Mexico Connect
Forums  > Areas > Jalisco's Lake Chapala Region
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


ReadyTRock


Aug 24, 2006, 2:02 PM

Post #1 of 38 (3700 views)

Shortcut

Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi folks... I'm new to this forum. I used to hang out on the Playa del Carmen info forum, so I know at least a couple of you folks know me from there. Playa.Info is a great forum, but I've decided that I cannot live in Playa - too hot and humid. So, I'll be going down to the Chapala area soon on a recon mission. I have retirement on my mind.

Here's my first question. How do people drive in the Chapala area?

I'll explain where I'm coming from. Earlier this year, I spent 10 days in Cabo San Lucas. I rented a car with the intention of driving up the Pacific coast. Those drivers scared the sh*t outta me! They drove like bats outta h*ll, and were willing to pass on hills and curves, which of course the Pacific coast has many of.



dleach

Aug 24, 2006, 8:15 PM

Post #2 of 38 (3633 views)

Shortcut

Re: [ReadyTRock] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
IMHO, I don't have any trouble driving in the Lakeside area and doubt that you will either.


Bloviator

Aug 25, 2006, 6:39 AM

Post #3 of 38 (3609 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dleach] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
The main pain of driving is careless and inconsiderate drivers. Turning left at Colon and nearby streets off the careterra in Ajijic - illegal - causes a lot of conjestion as eveyone has to wait for the illegal turner - and the illegal turner in the next block turning the other way.

Passing on the right and cutting in front of you by people who are much to important to be behind you. This is primarily a Mexican trick.

Making a U-turn in the middle of the Careterra near Colon - blocking traffic both ways for awhile. The companion, cutting into the oncoming lane from one to four cars back and turning into a side street. This one actually is usually not a problem, though it can sometimes force oncoming traffic to stop. It is still illegal.

Illegal means nothing. No one seems to enforce traffic laws - except for a quick chance for some mordida. The one exception was when they had a police person at every corner near Colon. That day - a particularly heavy traffic day - traffic flowed smoothly as there were no illegal left turns.

Stopping in the middle of the block on narrow village streets and leaving the car while one - another very important person - conducts her business nearby. A variation is the person who has a humongous van and parks on one of the narrower streets right by the corner (usually in a yellow zone) and doesn't make any effort to get within hailing distance of the curb - and leaves his/her side view mirrors out when they can be turned in (I have a recommendation for a good place to have side view mirrors repaired).

The streets are too conjested for much fast driving, though sometimes people do rush down the careterra east of Ajijic village all the way to Chapala.

Another variation of the careless driver is the confused elderly person - such as the woman who accidentally dropped her Cadillac into drive instead of reverse recently and drove into the front of Salvadors. That was an extreme example, but one often gets behind such a driver in the village. They drive slowly, stop often for no reason, and generally exhibit unawareness and confusion.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Aug 25, 2006, 6:57 AM)


Georgia


Aug 25, 2006, 7:14 AM

Post #4 of 38 (3603 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
You forgot to mention the very important drivers, usually males under the age of 30, who consider it improper to actually have to drive behind anyone else. Doesn't matter what speed you are going, if you are in front of them, that must be remedied. Apparently, from my informal poll, they mostly drive VW Jettas, having confused Jet with Jetta, or something. These are the same passholes (my husband's word, not mine, but I subscribe to it) who pass on blind curves or will pass, in one fell swoop, a string of 15 cars driving behind a tandem trailer going 5 miles over the speed limit.


dleach

Aug 25, 2006, 8:54 AM

Post #5 of 38 (3585 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Apart from DLYMAN6500's particular Colon problems, it's not that different from Texas. There are passholes everywhere.


Bubba

Aug 25, 2006, 9:03 AM

Post #6 of 38 (3584 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
When I first got here in 2001, Mexicans couldn´t drive. Now they drive pretty well. I am also now the Glorietta King of Guadalajara and fully in charge of any roundabout I enter fearlessly and with supreme self confidence. Driving at Lake Chapala and in Guadalajara is a cakewalk. I suggest that anyone convinced that driving around here is difficult, go drive in Paris, Tehran, Cairo, Bangkok or San Francisco. Try driving on a country mountainous road in Morocco.

Bubba (in Bombay after hailing a taxi): Get me to the airport driver and I´m late so step on it. (Never say this in Mumbai)
Taxi Driver: No problem sahib. I, Lakshman will get you to the airport even before you have entered my cab.
Bubba: Well, Lakshman, let´s not overdo this. I have over an hour.
Lakshman: Do not worry, sahib, Lakshman is the very best of all taxi drivers in Bombay. Excuse me while I steer around all these street people. idiots
Bubba: Lakshman, I order you to slow down and stop trying to hit pedestrians.
Lakshamn: Not to worry sahib, I consider it to be my sacred duty to get you to the airport on time and nothing will slow me down.

After that the flight on TWA to Tel Aviv was a piece of cake.

Incidentally, had Lakshman killed one of the millions of street people we passed in Bombay on the way to the airport guess who would have been at fault.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 25, 2006, 9:08 AM)


Bubba

Aug 25, 2006, 9:05 AM

Post #7 of 38 (3580 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dleach] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
dleach:

I like that.

Bubba


Bloviator

Aug 25, 2006, 9:10 AM

Post #8 of 38 (3574 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Those are mostly open road drivers. I agree with you about the Jetta. I have been passed by about 3 million of them on the hiways and biways of Mexico and have only passed one. I think the driver was in the process of dying behind the wheel.

In my discussion above, I forgot another great driver - the one who has no clue how to parallel park, tries to get into a space too short for his/her car in the village, where to cut enough to parallel park in any short space it is necessary to make your cut by driving up on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Of course this driver never gives up. He/She gets halfway into the parking place and then keeps on blocking traffic for an inordinate amount of time trying to finish the job.

Sorry Dleach. Drivers in the village are not at all like Texas drivers except those in some small villages somewhere way out in East Texas. Houston is the only place I have ever lived where you can be stopped dead in the middle of the freeway by total conjestion, look in your rear view mirror and see a pickup complete with shotgun rack and shotgun bearing down on you at 70 mph - and not slowing down. When I left Houston one time, I went through LA just to see which had the worse traffic. Houston won that one hands down and LA is considered the heart of freeway hell.

Further, driving here is just different than Texas except possibly for the fact that passholes are the same everywhere. They just have no clue about courtesy and common sense.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Aug 25, 2006, 9:17 AM)


Rolly


Aug 25, 2006, 9:30 AM

Post #9 of 38 (3562 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
I have lived in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I think the traffic/driving is awful in that order -- Boston worst, LA least bad. Lerdo, where I live now, except for parking, is one of the best traffic/driving towns I have lived in. Except for taxis, the passhole quotient is fairly low. There are a few of us who are actually polite behind the wheel. But I do wish the cops would ticket the jerks who park in the handicapped spots.

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Aug 25, 2006, 9:45 AM

Post #10 of 38 (3559 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
You want traffic and parking hell, c'mon over to SMA on a weekend. You've got the Texans on vacation, the Chilangos on a holiday and some of the ancients who live here and should have been in taxis five years ago all competing for turf in a town with NO stop signs. We have one cop condemned to "directng" traffic in one blind intersection, trying to guide oversized busses around a corner to a street with a deep drainage ditch on one side. Just the right size for a tire.

The city just built a big parking lot, about 6 or 8 "blocks" from city center. There was supposed to be a shuttle. No shuttle in sight, so the lot is empty and the cars just keep on circling, circling downtown like stupified beasts.

The town fathers want to have a car-free zone for the 8 blocks around Centro. That will be the day. At present, anyone in good shape and their right mind, walks. And gets there faster.


Georgia


Aug 25, 2006, 11:00 AM

Post #11 of 38 (3541 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dleach] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Texas is way worse than Mexico, IMHO. Especially the truckers. Especially in the Austin area. My daughter won't signal a lane change because it tips her hand and other drivers rush to occupy the space she is headed towards.


Georgia


Aug 25, 2006, 11:05 AM

Post #12 of 38 (3539 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Rolly] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hey, Rolly. I used to commute into downtown Boston, near the milk bottle by the piers, from the north shore to get to work. Austin is worse than Boston. Bostonians have a sense of humor about it. Once my husband was trying in vain to get on the Southeast Expressway and no one would let him in. The traffic slowed, I rolled down the window and shouted to the next driver that we were from out of state and lost. He braked. Waved us in. And wiped his brow. Scared him because he knew we didn't know the "rules of engagement."


skelleyhoutex

Aug 25, 2006, 2:36 PM

Post #13 of 38 (3512 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Try Houston. That is one of the reasons we are here.


Georgia


Aug 25, 2006, 4:18 PM

Post #14 of 38 (3494 views)

Shortcut

Re: [skelleyhoutex] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
I've heard about Houston. Will avoid it.


bournemouth

Aug 25, 2006, 4:20 PM

Post #15 of 38 (3493 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
"Passholes" - I just love it - I think it's gone into the lexicon already. On our way back home today from a quick trip to Guanajuato, we were passed by a Jetta conservatively doing 120 m.p.h. We were doing 80 and he left us in the dust. My spouse calls these people HVM's - high velocity Mexicans. In the north it tends to be ricos in their big Suburbans driving like the hounds of hell were after them. However, they seem to constantly have to stop for something or other and can continue to pass you time after time.


Gringal

Aug 25, 2006, 4:27 PM

Post #16 of 38 (3491 views)

Shortcut

Re: [bournemouth] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Every once in a while, all is right in the world. A "passhole" went flying by us on the road Thursday at danger to himself and the other ten people ahead of him on the curving mountain road. Further down, there he was, parked by the side of the road getting a ticket. Nyah, nyah myah! Justice happens.


sfmacaws


Aug 25, 2006, 10:15 PM

Post #17 of 38 (3463 views)

Shortcut

Re: [bournemouth] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
My favorite was the passhole that passed us along with 5 other cars and a couple of trucks on the "freeway" north of Tulum. You have to realize that most of us were already driving on the shoulder to let the bus by (oh, I forgot the bus too) and he went out into the oncoming lane to pass everyone. About a quarter mile later he zoomed over to the shoulder and stopped causing all of the shoulder drivers to quickly merge back onto the road. He then got out and started unzipping his pants. Now, he knew he had to pee back when he was passing us and causing the oncoming traffic to swerve onto their shoulder. I think this is why most Mexican highways don't have shoulders, it just adds to the confusion.

Oh, and I vote for Houston having the worst drivers. LA drivers are actually quite good, San Francisco drivers are not very good. Houstonians are the worst I've seen though, clueless and not at all slick about dealing with high speed manuevers.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Bloviator

Aug 26, 2006, 6:24 AM

Post #18 of 38 (3433 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Gringal] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
I have a better one. A large BMW went roaring by us on the road from Mexico to Guad. A couple of miles later, he was sitting by the side of the road discussing something with a Federale. A few miles later, he roared by us again - at well over 100 mph. A couple of miles later he was parked by the side of the road having another heart to heart with the Federales. He did not pass us again.


jaybear

Aug 26, 2006, 6:40 AM

Post #19 of 38 (3430 views)

Shortcut

Re: [sfmacaws] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
I gotta defend my former home city's rep. and say that Boston drivers--perhaps like our Red Sox?--are still contendahs. Years of driving in Boston has prepared me well for living at Lakeside, and I am grateful.
"Don't believe everything you think" - Maxine

JayBear



caldwelld


Aug 26, 2006, 9:31 AM

Post #20 of 38 (3417 views)

Shortcut

Re: [ReadyTRock] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
The drivers you need to be scared of in Ajijic and SMA are the Gringos (or worse still the Gringas). In particular those like Bubba when he first arrived because they know the only way to drive is their way and as a result end up tieing up traffic at glorietas and four-way blind intersections. As Bubba points out he has now taught them all to drive the right way and now he finds Mexican drivers to be ok.

And as to the traffic in SMA (basically an old cowtown) it pales compared to any decent sized city. And walking is certainly not the answer if you are Chilango and under thirty and anxious to show off your ride; or more likely the 4000 AMP speakers turned up to gain 9. It reminds me of 1950's Podunk Alberta where we would bring our rides and girls to town simply to drive around a four block square for the whole night. Traffic was bumper to bumper in that four block area all evening. It was the place to see and be seen at the time. What can I say?
dondon


Bubba

Aug 26, 2006, 9:59 AM

Post #21 of 38 (3412 views)

Shortcut

Re: [caldwelld] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
It reminds me of 1950's Podunk Alberta where we would ride our girls to town simply to drive around a four block square for the whole night (Quote slightly modified by Bubba)

Damn, dondon you guys in Alberta used to ride your girls into town and then proceed to ride them around the square all night? I have a new admiration for you Alberta cowboys and your commitment to your girlfriends . You can´t even legally do that in Alabama unless the girl is 12 or older. Who was in charge of holding on to the Country Club Malt Liquor?


(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 26, 2006, 12:23 PM)


ReadyTRock


Aug 26, 2006, 10:56 AM

Post #22 of 38 (3401 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Bubba] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Passholes and HVMs... You gotta love it...

I thought surely all the HVM's had moved to Cabo - evidently not. Two significant differences between driving in Playa del Carmen and Cabo were that Playa was flat and straight with wide shoulders, whereas Cabo had no shoulders, and was as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

I once read in a Playa newspaper, the law concerning left turns. I read it, and re-read it, and re-read it. I came to the conclusion that it was best to pull off on the right shoulder, wait untill there were no other cars in sight, and proceed with the left turn. This, of course, applies to the open road. That left turn signal can mean anything from "turning left" to "it's OK to pass" to "I'm headed to the ocean".

Here in Colorado, red light runners are the worst I've seen anywhere, and I've lived in Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver. Yellow means only three more cars are gonna get through and that includes YOU.

HVM's... I won't ever forget that one, nor the Jetta jetsters... Having not yet had the pleasure of being Chapala-ized, the Colon remains a mystery to me...so to speak.


caldwelld


Aug 26, 2006, 2:30 PM

Post #23 of 38 (3367 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Bubba] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
You had me going there for a while until I realised you had edited the quote lifted from my post. But the combination of rides and girls and your discription of what is or is not legal in Alabama does bring to mind a joke I heard recently.

Two cowboys were discussing their sexual exploits and when they got to defining what their favourite position was one said he liked best the "rodeo" position. The other allowed as how he had never used that to his knowledge and asked for a discription. His friend said well, first you get nekked of course. Then you ask your girl to get down on all fours and you get up............. Hey! Wait a minute, I just realised I can't tell this kind of joke on this forum. Sorry about that.
dondon


dtracy8671

Aug 26, 2006, 7:27 PM

Post #24 of 38 (3337 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Grew-up in California and learned to drive on the Hollywood Freeway. Have lived in the west most of my life, being San Rafel, CA, Idaho Falls, ID, Bigfork and Kalispell, MT. LA driving is a breeze compared to San Francisco. You cannot even count ID and MT, not even in the winter, as any type of driving problem. Now I live in Dallas, TX. Please don't ask why! In all my forty some odd years of driving, never have I experienced drivers like they have in Texas! I have missed exits on the freeway because, like Georgia said, I put my blinker on to move over and immediately was cut off. I have been constantly passed while doing 80 in a 60 mile an hour zone. We won't even get into the Texas freeway signage problem. I once went to Houston with my son driving and vowed never to even think for one moment about driving there myself. I wanted to lay hidden on the back floor praying, until we had reached our destination. As for driving in Ajijic, I consider it a Sunday drive compared to Texas. I now fly or take the train to other major cities in Texas, prefering to arrive with my sanity still in tact.

P.S. When I go to CA I rent a car, hop on the freeway, and away I go at 30MPH. In the "olden" days you could actually go 65MPH on the freeway. Unfortunately, now it is a parking lot.


PeggyS

Aug 27, 2006, 12:12 AM

Post #25 of 38 (3314 views)

Shortcut

Re: [ReadyTRock] Driving

Can't Post | Private Reply
Nobody has mentioned trying to drive at night, for instance going out for dinner anywhere east of Ajijic, and then driving home. The light of the oncoming cars can blind you - I'm quite serious about the intensity. There seem to be no laws or tests for correct lights, and there's no chance you'll see the guy in black on his unlit, no reflectors bicycle whom you are passing st the time.
So I would add driving at night with the different intensities of headlights blinding you or being so dim that you don't see them.
Now my confession about daytime driving. My Jag does not like to be passed and has the engine to do whatever is required of it. If a car comes screaming up behind me when I'm doing the legal limit, and tries to pass, the Jag keeps pace with him until he finally drops back behind me. My son was visiting from Boston and I was taking him shopping in Chapala. A car tried to pass us on the way there and the Jag did its thing. My son screamed "MOM!" but he's been doing that since he was a young teenager in my fast Jag roadsters.
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4