platter for the collection?
I enjoy Patzcuaro lots more than Bubba! As Mike says, "Cada loca con su tema."


Bubba

Apr 19, 2007, 8:19 PM

Post #34 of 37 (6361 views)

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Re: [Camille] On Southern Mexico

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I enjoy Patzcuaro lots more than Bubba!

Actually, Camille, I like Pátzcuaro very much and think it is a very charming place to visit. The lake and countryside around there are beautiful. The indigenous culture is fascinating. I also have grown to like Uruapan down the road which at 5,361 feet has what I consider to be a much nicer climate than Pátzcuara which is at 7,133 feet - almost 2,000 feet higher and way colder. I especially like the area in Uruapan around the Parque Nacional Eduardo Ruiz on the Rio Capatitzio. There is a great hotel there which I think is called the Mansión de Capatitzio or something like that.

The last time we were in this area which we have made a point of visiting annually at least once, we also visited Santa Clara de Cobre to buy a copper sink for our Chiapas house. I really like that town and if you like artisanal copper works, it´s a hell of a treat to just walk around there.

There, of course, is a difference between visiting and living in a place and, despite the town´s beauty, Pátzcuaro is not my cup of tea as a place to settle. The traffic is terrible, most restaurants are not to my liking and it is pretty cold there. I think I would go crazy within a month. To each his own.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Apr 19, 2007, 8:22 PM)


Camille

Apr 19, 2007, 8:20 PM

Post #35 of 37 (6357 views)

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Re: [Camille] On Southern Mexico

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Whoops, I misspoke! I meant to say I enjoy Patzcuaro more than Bubba DOES!!! There's nothing better than a good Bubba riff......


Bubba

Apr 19, 2007, 8:24 PM

Post #36 of 37 (6351 views)

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Re: [Camille] On Southern Mexico

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Thank you Camille. My feelings were hurt for a minute. Not too much though as my wife likes Pátzcuaro better than Bubba without the "does".


JohnnyBoy

May 9, 2007, 10:47 AM

Post #37 of 37 (6258 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] On Southern Mexico

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Have you seen Hermosillo?

I have not seen many other places in Mexico (Cabo, Mazatlan, La Paz, Tijuana) but all of them seem glorious compared to "the Cleveland of Sonora" as I like to call Hermosillo, just without the lake and no cold weather. It is hotter, drier, dustier, and dirtier than Phoenix, but seems almost as big. Less water than Phoenix. Almost nothing green growing anywhere, and it is only May. What will it look like in August?

I have not seen one single intact sidewalk anywhere. Even the new ones are cracked, chipped, and broken, with a pile of unused, leftover cement, hardened into a sidewalk "tope" where the sidewalk ends and the dirt begins again. Why didn't they just spread it out a little over the dirt?

The roads in the city and Highway 15 are the worst I have seen anywhere in the world I have ever traveled (including Iron Curtain countries in the '60s and '70s), China, Malaysia, Puerto Rico.

So why am I here, you ask? I guess you could say, I married into it.

But there is an abundance of cheap oranges for the fresh squeezed OJ I crave, and excellent, cheap beef and seafood. Clear sunny skies, and I doubt I will ever be cold again like I have been for months on end during winters in Kansas. And no tornadoes. And no bugs (of the flying, cicada-type). Lots of cucarachas though. None here at home yet.

jb
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