At around 35km wide and 120km long, Laguna de Chapala, just over 50km south of Guadalajara, is the largest lake in Mexico. Its northern shore has long been a favourite retreat for Tapatíos, especially since the early years of the twentieth century when dictator Porfirio Díaz regularly spent his holidays here. Expats from north of the border, particularly Canadians, have also been appreciative of the lake scenery and even year-round temperatures. It is said that there are now around 30,000 such people living in and around Guadalajara, a sizeable proportion of whom have settled on the lakeside – particularly in Chapala and in the smaller village of Ajijic. Most of these snowbirds are retirees – during the 1990s, Laguna de Chapala was spoken of locally as being in the “gay 90s”, the joke being that anyone who lived there was either gay or over 90, but some are writers or artists manqués, hoping for inspiration, like Ken Kesey, or D.H. Lawrence, who wrote the first draft of The Plumed Serpent here.