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In-Motion Geography Class in Mexico

Posted on | April 30, 2009 | 11 Comments


Last weekend, we visited the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. The focus of our trip was to assist with a family matter and since we were only in the country for four days, our general plan was to hang out with family while the kids played in the pool. We knew that we’d have a long drive from Ajijic to Colima, but we hadn’t even researched the route we’d be taking. We absolutely did not expect the spectacular sights we saw along Highway 54.

In the first half of the three-hour drive, as you drive through the dry lake beds of Laguna Sayula and Laguna San Marco, the dust devils are amazing. For my children, this became a competition in who could spot the best, biggest, devil. As we drove along, I commented on the reflection of the mountains in what seemed to be some shallow water on the horizon.


We very quickly realized that there wasn’t any water at all and that we were actually seeing a mirage. The boys were transfixed. I was stunned and not really sure that it really was a mirage. But, sure enough, as we drove closer, the “water” receded. If you look closely at the photo above, it appears that the lower ridge of trees and shrubs is reflected in the water. It’s not. I had never really appreciated how authentic a mirage could be. My children, of course, would never have been able to see this in a classroom.

We have a family habit of playing tourist in our own city the day after we return from a trip to let ourselves down gently from the fun of traveling together. This wasn’t an option after this trip: we didn’t play tourist today, in fact, we’re self-quarantining in our house for a few days because we’re not sure whether or not we’ve been exposed to Swine Flu.

Being in Mexico as this situation developed was a fascinating experience especially as a mom who writes about traveling with children. I’ll be writing more about this experience next week once I know we’re all safe and healthy.

Check out more fun photos from all over the world on DeliciousBaby.com

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11 Responses to “In-Motion Geography Class in Mexico”

  1. marina villatoro
    May 1st, 2009 @ 9:36 am

    I’m looking forward to hear what you have to say about the swine flu with kids. I’m sure you have real reason to hide in your house, but I live in Costa Rica and we have 2 cases, who are both fine by the way, and some of my friends are running to tiny villages to hide. It’s like out of control!
    Photo Friday – Cano Island – The Truth Revealed

  2. Lucia
    May 1st, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    Hoping you guys stay healthy. Truly some amazing sightings on your recent trip. I’ve never seen or even heard of dust devils before…wow! I am just starting your book and already really enjoying it.

  3. jessiev
    May 1st, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    i hope that you guys are ok, health-wise. what incredible photos!!

  4. wandermom
    May 1st, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    @Marina you’re right, everything’s a little over-the-top wrt swine flu. But, my nurse friend recommended that we avoid social contact for a couple of days just to be on the safe side. Since we went through two major airports, we couldn’t be sure we hadn’t been exposed.

    @Lucia and @jessiev Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  5. marina villatoro
    May 2nd, 2009 @ 6:07 am

    You’re right, but you have good reason! Some people are walking around here in Costa Rica, with masks on just for a show.

  6. Carolina
    May 3rd, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    This is is great scenery, and what kid wouldn’t love those dust devils. Hope you all stay healthy. And you’re right it has been very interesting watching this whole thing unfold. I’m still processing how I feel about people’s reactions to it. (oh, and I think it’s wise to stay home, as a teacher, I thank you for that!).

  7. quickroute
    May 4th, 2009 @ 8:55 am

    Yikes – talk about timing!
    The locals are all wearing surgical masks here and the scars of SARS are still fresh in the memories – fingers crossed it all passes soon!

  8. Dominique
    May 4th, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    Amazing pictures.

    Hope all is well with your family this week :)

  9. Lorraine
    May 4th, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    I appreciate the tradition of a ‘down day’ after traveling. Having some time to regroup is important to us too, and helps us digest the trip without getting caught up too quickly in life’s natural whirlwind. Hoping that your travels ended safely as well! Looking forward to reading more about your trip.

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    May 4th, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

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