Hi, it’s Melanie Anderson here to tell the story of my second trip to Colima, Mexico. This is Brian’s (my then husband and current business partner) first trip. It is another amazing experience – filled with ‘Never Be Bored’ moments.
This is the sequel to my first exploratory trip to Colima, Mexico in February 2007, ‘Finding My True Purpose in Colima, Mexico.’ Please check it out by clicking on this link:
The Second Date
It’s April 2007, less than two months after my first trip. In the interim, we establish a dialogue with the Secretary of Finance, Hugo Vazquez. We’re meeting with him the day after our arrival in Colima. This is one of many meetings planned during our week’s stay. While pursuing our dream of building a resort community in Colima, we experience many Never Be Bored moments. It’s thrilling meeting new people and being exposed to many first time adventures.
Our Stay at the Historic Gem, the Hotel Ceballos
We have meetings scheduled with the Secretary of Finance and our Notary in Colima City, the State Capital. To save driving time we decide to forego the oceanfront resorts in Manzanillo and stay at the Hotel Ceballos in the capital.
Hotel Ceballos was constructed in 1861 and is part of the historic centre of the city. Nearby is the State Government Palace and the Cathedral of the Diocese. There seems to be an extraordinarily beautiful garden plaza on every corner. This photo of me is right across the street from the Ceballos, on the cobbled walk by the central plaza.
The building is neoclassic architecture but also has all the comforts and conveniences of the modern era. It boasts full internet service and a quaint sidewalk restaurant. You can relax and sip on traditional drinks such as coconut water or tropical fruit punch and watch the world go by. Our room has a small balcony overlooking the beautiful central plaza. It’s decorated in traditional Colima colonial style with wooden furniture and leather coverings. Along one side of the hotel is a cobblestone walkway with unique shops and services.
Curse You Churros
It’s here we’ve discovered the most heavenly dessert, churros! They’re deep-fried fritters filled with your choice of caramel, chocolate or strawberry. Churros have quickly become our favourite after-dinner treat. Brian is sneaking some extra visits to the churro shop. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Meeting with Colima’s Secretary of Finance
Our first meeting with the Secretary of Finance is at his office in the State Government Complex. The buildings are of very modern design resulting in a stunning architectural structure. There are a number of buildings within the complex, each home to one or two of the main governmental Secretariats. It’s where I attended La Junta de Asistencia’s AGM and met Secretary Vasquez and Governor Ceballos on my first trip.
We’re shown into an elegantly furnished conference room to wait for the Secretary. I place my purse on the floor under my chair. He enters and even before greeting us, reaches under my chair, picks up my purse and places it on the conference table. Hugo explains that there’s a superstition in Mexico that when you place a purse on the floor, your money flows out the bottom. (Now I never place my purse on the floor) I have enough problems keeping money in my purse, so I’m not taking any chances.
Secretary Hugo is very gracious and truly interested in our ideas to develop a condo community in Colima. He invites us to tour Colima with him to see state-owned properties. Early this morning we’re picked up by Hugo and his chauffeur Carlos. We start by looking at property in Comala, far from the ocean, then at properties around Manzanillo at the Pacific shore. We come up to a viewpoint above Las Hadas Resort and love this beautiful scene. Then we’re off to Manzanillo harbour. We are told that investors are being sought to expand and upgrade the port to meet increasing shipping traffic. The expansion plans will make this port the largest in Mexico.
Lunch on Boca De Pasquales – Home to International Surfing
We drive to Boca de Pascuales for lunch at an oceanfront restaurant called Las Hamacas del Mayor. Built in 1953, Las Hamacas is renowned for an amazing assortment of seafood dishes. I have my first sampling of octopus and an amazingly delicious shrimp soup.
Boca de Pascuales is world famous for its very significant waves and international surfing competitions. We have the good fortune to watch one of those international competitions and are in awe of the skills required to ride those waves. For more information about the surfing at Boca de Pascuales check this out:
We are pleased to be joined by a number of government officials including Ignacio Peralta, the Secretary of Economic Development. (Mr Peralta is elected Governor in 2016) Following an amazing meal and a get-acquainted chat, we travel to an oceanfront property at the small Village of El Paraiso that I had seen during my first visit. We explain to our hosts that this property is perfect because Canadians coming to Mexico want to be near the ocean and beach.
More Meetings – More New Friends
Today we’re attending meetings with a number Secretaries and their assistants, including Ignacio Peralta. There are 20 government officials and we’re trying hard to remember their names and positions. They present a very interesting 30-year plan for the State.
We listen carefully to the information about the Port and now this 30-year plan. Brian and I now realize that these folks believe we’re very wealthy Canadians even though we have made absolutely no effort to create that impression. Who will take the lead to explain the reality?
Following all meetings, we have a handshake deal to work with the State Government to develop the property at El Paraiso into a glorious 32-acre oceanfront, residential resort community, depicted here.
We meet our Notary, Mario de la Madrid and are immediately drawn to his quick wit and warm and genial personality. We will meet him tomorrow to begin the process of forming a Mexican company that will allow us to conduct the business of resort development. Admittedly the “cart before the horse,” but WTH, we’ll Never Be Bored!.
Leonor and Rebeca (our friends from La Junta de Asistencia), Guillermo Brun and Enrique Ceballos meet us at the La Junta office and we travel to the quaint village of Comala to enjoy what a “happy hour” should always be like. Brian explains this in his blog: “Colima Serves Up Surprise after Surprise.”
Dream Stay at LAS HADAS
Hugo surprises us with a reserved room at Las Hadas for the last two nights of our trip. Carlos drives us to the hotel and we find flowers and chocolates waiting for us in the room. The movie “10” starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore filmed on the property, plays continuously on the tv. This is truly a grand hotel! It features magnificent pools and a number of high-quality restaurants along the resort harbour. All rooms face beautiful Manzanillo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Quite exquisite!!
(In 2013 we are thrilled to travel to Mexico City to meet with the famed architect, Jose Luis Ezquerra, who designed many beautiful structures including this iconic hotel complex.)
Apparently, We’re in DEMAND!!
Today we’re driving from Manzanillo to Colima City to meet with Mario. We leave with lots of time so we can stop along the way to check out some of the little roadside stands. While we’re stopped at one, we notice a cavalcade of army trucks speeding along the highway. One of us comments on this being an interesting but rather intimidating sight.
We pull into the parking lot at Mario’s office and are frantically greeted by Carlos, Hugo’s chauffeur. He hustles us into the government van indicating that Hugo has arranged a meeting for us with the Governor. While we drive he explains that Hugo has army personnel out looking for us. Yikes, is the cavalcade of army trucks looking for us? I’d love to know how we’ve been described.
Meeting Governor Ceballos
We’re whisked to the Governor’s palace where armed guards are stationed inside and out. An assistant escorts us into a conference room where he awaits us. A brief (translated) overview of our intention to build a condo community near El Paraiso is presented. During the visit, Brian casually invites the Governor to come to Calgary at some time in the future for the Stampede. As we prepare to leave Governor Ceballos presents each of us a large basket of dried fruit, coconut candies, Colima sea salt and a framed Hidalgo print. These generous gifts will present a very interesting challenge for our return flight!!
See Brian’s latest blog about Hidalgo at https://www.conciertoresorts.com/colima-serves-up-surprise-after-surprise/
Committed to a ‘NEVER BE BORED’ Lifestyle
It’s a thrill to spend one last night at Las Hadas. Brian shares the same feeling I had at the end of my recent, first visit to Colima. We both love Colima! The sights, sounds, food, ocean, wonderful people and the possibilities are overwhelming! We’ll ‘Never Be Bored’ in Colima, Mexico.
Six weeks later in late May, we receive a very surprising phone call from the Governor’s office. He has accepted our invitation to visit Calgary during the Stampede in July. They inform us he will bring his family and other government officials. This is a blog you’re going to want to read and one we’re very excited to share!!
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