For 300 Pesos our taxi
picked us up at our front door in
Chapala and drove us to the New Bus Station in Guadalajara
where we purchased our tickets for 195 Pesos each directly to La
Plaza de Jardin in the City of Colima.
Our plans were to
body surf down the pacific Coast of Mexico but since we had never
spent time in Colima, it made sense to take a few days to scout it
Once we arrived
we dropped 'the boys' off at the Plaza while my friend, Martha, and
I searched the nearby area for
plaza in Mexico has a fountain and Billy is here enjoying the sound
of fresh water splashing in the city.
out several hotels, we decided on Hospedejas del Rey for 354
Pesos per night which gave us access to this swimming pool, WiFi in
the room, and a view.
Colima was much warmer than Chapala had been, and is known for its
bonny weather. Wandering around the city that evening, it was
comfortable enough to eat outside in one of the many restaurants on
The city of
Colima is charming, friendly and fresh. Here is another church and
plazita. We find the many different styles of
churches throughout Mexico to be intriguing.
Plenty of places
to shop and the clean city seemed to be just big enough and just
small enough to have the best of both worlds.
streets are common in Mexico and so is the wrought iron found over
windows and doorways. In this manner one is able to open up large
areas of the building without strangers walking through. It also
Tidy streets and
This is another
shot of the Plaza del Jardin, just down from our hotel. The
green 'cages' are WiFi areas with desks and electrical plugs
What a beautiful
outdoor office! Free Wifi in public areas was available throughout
Here is another
well-kept building in town. Beautiful wrought iron on balconies and
downstairs windows with small globe lights dotting the structure in a
Not a lot of
people on this bus!
We had our choice
of seats and wide windows for the views. This is what we like to
call the 'nickel tour.' For 6 Pesos we board a local bus from a
familiar spot in the city without having a clue as to where it goes.
Buses do a loop so you can get off where you got on. For very little
dinero, we can have a tour of the surrounding area and see
neighborhoods that otherwise would have been off the radar. In this
case we were the only ones riding at this point.
Anyone could be
an entrepreneur in Mexico. This man takes his restaurant to you! His
wife made the food, and now he serves it up to his customers.
This arrangement allows the mother to stay at home with the children,
the family is still able to operate a business to have cash flow.
This setup is
quite common in Mexico and his motorbike carries his entire fixings.
Here in Colima we
are in the mountains of Mexico and kept hearing about the Suchitlan
Coffee Plantation. Coffee is one of my favorite beverages, yet I had
never seen how it was grown. I had no idea what to expect and we
wanted to see first hand how a plantation was run.
We were told to
go to the Red Bus Station and take a bus to Cofradia de
Sutchitlan for just under 14 Pesos per person which leaves every ˝ an
hour. The bus drives right through the Zona Magica of Comala,
a place we were planning to eat lunch later on.
This is our bus
riding through the narrow cobblestone streets of Comala.
We don't know why
this area is called the Magic Zone, but a few years ago Presidente
Vicente Fox declared Comala to be one of Mexico’s 20 magic
towns. Apparently there are several places in the world where
objects appear to defy gravity and roll uphill, and this is one such
One thing we knew
for sure, there was something different about this town. And
it took us a little while to figure it out.
known for loving brilliant colors and often paint their homes
orange, fuscia, lime green, mustard yellow, cobalt blue... and in
this town, Every. Thing. Was. White!
the benches in the park, the wrought iron, archways... and even this truck!
As we wandered
around the town we asked the locals how anyone could find each
other's homes and businesses since every house on every street
was painted white.
Mexican will say 'My house is the orange one on Juarez' or 'Go left
at the blue house to get to my street.'
Here in Comala,
people say 'My house is next to Juanita's' or 'turn left at Jorge's
and go three houses down.' It wasn't clear as to how one initially
finds Juanita's or Jorge's house.... but it doesn't seem to
be a problem with the locals. In fact, they were quite proud of this
A coffee tree
with coffee beans growing.
We were never
told exactly where Cofradia de Suchitlan was located, only that it
was across from the Bull Ring. Our bus left us off in the middle of
a small town with no Bull Ring in sight. We weren't sure what we
were going to do, but just before we were about to hire a taxi, a
man offered to take us directly to the plantation in his truck. What great luck!
Arriving at the
Colimotl Cafe Plantation, we were told that there were no workers
yet, as it had been a very cold season. Even though we were right in
the coffee growing time from January to April we would have to make
peace with the fact that there would be no action to watch. Maria
showed us the machines anyway and explained the process.
Coffee starts on
the tree like the one above...
... and ends up
here as roasted beans many, many steps later.
After our 'ghost'
tour, we sat down and had a cup of espresso on the house. I bought a
250 gram bag of freshly ground coffee for 30 Pesos and took it home
for enjoyment later on.
Back at the
Zona Magica, we had lunch at one of these restaurants right on
the main plaza. Comala, not to be confused with Colima, is famous
for their food, and in this restaurant all the botanas were
free if you purchased a beer. This is another popular tradition, so this is what we did.
We returned to
Colima later on that afternoon - back to a world of familiar color!
Next time you are
in Colima, contact Senor Portillo below to arrange a coffee tour. Be
sure to ask if the machines are in operation.
Union de Ejidos
Jose Lopez Portillo
MVZ Fernando Diaz Lopez
Our next stop is
the black sand beaches of