They Put Up A Parking Lot
By Sue Schools
Falling in love with Ajijic on my first visit in ‘97, I returned each February when possible to compete in the Mexican National Chili Cookoff. I won the championship title the last year it was sanctioned in 2008, and decided it was time to make the big move and retire to my lakeside paradise.
Living in Texas and owning a huge Dodge Sprinter Van (like Fed Exp), I started driving down from Laredo with all my worldly goods, which required several trips. My van contains a bed, a porta potty and an ice chest so I can go anywhere! Because I travel with large dogs and am not a welcome hotel guest, I have often stayed overnight at my favorite truck stop on the outskirts of San Luis Potosi. El Potosi is a rest stop for the luxury buses and tractor-trailers and at a popular junction between Guadalajara and Mexico City and heading north through Monterrey then on to Laredo, Texas, connecting with I-35 which is a major shipping corridor to Canada.
My favorite times were arriving at sunset and parking on the western side to see the flickering lights in the distant city of San Luis Potosi. Sunrise is a time of bugles and a call to action, but sunset is a reward for a day well spent. And these were especially relaxing moments for me.
In mid-April of this year, I timed my trip to park on the west side of the truck stop to enjoy my favorite view. They also offer Church’s, Papa Johns, Mexican fare, an excellent coffee bar and complimentary WIFI. So I ordered my dinner to go and arranged myself for a spectacular sunset, back-dropped against San Luis Potosi and the surrounding low mountain range.
EGAD !! Across the divided highway was a monstrous truck parking lot with a couple dozen high beam streetlights. The streetlights themselves obscured my sunset view but added was the continuous flow of 18-wheelers with their own headlights blinding me. And off to the south was a new housing development with their own blinking lights and evidence of humanity.
A few years ago, an occasional big rig roared by in the night but in early 2017 the truck traffic was continuous, all night, a constant roar and groan of shifting gears and jack brakes. I’m certainly not going to get into politics … but this incredible increase in the trucking industry points to an extremely healthy commercial economy in Mexico. Not only are these truckers delivering produce and goods but they are stopping along the way to buy their own meals and fuel, which provides income to the many tiny communities which dot the highways.
I’m really happy for Mexico’s booming economy, but there is a new bypass around the city, and I’m sorry to be missing El Potosi in the future.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot
—Big Yellow Taxi
By Joni Mitchell
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com