About a week after our trip to buy raspberries in Jocotepec, we drove to the town of Mezcala. I loved this little place because it was so authentic - few tourists and expats.

Our intent was to take a boat from there across to the Isla Mezcala a.k.a as Isla del Presidio. It was made famous during the Mexican War of Independence when 1500 patriots (mostly Indian) maintained their independence against the Spaniards for four years (from 1812 - 1816) until hunger and sickness forced their surrender.

In 1819, the Fuerte Mezcala (Mezcala Fort) was built by the Spanish and used until Mexican independence in 1821. The island was then converted to a prison until it was closed in 1855.

It was intriguing to walk among the crumbling walls, and look out over the lake, wondering who the people were, and what they were like, who walked along the same paths I was now walking.

As we explored the prison - accessed by a drawbridge that spanned the moat surrounding the fort - Greg could see in his mind's eye the Mexican jefe with his sombrero and cigar dangling from his mouth, six-shooter hanging from his hip, just like out of a movie.

(Why is it that real life reminds us of movies? Isn't it more accurate to say that movies remind us of real life? At least that's the way I think it should be.)

Click here to watch the video of this adventure.

We parked on a side street and walked to the dock. If you park at the dock, you get charged for parking.

These girls were being shy as we walked by, and were hiding behind their books.

This is just normal for Mexico - horses and trucks.

After discussing the price, we loaded onto our boat. (It cost $280 pesos - US$22 - for about an hour of time).

Looking back at the town of Mezcala from our boat.

Look at that serious face.

They are having fun, don't you think?

A few minutes later, sound asleep.

Approaching the island. It took about 15 minutes to get across.

Very cool roots to a very big tree.

The rock wall fortification ruins.


The fort/prison built by the Spanish.

The kids loved running to explore each room around the courtyard exterior (and there were lots of them).


The fort actually had a drawbridge going over a moat. How cool is that?

Back in the town of Mezcala (on the mainland)


We stopped at the plaza to take pictures of the church...

And we found this awesome tortilleria, where they were making fresh corn tortillas.

They grind it from this.

Put the mix in this machine (corn flour, water, salt, oil essentially), which forms and cooks it.

It comes out back where she is sitting, she stacks them up (nice and hot) and puts them in a cooler to sell. We bought 4 kilos worth (about 150 tortillas). It only cost us $40 pesos (at the tianguis in Ajijic, they wanted to charge $15 pesos for about 10 tortillas. I love local villages!)

The tortilla making machine and store is just in the front part of their house, which opens up onto the main street by the cathedral and plaza.

I took lots of pictures for this little excursion. I guess it means I really liked the place!

Have you been to Mezcala?







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