After only about one week we found a rental in the Ajijic area. We arrived in April, at the low time of year for visitors (because it gets “too hot” here!). Since this is a time when people are moving away, it is an easy time to find a rental. We were looking for a furnished place, with a rent of US$500 per month or less. We spoke with several realtors who handle rentals, and ended up being happiest with Continental Reality. We looked a maybe ten different places, some in Ajijic, some in nearby areas, and a few in Chapala. We ended up with a house in Riberas del Pilar, between Ajijic and Chapala.
This post will show the nice place we found. It is more than twice the size of our last place in India, and seems spacious and luxurious.
The front of the place has a big round window. It reminds me of Captain Nemo’s submarine, Nautilus, in the Disney movie of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The house is on a narrow lot, between two other houses. These lots are like small lots in Tiruvannamalai, and similar building techniques are used, with the house made of brick and cement.
The entrance opens up to a nice large front room, with a stone wall and dining area in the back.
While we might think the stone wall a little out of place, it is in fact a sweet reminder of our house in San Jose, where we spent 15 wonderful years in a house with a stone wall in the living room.
Below, a shot looking out towards the round window. One thing we really like is the good light inside the house.
The kitchen is light and airy. It opens up onto a concrete patio that is walled in on all three sides. We will put a table with an umbrella and potted plants and a couple of trees in big pots to add some greenery, and maybe a bougainvillea for color.
Carol looks out into the back patio in the photo below. Note how nice and spacious the kitchen is.
Another view of the kitchen.
Up the stairs to the bedrooms.
There is a big area at the top of the stairs, with a skylight to let in the light. Maybe we will put a big plant here?
Here’s the skylight.
The front bedroom is spacious, with a window that is shaped kind of like Arunachala, the sacred mountain in India we lived next to for the last eight years. For us, this gives a special feeling.
Carol looks in the front bedroom, happy with what she sees.
The rear bedroom is also nice.
Both bedrooms have big closets. After the years in India, these closets seem like such a good thing. They have rods so we can again hang up our clothes. I felt like I had to introduce my Indian clothes to the hangers since they had never known such things. Note the curved brick ceilings. These are typical of this area.
The third bedroom has a great brick ceiling with a cupola that lets in the light. I think this will be our meditation room. I also will have a desk and my computer in here.
We saw this place, then looked for several days at other places. None measured up, so we went to the realtor and started on the rental agreement.
We then got a taxi and took our bags from our friends’ house to our new home.
The very first thing we did after unpacking is to put up Ramana Maharshi’s photo in the living room. We had carried this in our luggage. It is what you see when you first enter the house.
Two days after we moved in, friends came from Guadalajara with the motorbike they had bought for us. Since we are here on a tourist visa, I did not think we could buy and register a bike in our name yet. And our friends were so gracious that they bought it for us and registered it in their name. We will transfer it to our name when our visa status is changed to long-term.
The bike is a Yamaha Crypton, 110 cc, with an electronic starter. It has manual gears though, so I have to re-learn how to shift a motorbike. I once had one that I had to shift manually, so it is not a new experience. But it was 50 years ago, so my memory is pretty rusty.
Here is the bike, in front of our house. Note the cobblestones on the driveway. Most of the roads around here are made of these, which add an extra thrill to driving. They are also why I wanted a bike with big wheels, not like the small-wheeled motor scooter I had in India.
The first time we rode the bike two policemen told us we had to have helmets. After the first one, as we were driving to the only place in Ajijic where we might be able to buy helmets, we were stopped by the second policeman. After he threatened to impound our motorbike, he let us know that if we paid “the fine” to him, we could just drive away. So I did, with him motioning me not to get my wallet out until we were hidden behind his car.
When we got to Walmart, naturally they did not have my extra-large size. So we bought a pink one for Carol. The next day the taxi driver took me to a place he knew in Chapala and I bought one, too. Our helmets:
Carol took this selfie, us with our helmets.
My helmet has a feature that makes me look like a space traveler.
Richard on the bike.
We got some of the nice fruit that is available locally.
Carol, sitting in the kitchen.
What a nice house this is. I think we will be very happy here.