A few weekends ago, Andy and I whisked the girls away on a four day caper to the coast and through the mountains. We kicked it off with a boat ride to Isla Alacranes on Lago Chapala at sunset (above). The next day we swept down crazy, winding mountain roads in our tiny red rental car, passing rumbling trucks and buses until we made it to Isla de Navidad, where we`d booked a small beachside cabaña . Two days of sunsets over the ocean, swimming at a (poached) private beach belonging to a nearby resort, and laying on the beach under the clearest night sky I`ve seen in Mexico.
The ocean was with us the whole time: we could see it sparkling in the morning sun when we stepped onto the front porch. We watched it pound the beach from the pool next to our cabana, and its consistent crashing lulled us to sleep every night.
Reluctantly leaving the beach, we cruised secondary roads through Colima, Comala, and cobblestoned villages of decreasing size until we pulled into a clearing in front of Laguna la Maria, a forested lagoon under Nevado de Colima, one of Mexico`s biggest mountains and the twin of its most active volcano. We camped there in a small campground, enjoying the crickets and the shrieking peacocks the campground`s owner kept in cages by the gated entrance. Beautiful rouge sunset, then lots of pb and j sandwiches and wine by our campfire.
We took more treacherous mountain roads the next day, giving Hardip, who just got got her driver`s license, a spin at the wheel. She steered us unflinchingly up a sandy, under-construction, cut-back and construction-machine ridden road while the rest of us bit our nails in the back. Bravo Hardip! The rest of the roads on the way to Tapalpa were covered in rocks, potholes, construction equipment, and featured tons of shear drops and hairpin turns. By the time we made it to Tapalpa and back to Guadalajara, our rental car looked like a five-year old had spent the afternoon idly peeling paint chips off the bumper and hitting the tires with a muddy baseball bat. Adventures!