05/10 - Verano

Es Verano, it is summer here in Ajijic.  That time of year when it's the hottest.  It's also very dry and the mountains across the lake are slightly obscured by a thin layer of smoke as the local farmers prepare for the upcoming rainy season by burning their fields.  The smoke doesn't have an odor, but it hangs in the air like looking through a haze.  Abril y Marzo usually have the high temperature for the year and this year, so far, it hit on May 3rd with a record of 94.2 F at the Riberas weather station.  That is .3 F hotter than the hottest day last year, and the hottest day recorded in the last 8 years.  It cools down at night to the 60's so mornings are still pleasant and the hottest part of the day is usually late afternoon.
Since we spent nearly 25 years in Texas prior to moving here the low 90's don't really bother us too much.  But since most houses don't have either heat or air conditioning a lot of expats are a bit warm during this two month stretch.  But you will still see the locals wearing sweaters, long sleeved shirts and sweat shirts throughout the village.

The foilage is happy though, except for the mountains everything is green and blooming. The primaveras and jacarandas are all done blooming, but now the bright orange Royal Poinciana trees are just coming in to bloom and they are gorgeous.

A lot of expats usually like to do their traveling during the months of April & May just to get out of the heat.  We have friends who went on a Mediterranean cruise, our neighbors are in Bulgaria and a bunch of folks decided to go up to States.  I can understand why, especially for those that have a tendency to run warm, but it only lasts for about 60 days and when you consider the other 10 months of the year a glorious it's just something you deal with. We still have the best year-round weather of anyplace I've ever lived.

Snowbirds are gone and traffic is pretty normal except a lot busier on the weekends. It seems like we're getting a lot more traffic from weekenders and day-trippers coming down from Guadalajara on the weekends which is good for all the local vendors.  All is good.

The web forums are starting up with the annual poll on when the start of rainy season will begin.  Usually sometime in the first two weeks of June, and conversations will begin to focus on the rainbirds, and the state of the lake, and how soon we'll be moderating the temperatures with the rainy season.

Based solely on observation of the lake down at the Ajijic malecon, the lake seems to be in pretty good shape as we approach the rainy season.  When I am done with this blog entry I am going to create a page with pictures taken from the same locations over the past few years so you can see for yourselves how the lake seems to be doing. Last year the record rainy season kept the lake water levels higher than the prior few years and if we have another good rainy season it will be very good for the lake.

A few weeks ago I met a couple who had just relocated here from Ecuador.  I believe they lived in the Cuenca area.  We were talking over breakfast and I was curious as to how they ended up in Ecuador, since has been one of the hot spots for expats touted by International Living and several other retirement sites.

They explained that they traveled all over Mexico and kept heading south looking for a nice place to retire.  They had some friends who had retired there and so they thought they would give it a try.  I think they said they were there for 2 - 3 years.

I asked why they relocated here and they said that they were looking for someplace with a good climate, a large expat community and a little closer to the States from a travel perspective.  They also said that Lakeside appealed to them as the infrastructure here; ie. airport, shopping, big city amenities, was a big draw for them

That pretty much confirmed what I had thought about Ecuador. The earthquake had not happened yet, but the financial impact of the earthquake combined with lost oil revenue does not bode well for Ecuador as a hot spot for expats. 

Prior to meeting this couple I received an email from an expat couple who stumble across my blog.  They were inquiring about the crime here at Lakeside as they had read a recent article in a local Ecuadorian news outlet that crime here at Lakeside was on the rise.
I assured them that if crime here at lakeside was on the rise, that I would be aware of it and that as far as I was concerned things were about as peaceful as I have seen them be in the 5 years we've been here.  I pointed out to them that local news outlets like to tout the local area and bash the competing areas due to vested interests in selling real estate.

So, I say this to those that read this blog as part of their research on the area as perhaps a future retirement destination.

Read everything you can, but just because it is published on the internet doesn't mean it is true.

The best research is making a trip down to see the area and see if it works for you.

If you come down once for a visit and like it, make sure you come back for whichever season you missed.  Don't miss the rainy season it is wonderful.

Life is good.

I have added the page with the lake levels as seen at the Ajijic malecon - Ajijic Malecon Lake Levels