Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Altozano Facelift

tree meridians

    As you can see in these two photos,  the main avenues up here in Altozano are getting spruced up.

Quite a few people have written to me lamenting about the construction up here destroying the forests.


Golf Altozano 034However,  the area where Altozano is being built was mainly pastures.   If there were forests here,  they were destroyed decades,  if not centuries ago.     The only area that I would call wooded is where the golf course is being built.


This google satellite photo below shows some of the wooded areas that hopefully will be somewhat protected from growth in the future.   It will also give some of you that are not so familiar with Morelia an idea of just how close some of these projects are to one another.  

The wooded area between the labels Paseo Morelia and Jesus del Monte is the Valle del Rio Chiquito reserve.  The yellow line is Camelinas Blvd (aka Libremiento)

google overview

The dark woods in the lower right hand corner are the beginnings of the forested areas that include the small towns of San Miguel, San Jose de los Torres,  Rio Bello, Ichaqueo,  Tumbisca.   This area is the main watershed for Morelia.

The little finger that juts out to the upper left of the red circle is the Loma de Santa Maria hillside at the southern part of the city. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Highway to MLM airport revisited


Airport Highway 6-08 004

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I took a ride out towards Charo to see how the construction was coming along on the new toll road to Morelia's airport,  and extending to connect to the Mexico City-Guadalajara autopista.   To see how it looked last February,  click here

The construction workers that I spoke with told me it will be open by the middle of July,  and I tend to believe them.   There is still work to be done,   mainly cosmetic on the access ramps,  painting,  rock falling areas,  and toll booths.   I was able to drive it all the way from its start near Ciudad Industrial out to the Mexico city toll road.  Here are a few observations:

It is a two lane highway,  but has large shoulders,  very similar to the toll highway to Lazaro Cardenas and Ixtapa.    Those who are not familiar with these Mexican autopistas can get a chuckle by visiting Mickey Dick's peeks at Highway Lunacy .


Airport Highway 6-08 016







Airport Highway 6-08 017

(click on photos to enlarge)

(above) Here is the start,  the bridge over the DF-Guadalajara toll road (right).  30 kilometers from Avenida Camelinas at the Charo exit.  In the photo at the left,  you can see the toll booth being built in the distant,  those only going to the airport will just pay one toll,  but if you are heading to Chilangolandia or Tapatiaville,  double whammy on the tolls.  What?  You were thinking the owners (guess who) were building this highway for the common good?


Airport Highway 6-08 013


After a short jaunt of 4.5 KMs,  you pass the runway to MLM (above).   The control tower can be seen in the distance,  this old passenger jet must of got lost in the fog a few years back.


Airport Highway 6-08 011

For those of you who ever had the thrill of driving or riding in a bus from Mexico City to Morelia before the toll road opened,  you will be happy to note,  that once again,  you will pass the sleepy little town of Charo.   When I was dating my better half,  and taking the all nighter on ETN bus lines from Acapulco to Morelia.   I  remember seeing the steeple on the main church at Charo,  thinking,  yahoo,  I am almost there.


Airport Highway 6-08 014

  I don't know about these distances,  I guess they could be accurate.  If so,  we are only 2 hours away from both Guadalajara y Mexico city,    This sign is directly across from the runway at MLM.   It seems that we are getting closer and closer to Mexico city.   First they re-routed traffic so we no longer have to traverse Toluca,  now we can hook up to the Autopista Guad-Mexico well east of Lake Cuitzeo.  

Although a sign near the first toll booth read 50 kms to Morelia.    I measured  30 kilometers to Camelinas....if it is 20 kilometers from Camelinas to the historic center of Morelia,  I'll eat my sombrero.     Sometimes I think tequila plays a part in these sign postings.  (sign in photo says 245 kms to Mexico,  and 230 km to Guadalajara)


Airport Highway 6-08 020

(above)  At about 23 kms from where we started,  is the second toll and the exit for Bosques at Ciudad Tres Marias.      In the photo you can see the corporate office of Posadas de Mexico.    We are only about 7 kms from Camelinas avenue here.


Airport Highway 6-08 018

Airport Highway 6-08 006

These are 2 of the more scenic vistas along the way,  Ciudad Industrial,  and the new sewerage treatment plant.  (Editor's note:  sarcasm intended)



With the exception of the above,  this entrance from the airport should make for a much better first impression of Morelia and Michoacan.    Let's face it,  coming in to Morelia from the north on the old road was not showing off our city's best angle.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bosques Altozano, June 2008

Below is the course layout.   I walked the first 5 holes,  then over to holes number 10 and 11.   They are hoping to have 9 holes open sometime this summer.   A few of the holes were ready to play,  although the grass could use a little more maturation time.  I am excited about how the layout is coming along,  I think it will be a fun,  fair course,  unlike some other,  more acclaimed courses in the area.  

golf layout




















Come on along as we walk through some of the holes.   Keep in mind,  these photos were taken  3 weeks ago in May,  the driest time of the year here in Morelia.   It has been raining fairly steady  for the last 3-4 days,   so things are looking much greener up here already.

Hole # 1,  Par 4,  390 yards from the blue tees.

You will want to aim your drive towards the large tree in the middle of the fairway.   It is fairly open and forgiving,  which is good seeing as it is Hole Numero Uno!

Golf Altozano 004

This photo below shows the landing area for your drive.   You would play a high iron over the stream,  into a small green surrounded by bunkers.

Golf Altozano 005

 Hole # 2,  Par 5,  533 yards from the blue tees.

This hole is straight up hill,   making it very challenging to go for the green in two.   Below is looking back at the tee area.

Golf Altozano 008

Assuming a straight long drive,  below is the view of your second shot will look like,   bunkers are strategically placed on both sides of the fairway.

Golf Altozano 009

Behind the second green,  looking back to drive's landing area. (below).   In the distance is Jesus del Monte.   This hole is up pretty high,  and I can see it getting pretty windy up here at times.

Golf Altozano 010

Hole # 3,   Par 4,  466 yards from the blue tees.

What goes up,  must come down.  Having hiked up number 2,  now it is straight downhill with the wind at your back.   At an altitude of well over 7000 ft.,  hackers like me should have fun letting it all hang out on this drive.   Aim for the lake,  with a fade,  and you could easily reach 300 yards off the tee.  The building just past the lake will be the provisional clubhouse.   The Altozano towers can be seen in the distance.

Golf Altozano 012

Your second shot (below) is also straight downhill.  The fairway on this hole was still a ways from having mature grass ready for play.

Golf Altozano 013

Hole # 4,   Par 4,  380 yards from the blue tees.

We have crossed under the perimeter road,  and are entering the flatter,  more wooded section of the course.   This is a short dog-leg left,  slightly downhill. 

Golf Altozano 017

If you are still with me,  reading this,  you must be a golfer.   Below is the 4th green.   We are coming into the area where 4-5 holes are very close to one another.   You are either finishing up on 18, or moving onto holes number 5 & 6.  (see course layout above)

Golf Altozano 021

  Hole # 18,   Par 5,  571 yards from the blue tees.

As you walk off the 4th green,  you come into the HUB of the Bosques Altozano course.   The photo below shows the 18th green,  you would be hitting your 3rd shot over the pond.    This would also be a great vantage point for watching a tournament,  as you can enjoy watching play on 4 or 5 different holes from here,  as well as being in a nice shaded grove of eucalyptus trees.

Golf Altozano 024

 Hole # 10,   Par 4,  443 yards from the blues

Holes 10 and 11 will probably be included in the first 9 holes to open this summer.   Here we are looking over the recently topdressed green at No. 10.   It is a dogleg left.

Golf Altozano 030

Hole # 11,   Par 4,  427 yards from the blues

Tees at 11,  a slight dogleg right.   That's my tour for now,  can't wait to try out my neighborhood course in a few weeks,  come on down,  you won't be disappointed !!

 Golf Altozano 029