Jan 25, 2007 — Recently we drove to Colima and Manzanillo for a few days. From Lake Chapala, where we live, it’s less than three hours to Colima, mostly on a very good four-lane highway, partly on a two-lane highway. We passed an active volcano, with steam issuing out from its top.
We stayed overnight in Colima at the Maria Isabella, an attractive modern hotel. We were there with friends who had some business in the city, and we enjoyed getting to know it — I had been there once before. At about a thousand feet above sea level, it’s 4000 feet below our area, and the climate is distinctly warmer. On a January day, it was very pleasant shirt-sleeve weather, even into the evening.
In our hotel room, I read a well-thumbed Chamber of Commerce-type paperback about the state of Colima. In English and Spanish, and designed to draw investors, it described a prosperous state with high education and employment levels, low crime, many women in high positions, and so on. I’d already heard much of this from other visitors to the city, who also described it as being quite progressive. The population is about 150,000, and it is home to several universities. The state’s economy rests on mining (including the largest iron mine in Mexico), agriculture, and industry as well.
Most of our fellow guests were from Jalisco, judging from their license plates. Here’s a picture of cars in the hotel lot, not so much for its charm as to show how new and upscale Mexican vehicles often are. Sure, you see old clunkers on the roads at times, but the middle and upper classes are driving good looking things, not necessarily extremely recent but well kept up. There may be a parallel with the fact that the people are always well dressed too… the stylish sloppiness so common north of the border is extremely rare in Mexico.
In the morning, Kelly and I went for a walk. This traffic circle could have been a bit of a nightmare to drive around, but traffic lights controlled the flow of traffic. Our destination was the Museo de las Culturas de Occidente, (the Museum of Western Cultures), with much pre-Hispanic pottery, mostly from this immediate area.
This piece is a squash, a plant much represented, and the next two are the "Colima dogs" I was so enchanted with when I last went to Colima. Photos were allowed without flash at the museum.
This first dog piece has a human mask on his face, and it would have been buried with a human, to assist the human in making the journey to the next world.
Here are my two blog entries that explain the Colima dogs, with photos: