Colima

Colima is one of the smaller states of Mexico and it’s capital has the same name like the state. The climate is warmer than in the surrounding states, which makes it comfortable to be there even during the European winter.

 

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5th Nov 2018

Coming from Michoacán by night bus, I was still tired, when we arrived in Colima around 6am, even I had slept at the bus. For the first two nights, I did not have any host, but by the late arrival I had only one nights stay left. Anyway, I could check in early in the morning. Unfortunately, the night receptionist did not find my booking. I think, they cancelled my whole booking, when I sent them the information, that I will arrive this morning instead of the day before. I showed my confirmation of the booking, but this is in English and the receptionist did not understand it. It was a quite old man, though I apologize. Even this hotel was family run. I saw a sign, that a room with single occupancy is for 349 MXN/night, the taxes included. Therefore I told the receptionist, I want the room for that price. He told me, that I have to pay the taxes as well, but I did tell him, that they are included, like stated. Finally he was OK with it.

The room was on the second floor and I had to carry my luggage up there. I did not get any help. The room was not very nice to see, but clean. The shower was old, but anyway there was hot water. The cleaning could have been better. I was going to bed and awoke a couple of hours later. I did not have peace of my mind for the taxes and, when I was ready to leave for exploring the city, I told the other receptionist, which even was an elderly man, that I did not pay the taxes. He answered, that it is OK and I did not need to pay anything more. I asked Google maps for the city center, but it was showing me wrong, which I found out before I was walking the wrong way. There was a park very close to the hotel and it looked more like the city center. Though I was going there. Well there, I saw, that I was right. Even it was not really the city center, but I was walking in the right direction. I bought an Agua de Horchata and stayed a little while in that park, where I not only could see doves, but also a squirrel. One of the grey ones of the kind I have seen before in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche.

 

The Back of the Church, showing me, that I am on the Right Way

 

After a while I entered the next street and could see a church or cathedral not far away. I continued that street and came soon to the Plaza del Armas and the Cathedral. Around the place were colonial houses, some of them with restaurants, the most beautiful one inhabited a hotel. I looked at the menus of the restaurant to find out about prices and offers. I found one, who offered a “comida” for 60 MXN. I was still a little sleepy and asked for a coffee. The waiter explained, that they only have Nescafé, though I took a chocolate milk instead. I expected to get it in a box or bottle, but was served it in a nice glass. That waiter was really service minded and I was happy, that I had found that restaurant. Unfortunately he was the cook and a waitress took over after I had got my meal. She was not service minded at all. Even she got told two times, that I had asked for the bill, I had to tell her one more time, before I have got the bill. Though I left a tip as usual, but wrote on the back of the bill, that it is for the waiter, who served me so well.

I was still longing for a coffee and was going back to a café, I had seen before. There was a waitress before, but now a waiter. He was using his cell phone and I had to go behind the desk, that he became aware of me. Anyway I asked about the cakes, they offered and decided to have a “Carlotta”, which is a kind of lemon-cheesecake, what I found out, when I ate it. The description of the waiter did not explain it good enough. Anyway I liked it.

There were no breakfast included in the room rate and no breakfast served either, though I bought some food at a Soriana supermarket, which was not very far away from the city center, because the city is really not big. I looked for fruit as well, but the fruit offered at the supermarket was not fresh. Therefore I bought a banana at a fruit store close to the hotel. I had to pay 2.80 MXN, but I told the seller, that I won’t have the change for the 3 MXN.

There were no fridge at the room either, but for one night, I could have the yogurt in the room. I tried the Wi-Fi, but it was so bad, that I gave up and only twittered by my cell phone, before I felt asleep.

 

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6th Nov 2018

I checked out early and asked, if I could have my backpack and my bag at the hotel, which I was allowed for free. I had the day before seen a museum and was walking there after my breakfast. I had to pay 60 MXN, actually it was for 65 MXN, but they did not have change. When I tried to give them 5 MXN back, they told me, that all was OK. They did not take the money. This museum was actually interesting. The group of indigenous people, who had lived here many hundred years ago, had already a very well-developed culture. Even this museum was not very big and I was soon through it. It was hot in Colima – what I had been told before. A perfect day for an ice cream. I chose two scopes as usual and had to pay 19 MXN. Furthermore I was on my way to a fabric shop. When I fixed my necklace with the two earrings, one had already come off and I was now looking for another kind of cord or chain to have it. I found a cord and tried to buy 50 cm, but was told, that they only sell the cords in whole meters. Though I bought a meter of it and was surprised, when I only had to pay 0.50 MXN. I was reading twice, because I thought, that cannot be true. It was!

People do not only live of culture, though I was looking for something to eat, while I was looking for a market, which was recommended of “Zona turistica”, the Mexican tourist information on the Internet. A lot of stalls were already closing down, some were still open and selling. At a restaurant I orderd a “Sope” with cream and cheese. I was awaiting a soup, but you can see below, what a sope (not sopa) means:

 

The Park close to the Hotel

 

I bought a pineapple water in another street. I hoped I could find Papaya water, but could not. There was not so much more to do that day. I was just walking around and had another meal at another place before I was going to my host between 6pm and 7pm. Jorge, my new host, had let me know, that he is working until five and it will take time to get home as well as that he will go to the gym at 7pm. I took a taxi from the corner of the street, close to the hotel. The taxi driver was already a little older and he was really nice and kind. I had to pay 30 MXN, which was an OK price. Unfortunately he did not know that street and I had to show him at my GPS. He was coming wrong into the street and, because it was a one-way-street, he did back until the right house.

When Jorge was back from the gym and had taken a shower, he told me, that he will go to the cinema with a friend and that I was welcome to accompany them. It was a movie about Freddie Mercury from the Queens. I followed them and the movie was actually worth to see. We were sitting in a usual room and had to pay 70 MXN for the performance. I also had a popcorn – without anything (no salsa, no butter – just natural), which was for 45 MXN and it was a small one, but more than enough for me. Back at Jorge’s home I was to bed immediately.

 

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7th Nov 2018

I left my laundry at the laundry shop nearby and have been told, that I could pick it up the following day. That seemed to be as usual. Directly afterwords I was going by bus to another town in Colima, called Tecomán. Nelson, a CS member had invited me to stay with him, but at that time I had already agreed with Jorge and booked the hotel. Anyway I had told him, that we can meet there, because it was one of the destinations I would like to see in the state of Colima.

I had asked Jorge, how to go there and he had told me, that I had to go by the city bus 3 or 6 to the Central de los Rojos and then by bus in the direction to Manzanillo. I caught a bus no 11, because there was written on the windscreen, that it goes to “Rojos” and I had asked the driver, if he will stop at the Central de los Rojos. He did and he told me, when we were there. It was easy to see, because the columns were red. I had asked Nelson to meet me at the bus station in Tecomán. Even I had to wait for him, he did. By the way, the one-way-ticket to Tecomán was for 60 MXN.

After we had introduced ourselves, he told me, that we will go to a nearby market and meet an auntie to him, he will show me the Plaza del Armas and the church as well as he has to go to another market and buy fruits and vegetables. Furthermore we will meet another auntie of him and he had invited us for dinner.

When we had met his first auntie, he was going with me to the Plaza del Armas, which is nearby. The special thing of the church is, that it is very modern. The old one had been hurt so much by an earthquake in the early 2000, that a new one was built. The church is the other way around than churches are usually, that means: It is very wide. Also it has open doors on three sides and additional openings, which do not have any doors at all. Though it is very fresh even during the hottest season.

 

 

Before we were going to the other market, we were visiting his home and I was happy, that I was staying with Jorge and not him. Jorge’s home is very clean. Exactly like I like it. Nelson’s home smells dog pee. The little, sweet dog is all the day at home and might be the reason for it. In addition to that, it seemed like Nelson has taken over the home from his mother. Paintings / Photographs from the family were hanging on the wall. On two of them was a sweet girl, looking like dressed for a wedding. I asked Nelson, if that was his sister, because he had not told me, that he was or had been married. He told me, that she is – in the age of 15. He continued to explain, that families have a big party for their girls, when they become 15 years old. The nice, nearly white dress and the make-up let her look like five or more years older.

After a while we were going to the market – not the first I have seen. Stalls were already closing, but not all of them. I had not been to such a market before – in the meaning of, that it was a little one and mostly offering fruit and vegetables from their own production. Nelson brought the bought items home and was waiting for his other auntie. When she arrived, we followed with her in her car to a seafood restaurant. Unfortunately they had not asked me, if I can eat everything. I had chosen a filet, but did not now, that it was a whole fish. Finally we were talking about my allergy and they told me, that the restaurant only serves fish and seafood. I got two quesadillas instead.

There was nothing more to do or see in Tecomán, but the beaches. To go to the beaches without a car is complicated, Nelson told me. Though I was going home just when it was getting dark. Nelson did explain to me, which bus I should take and expected, that I will see the bus station in time, though I had enough with time to leave the bus. That also worked well, but I was walking to the bus station the wrong way around, which took longer time and it seemed also a lonely area, which I usually not use – especially not after dark.

I was back in time for Jorge to leave for the Salsa lesson. Afterwards we would go to an Argentinian friend of him for a party with a barbecue. I tried to use the Internet, but it was very slow, though I gave up. Unfortunately Jorge messaged me, that he has to go to Manzanillo for picking up his brother, which had a car break down. I was waiting another hour, but was then so tired, though I went to bed.

 

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8th Nov 2018

I went to the laundry, to pick up my clothes and have been told, that it was not done yet. I should come back in the afternoon. My dirty clothes were still in the bag on the chair, where the woman had put it the day before.

On the way downtown I had a breakfast (I had ordered omelette with mushrooms and a papaya water, but did get omelette with cheese and mushrooms and a papaya milk drink). I did not say anything about it, because I won’t wait longer for my breakfast, but was thinking about, if I was more sensitive for lactose as I am, I had to. I walked downtown and tried to find a tour to the nearby volcano (Volcano de fuego), but there were no tours I just could attend and a tour just for me, would have been for almost 800 MXN. Though I tried to do the list, I had got of Jorge, which points of interest. My first goal was the “La Campana“, an archaeological site – a ruin of pyramids. I was walking much to far – thanks Google again, but was still in good mood, even for the heat. I had to pay 55 MXN and should have paid extra 45 MXN for using a device, able to made videos. I did not and I did not take any video either. Before I was walking around the guard told me, that I have to be careful, not enter the tops of the old ruins and be careful with the ants, because it is a nature-site as well. It took around an hour before I left the place again and I had taken a lot of photos.

My next goal was the La Piedra Lisa Park which I also reached by walking, but was in the opposite direction then the archaeological site. The more interesting should have been a museum nearby, but that was closed for refurbishment a guard in front of it, told me. In addition to that I tried to visit the Jardin de la Villa, but unfortunately it was getting dark, though I postponed it to the next day.

Coming back to Jorge’s place, I was looking if the laundry still was open. She was, but my clothes were not clean and not there. I told the lady of the laundry, that I am a traveler and I have to go further the upcoming day. Therefore I will pick up my clothes the upcoming day at 8am. I was really angry, this never happened to me before and I had used all my clothes, even my dress until this day. Furthermore in the heat I could not have the same clothes more than one day.

Jorge was on the way out for the gym again, when I was coming up the stairs to his apartment. He also told me, that one of his friends will Mary on Saturday and therefore they have a stag party this evening. He apologized, that he could not spent time with me.

I tried to upload my photos from the day before and this day, but they were gone! I had seen them after I had taken them and could also scroll forth and back, but there were those photos no more. I am really wondering, how that could happen. I tried again and again to find them, but I have to cope with, that they are gone. Also the Internet was really slow again, though I was to bed early that night.

For more photos of Colima, please follow the link!

 

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9th Nov 2018

I awoke around 2pm with heartburn and could not fall asleep again. Therefore I did take my netbook and tried to update my blog. I read the report from the days before and corrected some mistakes, while Jorge was coming home, wondering about, that I was still awake. Though I told him, that I just awoke. I was not working with my blog for a longer while, because I got tired and I was happy, that I could sleep again.

I was not awake before 8am and picked up my laundry around 10am. It was really done and no clothes missing. My plan for the day was to visit Comala, “the white city”. I have been told, that it is special and a must see destination. It was easy to go there by the city buses. The town is only six kilometers away from Colima. Actually I was disappointed by the town. It is very small and not as nice as e.g. Santa Clara del Cobre. In addition to that I love colors. There are things to do in the surroundings of Comala, but for that, one needs a car. Though I was walking back to Colima, but before leaving the little town I bought a little bottle of “ponche” (punch). It came in different flavours like coconut, strawberry and other fruits. I chose coconut and I was thinking to have a nice couple of hours in the evening together with my host, because he had told me before, that he will be free that evening.

 

Comala, Town Center

For more photos of Comala, please use the link!

 

It was time enough before dark and also in the direction, where I now was coming from, to visit the “Jardin de la Villa” in the Villa of Alvarez, a suburb of Colima – once upon a time an own town.  This place was quite nice, like you can see by my photos.

 

The Health Walk

 

Back at Jorge’s he was coming home just after me, but going straight to his bedroom. He did neither speak with me nor even greet me. I hoped, he will come out soon, but he did not. Though I had a half glass of punch by myself. I also was on Internet for a short while, but felt asleep soon.

 

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10th Nov 2018

It was time to go further. I had not seen Manzanillo yet, which should be a beautiful town as well. I had tried to find a host there, but the only available had not answered me, even I had sent the request two days ago. Therefore I decided to take a night bus and visit the town during the day. I had anyway go to Manzanillo to catch a bus for Nayarit. Actually, Jorge and I found out, that I have to go to Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco and then try to come further – first to Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit and then to Bucería, where I had booked a bed in a hostel, because no host from the West coast of Nayarit was answering me, as well and actually, there were no many to ask either.

I had to pay 120 MXN for the bus to Manzanillo. It was a “Nuevo Horizonte”, but the bus was not really new and did not have any bathroom either. For the short ride of around 90 minutes not a problem. The first thing I did, when I arrived in Manzanillo, was to buy a bus ticket to Puerto Vallarta. It was for 312 MXN and stated, it was for an economic bus. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I did not really understand, what the sell assistant told me, though I have got a bus ticket for a bus leaving Manzanillo at 2:30pm and arriving at the destination at 10pm. I asked her, if there is a bathroom on board and she told me: “Yes, there is and AC as well”. The first class ticket would have been for 480 MXN, but I think a little bit faster. – I only was aware of it, when the assistant explained the ticket for me. In a way, I was happy, that part of the trip was during daytime, because I like to see Mexico from the bus. On the other hand side, I only had three and a half hour for Manzanillo. Now it was the question, if I really should go there or not. I decided to see the town.

 

Manzanillo Town Center

 

The bus station is really outside the town of Manzanillo, therefore I took a taxi for the city center. It was for 50 MXN and it actually did take a while between the bus station and the city center. This city center is at the sea-side, because the whole town is following the sea-side and a little up the hills. Manzanillo has an important harbor. There were containers from all over the world to see, even from Hamburg Süd and Hapag Lloyd. It was like a greeting from on of the towns I once lived. The city center itself is rather small. There was no much to do. There you can find some restaurants and the usual souvenir shops. I actually only bought an ice cream a little outside the city center on my way back to the bus station. I found out, that there were going city buses and did catch one for the bus station. That ride was for only 9 MXN and I was still back in good time.

 

Manzanillo – Sea-Side and Mountains

For more photos of Manzanillo, please follow the link!

 

Before I entered the bus for Puerto Vallarta I bought a bottle of water, thinking there will be “flying sellers”, where I can buy something to eat. Surprisingly on the whole route – all the 9 hours, there came not one of these sellers. I did not see any at all. After two or three stops a Canadian couple from the South of British Columbia, living on a lake there, was entering and Tanja was taking the place near me. She asked me, if I speak English and then we had a nice chat about our travels. She and her husband were impressed about my way to travel and asked to keep in touch. Though I gave her one of my “business”-cards. I will see, if I ever hear from her again. By the way, this couple was staying in a little village called Melaque. They did it now already for the fifth year and were leaving the Canadian winter behind them. Afterwards I did not get any more company.

Please read about the arrival in Puerto Vallarta by following the link to Nayarit, even Puerto Vallarte is a town in Jalisco and the bus was driving through the state of Jalisco for hours I put this travel time in Nayarit, though it is easier to follow me. Enjoy and stay tuned as usual.