No Nearer the Cross Today
Today I traveled to Lago de Chapala (Lake Chapala) which is just south of Guadalajara, Mexico, with the sole purpose of seeing it and the surrounding hills from on high. According to my guidebook, I simply needed to walk down a little side street, turn left at the alley, and climb up the hillside stairs for 15-20 minutes until I reached the Cross at the top of the hill. I've climbed higher with the promise beautiful views, i.e. the Alhambra's glow at dusk (Grenada, Spain), Camelback Mountain (Phoenix, AZ), so I was game.
I got off the bus and began following the signs to the lake. After taking a look at the directions in my guidebook, I noticed that I was at the little side street. Unsure of whether to turn right or left, I looked around for someone to ask. For some reason I decided to ask the little old ladies conversing on the corner. I say for some reason because 1) I don't interrupt people to ask questions and 2) I've found that elderly Mexican women talk very softly and I don't always understand their Spanish. Also, like elderly people everywhere, they want to have long conversations and it's difficult for me to follow because they don't think to slow down for me. (They're used to younger people slowing down for them.)
Well, today I am grateful for too much information because when I asked which way to el Cruz, she pointed to the top of the hill and proceeded to tell me men drink and smoke marijuana along the path so it's dangerous for me to go alone. I expressed my disappointment and told her I'd heard the view from the top was very beautiful. She told me it was, but peligroso. Don't go alone.
I thanked her and she pointed me in the direction of the lake. Here I sit on the pier eating an almendras Magnum ice cream bar safe & sound however, no nearer the Cross.