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Bloviator

May 28, 2006, 5:46 AM

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Tepic

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A few days ago when someone was posting another of the - I want to live in pure Mexico away from you awful gringos messages - I began to wonder about Tepic as an ideal place for such people. I checked back into the index and found some previous discussion, which I am posting with the permission of Jerezano who was the original poster. He has also graciously sent an update that I am also posting.

This was sent back in November of 2004, when Bubba was beginning his oddysey to put Ajijic in his rear view mirror while it is "kissing his ass." (his recent comment as he has evidently settled on Chiapas as his new home). Bubba asked for recommendations and this was one.

Like you, I live in an area (6000 ft altitude) in an excellent summer climate, but the winters are very cold. Two years ago I spent December through February in Melaque. I was not happy. I spent last winter in Tepic for the same reason. I have also explored most of the Pacific Beach areas North of Puerto Vallarta looking to find a place to buy for those three months but have come away from most disappointed. To buy on the beach, the state of Colima seemed to offer the best bargains and locations.

So far, the Tepic (at about 3000 ft altitude) area appears to me to be the answer to what you and I are looking for. Not the city itself, because during the winter season it has pollution problems. Nevertheless, around Tepic out of the polution belt, are many small towns which communicate with Tepic by way of paved highways and usually hourly or hour and 1/2 buses. I found at least five or six with reasonably priced houses and lots in which it appeared that one could live very reasonably (with dogs if necessary), away from the pollution and yet within easy reach of the sophistication of the city (ie. dog food available). Walmart, Soriana, etc, and even the exhorbitant prices of the department store Francia, or was it Paris? And to me Tepic offered at least four excellent vegetarian restaurants in addition to the excellent beef houses,Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and other restaurants, etc. etc. as well as a varied offering of city and state sponsered cultural events.

To all this can be added the easy reach in an hour and a bit to three or four good beaches, San Blas, Los Cocos, etc.

And prices are good in Tepic. It has not yet been hit by an influx of tourists. Too, Medical services are outstanding. And governmental services are friendly as well. A friend for two years in a row has had his FM3 renewed there on the same day that he made application. Where can you beat that? Here in Zacatecas it takes two weeks.

So, let me suggest that you at least look at Tepic, and remember that I warned you about the contamination in the city air during the winter time. Get out of that.

One other consideration is that you can return from Tepic to Ajijic in about two to three hours via the auto pista, in case an emergency drives you home.



Jerezano sent this today.

You will not find a gringo enclave in Tepic, although as I mentioned there are gringos there.


Tepic has a large number of oncologists, heart specialists, good hospitals and clinice, ambulance services, Dentists, etc., as well as the optomitrist and opthamologist office. It just has a good, solid, health infrastructure. It also has a very efficient Immigration office. It has been possible for a friend to renew his FM3 in two days.

Of course you will find that Tepic like most Mexican large cities has English-speaking people all over the place. Mexicans of course.

For your wife there is a Wal-mart, a competing Soriana, I think there is a Sams or Aurerá, De luxe Department Stores, etc. One of the things I like is that you can buy American sized mattresses and bedclothes. Of course I don't know how tall you are.


As mentioned above. This may be a nice choice for those who prefer Mexico to Ajijic or San Miguel Allende. Any comments or additions.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on May 28, 2006, 5:58 AM)



wendy devlin

May 28, 2006, 7:03 AM

Post #2 of 40 (10913 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Cliff and Alice host a message board, describing their life in Tepic and answering any questions. I nominate Cliff as possibly the most cheerful ex-pat in Mexico.

Even after all these years, he never seems to have cranky spells...at least not...in public.

How does he do it????

Recently Cliff added a group of cartoon strips to the beginning of his forum...that and his particular taste in his top photo selection...consistently...ecletic!

Scroll way down the page, the message board appears.

http://members4.boardhost.com/Nayarit/index.html

P.S. Keep in mind that Tepic is a bustling state capital of above 250,000.


Bloviator

May 28, 2006, 10:26 AM

Post #3 of 40 (10876 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Tepic

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Thanks for the reference. I checked it out in doing some preliminary reading on the topic. The website is definitely a good reference.

Although, quite a large city, my experience has been that it is quite easy to get around Tepic and that it is a clean and orderly city in most parts.


Marlene


May 28, 2006, 4:04 PM

Post #4 of 40 (10845 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Spending time in any city or town in Mexico without much of a foreign community if you don't speak Spanish fluently should be considered carefully. The bloom can wear off mighty fast if the language barrier is an obstacle. I know a retired couple here in Mazatlan who recently lived a year in Tepic prior to deciding it just wasn't for them. I am sure they wouldn't mind sharing their experiences.


(This post was edited by Marlene on May 28, 2006, 4:05 PM)


wendy devlin

May 29, 2006, 7:58 AM

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Re: [Marlene] Tepic

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Yes, while living in a Mexican beach town, we have met gringo couples who's first experiences living in Mexico, were inland places where little or no English is spoken by locals. And few other English-speaking foreigners to speak or socialize with. These particular people lasted less than a year in these places.

They had little if any idea at how having no-one to speak English with, would affect them, especially emotionally, over time.

La experiencia hace la maestra:)

Others seem to make the adjustment to the immersion experience better if they have at least one or more bilingual Mexican/family befriend them.

There are plenty of excellent bilingual speakers in Mexico.

I'm always pleasantly surprised when people start speaking fluent German, French...too. Not necessarily to me...but to people I'm with or around.

There's often a story behind the language; family or business connections or dedicated studies.

And I like talking with Mexican young people who travel the world, and are busy learning languages like Japanese.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on May 29, 2006, 8:00 AM)


Bloviator

May 29, 2006, 8:29 AM

Post #6 of 40 (10804 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Tepic

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You're absolutely right. Whenever I read a post from someone who doesn't speak Spanish but wants to live in an area with few English speakers, I question their grasp on reality. Of course, immersion is the best way to learn a language. I have a suspicion that the cultural barriar that you mention is even more of a problem for most people than the language.

I'm not considering moving anywhere,. I just brought this up for the benefit of those who are determined to live away from the hated gringos.

I'll probably start a Colima or Sayula thread next after this dies its inevitable death. There seems to be a lot of interest among those NoB in living in pure Mexico unadulterated by us. No wonder, we are a nasty bunch of rascals.

As I often say, I don't need to live in Mexico, I have Ajijic, a friendly little village that has the best of both worlds.


Rolly


May 29, 2006, 8:55 AM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Being the only gringo in town with very limited language skills can work, but it isn't easy, and it may take special circumstances, as in my case were I was able to move with an in-place family with one English speaker.

I was surprised at church yesterday to find myself sitting between two men I had not met before, both of whom spoke good English, and one also spoke French.

Rolly Pirate


mariejosee


May 29, 2006, 1:45 PM

Post #8 of 40 (10778 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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I'm probably part of the exception but I always travelled alone and found that complete immersion was the ticket to learning and adapting to a new culture. I used to shun gringos like the pest because, as I used to say: "I didn't come to Mexico to speak English", I no longer shun anybody at all and it is liberating to accept all that comes my way. I certainly do not have any feeling of need for any cultural group in particular. I have to say that I am not from the United States but I don't miss my own culture either. I must be more adaptable than most...



************************************************************
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
"Henry David Thoreau"



wendy devlin

May 29, 2006, 4:33 PM

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Re: [mariejosee] Tepic

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>There seems to be a lot of interest among those NoB in living in pure Mexico unadulterated by us.

MEjico puro....existing like Valhalla of old:)


>No wonder, we are a nasty bunch of rascals.

We're not much, but we're all we've got, LOL.

Although dlyman, it might just have been my dumb luck, getting to meet so many rascally gringos...down Mexico way over the years.

Followed by meeting bunches of Mexican rascals in slightly different places.

That's maybe what happens, when you get talking and being friendly with...strangers:)

Rascals are rascals. Not much to chose between them:)
Plenty of fine people in the mix too but sometimes it takes time to sort out who's who.

And maybe more happened because some people tell 'writers' stuff that they wouldn't ordinarily confess to.

Maybe they want someone to tell their stories as they want them to be told.
Dunno. Still wondering about that.

As said earlier, la experienca hace la maestra.


Bloviator

May 30, 2006, 5:04 AM

Post #10 of 40 (10721 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Tepic

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I was joking. The people I have met here are almost invariably interesting and thoughtful people who try to respect the Mexican culture and many are very much an asset to the community. Most have had an amazing depth of experience that is fascinating (even those who have been granted border promotions if they are good at it can tell fascinating stories to justify their exaulted status).

I really can't understand why so many are intent on shunning "gringos" when in Mexico - except for the excellent reason of wanting to immerse themselves in Spanish.


wendy devlin

May 30, 2006, 7:45 AM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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>I was joking.

I was not.
Although whenever you see :) then I am.

Humor, of a slightly black nature and a sense of the absurb have helped in many a cross-cultural interaction.

Wish there were emoticoms to express those thoughts.


drfugawe


May 31, 2006, 5:47 AM

Post #12 of 40 (10665 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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In Reply To
You're absolutely right. Whenever I read a post from someone who doesn't speak Spanish but wants to live in an area with few English speakers, I question their grasp on reality.

jm
_________________________

"Self-respect: the secure feeling
that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
H.L. Mencken
____________###



thriftqueen

Jun 2, 2006, 9:18 PM

Post #13 of 40 (10593 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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I have a suspicion that the cultural barriar that you mention is even more of a problem for most people than the language.

I am not sure I can articulate my thoughts correctly but here goes, the above statement sums up a lot of what I feel. We have lived in Mexico for nearly 9 years and I find the thing I miss most is the daily casual English speaking encounters, i.e. clerks or other customers in the stores, etc. I have never felt the need for close friends but still find I miss having my special friends who have similar backgrounds and enjoy the same things I do. We have probably more than most Mexican folks drop by on a daily basis due to the charity type work we are involved in. I have some close Mexican lady friends but as their past & current life experiences are different than mine I don't get the emotional satisfaction that I would get living in the states and doing things with my American friends. I am not fluent in Spanish but do get by, my understanding of the language is my biggest problem.


Bloviator

Jun 3, 2006, 9:02 AM

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Re: [thriftqueen] Tepic

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I have a suspicion that the cultural barriar that you mention is even more of a problem for most people than the language.

Thrift Queen said: "I am not sure I can articulate my thoughts correctly but here goes,"

If the above posting is not excellent articulation of your thoughts, there is no such thing. It is supurb. What you say is about what I suspected to be the case, though do not in any way have the necessary experience to be sure of.

I'm sure others will say that they are totally acculturated, love everything about Mexico, and never miss anything about their former lives NoB. I'm happy for them. They are blessed.


thriftqueen

Jun 3, 2006, 4:30 PM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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I'm sure others will say that they are totally acculturated, love everything about Mexico, and never miss anything about their former lives NoB.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but me thinks the folks put on their rose colored glasses before responding. One thing I failed to mention we live in Alamos full time and have no other home. We do visit Albuquerque for a month or so each July. For about the first three years as we were building our casa we had a 5th wheel trailer and spent the summers in NM (about 4 months). That was the perfect situation as I got my US fix that my system needs to be it's happiest. I will say I do love Mexico and all our Mexican friends but the folks who are able to split their time between NOB/MX I feel are better off.


Bloviator

Jun 3, 2006, 4:38 PM

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Re: [thriftqueen] Tepic

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Los Alamos is my last real goal on the Pacific route. Unfortunately, it is somewhat out of the way and is not a full days drive no matter what schedule we take. I would really like to visit. I know there are at least a couple of very nice B&B operations there and my understanding is that it is a beautiful place. I also understand that there is a small but significant and close knit expat group living there. Is it so?

Is there some big development going on in that area that is likely to change Los Alamos a lot? Seems like I read something to that effect recently. It made me more eager to visit before the changes.


Rolly


Jun 3, 2006, 4:46 PM

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Re: [thriftqueen] Tepic

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I have no desire to travel NoB, but I do so about once a year because of family pressure and the need to buy clothes (my size is not available here) and computer toys that cost too much (postage and duty) to ship to Mexico. I find it damn odd that I can fly to Dallas for my annual shopping spree for less than the shipping and duty on the items. If it were not for the shopping need, I'd go north only for family funerals.

On small bonus: At DFW (Dallas) the distances are greater than I can walk, so I must use a wheelchair which makes going through security a breeze -- no waiting in line.

Rolly Pirate


bournemouth

Jun 3, 2006, 6:35 PM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Alamos, Dick - Los Alamos is the nuclear lab in New Mexico. Thrift Queen can answer best as she lives there full time but we have visited for years and have friends with a beautiful colonial house. It's a lovely town but hotter than hades in the summer. It can start hitting 100 degrees in April and I've been there at Thanksgiving when it was 100 too.

There is a serious water problem which the government keeps saying it will address. Some "expert" recently came out of the woodwork and assured people that there is an adequate supply of water for years to come but I have my doubts.

The locals are delightful people - you truly have that feeling that you've gone back in time 50 years. There are some lovely places to stay. I do find it a little expensive. The town has one of Mexico's great little undiscovered boutique hotels in Hacienda de los Santos - it is a delight and a wonderful place to eat on the patio. The owners have built a beautiful small theatre, it is beautifully furnished, an all around wonderful spot to visit for a night or two - not cheap of course. They have a web site at http://www.haciendadelossantos.com/resort.htm.

There is an active gringo community of, I think, about 300 people - Thrift Queen should have up to date figures on that one. Most people are there for the winter only - a small number are there all year.

You can make it from here in a long day - only doable in the summer with the extra hours of drive time.


thriftqueen

Jun 3, 2006, 10:08 PM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Unfortunately, it is somewhat out of the way and is not a full days drive no matter what schedule we take.

Dick, I just took a peek at your profile and see you claim to be retired, I will ask you the same question I ask my husband - where are you going in such a hurry you can't stop and smell the roses?

Yes, lots is going on in Alamos and things are rapidly changing. Alamos was recently granted the status of Pueblo Magico and with that under their belt they are now working for an UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. All utilities in the historic section must be underground so they are working on those at this time. The airport runway has been enlarged to accommodate small, commuter type jets. An International Airport is to be announced shortly. Never mind that Alamos has a serious water shortage, bring those tourists on. A Canadian company has bought out & relocated a small village nearby in order to open a copper mine. Also a new silver mine is opening near Alamos.

Bridget is correct that Alamos gets hotter than H--- this time of the year and most of the expats are long gone by now. The head count for the expats is an ongoing debate. We recently went to a longtime 90 yr old expat's birthday celebration and we knew scarcely no one. The entire gringo population seems to have turned over while we were busy doing our thing over in the barrio. Alamos like many other neat places has been written up in major newspapers/magazines - well, there goes the price of the real estate, out of sight. Visit www.alamosmexico.com for a peek at those prices.

Hotel Hacienda de los Santos is a member of the 400 small luxury hotels of the world (their words, not mine) and they cater to the ultra rich. The hotel is beautiful, I say it is Arabian Nights, Mexico style, sheer class.

Rolly, for you and the other guys that don't get the female desires, ha - I say the guys are the hunters but the women are the gatherers and we are the ones who have to deal with the day to day things that make a household run smoothly, so the stores are important. My husband also could stay here and never go NOB with the exception of family visits.


(This post was edited by thriftqueen on Jun 3, 2006, 10:19 PM)


Bloviator

Jun 4, 2006, 5:07 AM

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Re: [thriftqueen] Tepic

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Good point. However, there are few roses on the road from TJ or Nogales to Lakeside, just a lot of cactus and scrub - including a really beautiful stand of Saguaro cactus that rivals anything in Arizona. I guess once on the road, it is difficult to stop. I tend to get into a trance, which makes the trip easier. A night at my favorites San Carlos and Mazatlan are about my limit.

Sounds as if I ever want to see Los Alamos as it is, I'd better do so soon. Luckily for me there is a B&B there that will let us bring our pets, so can go there even if traveling with them.


jerezano

Jun 21, 2006, 8:59 AM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Tepic

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Hello,

Bringing this thread back to Tepic, nobody has yet mentioned that Tepic has an International airport. They used to have two flights daily. However, the carriers, schedules and destinations are always changing because Tepic is not a heavy tourist destination. So anybody interested in flying to Tepic must research carefully.

Other posters have mentioned and given above the web site maintained by Cliff, a long-time resident in Tepic. A short time visiting that web site will give one a much too deep insight into Cliff and his family, but will provide interesting material and pictures on Tepic and nearby beaches.

I have mentioned earlier the air contamination that Tepic suffers in the winter. It is a typical inversion problem as Tepic is in a wide valley between the Coastal Mountain range and a nearby interior range. Most of the contamination is caused by the sugar refineries and automobiles. However in no way is the contamination really serious. Not like Monterrey or Mexico City at all. More like Guadalajara. On days with breezes it is almost non existant. And it seems to be only during very late summer, fall and winter. Four or five miles out from the city there is very little contamination. In the little suburban town of Xalisco only 15 minutes by bus (and buses every fifteen minutes during the day) you are already outside the contamination area.

One other interesting tidbit is that on the Lomas Park there is a shop that specializes in PIES. They are brought in daily from Guadalajara, and if you are a pie fan, you could die from overeating. For a widower who would die for a good apple pie here in Mexico, Tepic is not a bad place to be.

The centrally-located Hotel Álica kitty corner from the main Plaza has parking, very clean and comfortable rooms. a good cheap restaurant, and offers long-term rates. A good friend (qdp) used to spend a month there every year. He found it more reasonable than trying to rent an apartment for the same period.

And don't worry about a language problem in Tepic. There isn't any. Yet all the many concerts, plays, street performances--and the cultural life in Tepic is very active and varied--will be in Spanish. Learn Spanish if you can. If not, go to the many shows anyway and enjoy.

Adios. jerezano.


wendy devlin

Jun 21, 2006, 3:43 PM

Post #22 of 40 (10351 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Tepic

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Jerenzo's mention of Tepic having an international airport stirred some memory brain cells.

Although Tepic may not be a big tourist destination, some of the international flight business, may be based, on the traffic of Mexicans in and out of Mexico.
I only suggest this as a friend of ours from the Tepic area who moved to the U.S. twenty or more years ago, often flies 'home' as there are schedules that are generally convenient for him and his family. He lives in L.A.

Four years ago, he and I did a few l collaborations together, one of which resulted in the article below. Some of the information in it, will get a little up-date on a subsequent post.

http://www.mexconnected.com/...lin/wdespectac5.html

A pie shop...in Tepic. Something to check out. Might even propel Tepic into having more than barely a scarce mention in the LP guidebook:)

Note to self: If ever passing through Jerez, bring Jerenzo a pie.
Pies, all kinds, my speciality:)


wendy devlin

Jun 21, 2006, 4:40 PM

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Re: [wendy devlin] Tepic

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During the times, arbon and I were poking around the Santa Maria del Oro, we did what we do everywhere, ask locals, questions.

Besides Mexicans, we talked with several ex-pats who had been resident full-time or part-time in the Municipio of Santa Maria for a number of years. They had built or were building their own places.

We were told that parts of the Municipio were within 50 km of the coast, the zone for which foreigners must own property through a bank trust.

If ANY part of the Municipio lies within the zone, that ALL the land falls under the same jurisdiction.

It may not be apparent to the would-be property purchaser unless they look at a map that outlines the legal boundaries of the Municipio.

Local people will often happily sell you land for amounts of money they seldom dreamed possible. However to protect yourself, take due diligence.

In addition, anywhere in the 'countryside'...

Clear title may be difficult to obtain especially due to property/estate disputes, water rights, 'usos y costumbres' etc.

Santa Maria del Oro may seem very far from the coast.

As the crow flies however, it may be closer than you think:)

And culturally, a long ways from what you know.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Jun 21, 2006, 7:27 PM)


runklesg

Sep 14, 2006, 9:36 AM

Post #24 of 40 (10182 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Tepic

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Thanks for those clarifications on Tepic. I daily visit Cliff's website and enjoy his take on his life in Tepic. I am seriously considering locating there from my present location in the Colorado Rockies. I have to admit I have never been to Tepic, but will be visiting next March. I do not anticipate anything that will discourage my decision to make Tepic my home soon. I am still doing research on the many things necessary to make this move, i.e., visa, banking and mail service. If anyone would like to make suggestions or provide information it will be appreciated.


deaconmoss

Oct 28, 2006, 3:04 PM

Post #25 of 40 (10066 views)

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Re: [runklesg] Tepic

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We will soon be headed south once again, as the winter seems to be creeping up on us once again in BC, Canada. We will be 5th wheeling it this year and would like any information on RV parks in Tepic? I know there is one mentioned in the Churchs' book, but it might be closed? Anyone have any experience staying in Tepic with a RV?
We have visited the city numerous times, but only for day visits. Would be nice to spend a week really getting to know the city better!
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