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aholm

Mar 24, 2009, 1:47 PM

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Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Hello,
We're going to be staying in Lake Chapala sometime this year and we want to drive to the Pacific for a few days or maybe a week. I'll be planning the lodging later, but I'm wondering about two things:
1. With all the news about the increased crime in some areas of Mexico, we're wondering if it's still safe to take a trip like this - where you're driving "out in the country." Has anyone driven that route lately - any advice?
2. We'll be checking out a few beaches near Manzanillo. My wife likes one that's not so busy - one where she can feel free to slip down her top for a while if she chooses, while swimming or sunbathing. I know that as a rule, Mexico is not very open to topless sunbathing, but on a secluded beach - where no one is around - I assume it's not a problem? Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks...
Andrew



Don


Mar 24, 2009, 2:59 PM

Post #2 of 16 (9933 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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It is a toll road all the way from Guadalajara to Manzanillo. You should have no problem. I drive that road all the time and you should have no problems. I live in Sayula about 1/2 way between Guadalajara and Colima, Colima. I usually use that road to drive to Melaque, which is just north of Manzanillo.


(This post was edited by Don on Mar 24, 2009, 3:01 PM)


Septiembre


Mar 24, 2009, 6:35 PM

Post #3 of 16 (9906 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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There is a very large section of two lane road in the middle of this toll route, around Ciudad Guzman. It is woefully inadequate for the heavy truck traffic out of Manzanillo and back, particularly the large numbers of LNG haulers who are now operating on it because the Manzanillo LNG port is open.

To avoid much of this traffic, LEAVE EARLY and try to time your trips for Sunday. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time trying to get around slow moving trucks, particularly on the return trip from Manzanillo which is mostly uphill.

I can't imagine how the powers that be think they can move all this stuff out of the Port of Manzanillo with such a poor highway connection.


RickS


Mar 24, 2009, 6:44 PM

Post #4 of 16 (9904 views)

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Re: [Septiembre] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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I can't imagine how the powers that be think they can move all this stuff out of the Port of Manzanillo with such a poor highway connection.

It's called Mexico.....


Rolly


Mar 24, 2009, 7:05 PM

Post #5 of 16 (9898 views)

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Re: [Septiembre] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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I can't imagine how the powers that be think they can move all this stuff out of the Port of Manzanillo with such a poor highway connection.

Think railroad.

Rolly Pirate


Septiembre


Mar 24, 2009, 7:21 PM

Post #6 of 16 (9888 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Yep, there's trackage all right. But the increase in truck traffic on this road has been dramatic in just one year.

Here's the railway map: http://www.ferromex.com.mx/ventas/cobertura.html

Sure would be nice if all that LNG was being moved by rail but that doesn't seem to be the case. In any case, my advice is based on driving this route as various time. If you go when the trucks are really rolling, expect to spend 4.5 to 5 hours making what is a 3.5 hour trip early on a Sunday morning. And many parts of that two lane section, which is nearly 1/3rd of the entire distance, are really hairy for passing.

Lot's of improvement being done in the parts of the route in Colima that are libre. The last section of toll road is no prize for pavement quality but at least it is all 4 lane.

Anyway, we had an easy and fast trip both ways last time by leaving at 8 am on Sunday mornings. We make this run fairly frequently as we really like the Santiago area for beach trips.


(This post was edited by Septiembre on Mar 24, 2009, 7:23 PM)


Hound Dog

Mar 26, 2009, 11:05 AM

Post #7 of 16 (9832 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Hello,
We're going to be staying in Lake Chapala sometime this year and we want to drive to the Pacific for a few days or maybe a week. I'll be planning the lodging later, but I'm wondering about two things:
1. With all the news about the increased crime in some areas of Mexico, we're wondering if it's still safe to take a trip like this - where you're driving "out in the country." Has anyone driven that route lately - any advice?
2. We'll be checking out a few beaches near Manzanillo. My wife likes one that's not so busy - one where she can feel free to slip down her top for a while if she chooses, while swimming or sunbathing. I know that as a rule, Mexico is not very open to topless sunbathing, but on a secluded beach - where no one is around - I assume it's not a problem? Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks...
Andrew


Your concerns about crime and topless bathing are ill-founded and baseless. They are opening new nudest beaches in Pacific Mexico as we write and the drive from the lake to Manzanillo is a piece of cake although I cannot imagine why anyone would want to spend more time in Manzanillo than it takes to get through that hellhole.


tonyburton


Mar 26, 2009, 11:16 AM

Post #8 of 16 (9828 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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I beg to differ - on my list of "hellholes" in Mexico, Manzanillo comes a very very very long way from the top - Manzanillo may not be the nicest beach town in Mexico (there's an idea for a new thread) but is certainly an extremely long way from being the worst. Now, if we were talking about El Paraíso in Veracruz... well, that would be a very different story, best left for another occasion.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 26, 2009, 11:59 AM)


RickS


Mar 26, 2009, 11:48 AM

Post #9 of 16 (9824 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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To each his own.....

While Manzanilllo's beaches don't remind me of 'the South Pacific' (or the Caribbean for that matter), the word 'hellhole' does not even come to mind when I think of that port city!


wendy devlin

Mar 26, 2009, 2:59 PM

Post #10 of 16 (9812 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Remember the years, when Manzanillo could barely, get a small negative paragraph in the Lonely Planet.

Given the place was given such short shrift by travellers, compared to other tourist destinations in Mexico, I wondered why.

Did my own investigation, of the area over the years.

Coming up with the general idea, that very few international tourist/beach destinations are working ports. And in the case of Manzanillo, Mexico's premier port(unless my info is out-dated) on the Pacific side.

Hence. Freighters, semi-trailers, networking with the LNP terminal, rail-yards etc. are part of the transportation system that takes product from the sea, inland.


santiagostan

Mar 29, 2009, 5:47 AM

Post #11 of 16 (9763 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Since I live full-time in Santiago, just north of Manzanillo, I would like to encourage everyone to listen closely to Hound Dog. I don't really agree with him, not even on iota, but don't want it to turn into Puerto Vallarta and really enjoy my solitude when everyone returns NOB in the summer.

And I believe Hound Dog went to Chiapas from Ajijiic...........which is a place that I despise. So there is a place for everyone and everyone's tastes are different.


gbatrucks


Apr 30, 2009, 10:50 PM

Post #12 of 16 (9600 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Manzanillo is a nice place to spend a day looking around...the port area is quite interesting. After that we head north to Melaque....great beaches, affodable, and there are a bunch of small, secluded beaches a short drive to the north.

Check out http://www.tomzap.com/melaque.html
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."


N2Futur

May 2, 2009, 12:12 PM

Post #13 of 16 (9550 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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we live in Melaque. Great town. If you are looking for secluded beaches for topless sunbathing: El Tecuan, north of Melaque. This is basically a deserted beach. Not very swimable (large waves and dangerous undertow). No services (no restaurants). Take a beach umbrella and cooler with beverages and food.

A friend told me that there is a clothing optional beach (resort) north of Melaque - close to the Blue Bay (Los Angeles Locos) resort. I believe it is called Punta Serena.

Regarding topless sunbathing. No big deal. I did it in Cozumel at our Timeshare (AI). The only people that had a problem with this was a newly wed couple from Oklahoma. They complained at the front desk. A security guard was sent out, he observed me from a distance, then disappeared. BTW - I had a lounge chair on its side, partially shielding me from their view. There were 2 other Mexican females that were also sunbathing topless on the beach later that afternoon. No big deal. Americans are so prude....

Elke
___________________________
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to pick the one I never tried before." - Mae West


aholm

May 2, 2009, 2:13 PM

Post #14 of 16 (9538 views)

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Re: [N2Futur] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Thanks, Elke and all the rest of you who have responded. Elke, I'll definitely check out your suggestions. My wife and I agree with you 100%. Usually, if the beach is secluded, there's no problem. If there are only a few people on the beach, we'll sometimes ask if they mind if we go skinny-dipping - we've never had a problem. We appreciate your response.
Andrew


cookj5

Jun 3, 2009, 5:24 PM

Post #15 of 16 (9392 views)

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Re: [aholm] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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aholm- If you want a look at Manzanillo and the beaches to the north named Melaque and Barra de Navidad, here is a link: http://cookjmex.blogspot.com/search/label/Manzanillo
This is a four part series and, being in a blog, part 4 is at the head of the list.

Enjoy your time in Manzanillo. We enjoyed it thoroughly, as well as the smaller beach towns. Buena suerte!


aholm

Jun 4, 2009, 9:41 AM

Post #16 of 16 (9365 views)

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Re: [cookj5] Driving to Manzanillo from Lake Chapala

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Thanks so much for your reply! I'll look it up. We look forward to our trip.
Andrew
 
 
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