Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sights of Patzcuaro


Bob and Deanna were great tour guides to the lovely colonial town of Patzcuaro We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday going to all the Dia de los Muertos celebrations and events. The main plaza in Patzcuaro becomes a giant market place with all sorts of venders

The sugar molds came in all sorts of shape sizes and colors cats tequila beer and fish and the skulls

cats and fish

all shapes and sizes
Skulls and more skulls
Sugar beer anyone?
how about Tequilla?

The flowers for this weekend were everywhere
Marigolds heading to the cementry

Lake Patzcuaro is very shallow and not very clean the water hyacinths have taken over. There is a small island in the middle of the lake, but the rumors are so bad of just being a total tourist trap we opted not go and I am glad we did not. The boats to go out there are running constantly and thru the hyacinths

Outside the gates of Casa Burton

another beautiful day in Patzcaro



We saw this dog standing in the doorway and thought he loked pretty silly wearing a hat until he showed us that his owners were having his ears done!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Day of the Dead

We had a different type of celebration this year.  We went to 2 cemeteries, the first in Tzintzuntzan.  It was great watching the families clean up the graves and then put up gorgeous flowers all the while talking about their loved ones to the kids and remembering the times that they had with them     

the 2nd one was a friend of Deanna and Bob's,  They lived in the small village and she was buried there

Road Trip Day 2 Thursday, Halloween

After breakfast we wondered down to the Plaza Grande or central square of Patzcuaro.  Everyone was busy decorating the plaza for the upcoming festivities.  While Dia de los Muertos was still a day away the children were already in costume for Halloween. 
While not a Mexican holiday Halloween has taken off here in Mexico.  Much like the commercialization of Christmas in the United States local vendors have introduced Halloween to Mexico. 

Quick break for some history.
Pátzcuaro was the capital of the Tarasco people from about AD 1325 to 1400. After the death of King Tariácuri, the Tarascan state became a three-part league. Comprising Pátzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio, the league repulsed repeated Aztec attacks, which may explain why they welcomed the Spanish, who first arrived in 1522. Bad idea, the Spanish returned in 1529 under Nuño de Guzmán, a vicious conquistador.
Guzmán’s reign against the indigenous people was brutal, even for those times. The colonial government recalled Guzmán to Spain, where he was arrested and locked up for life and dispatched Bishop Vasco de Quiroga, a respected judge and cleric from Mexico City, to clean up his mess. Quiroga was one enlightened dude. When he arrived in 1536, he established village cooperatives based on the humanitarian ideals of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.
To avoid dependence on Spanish mining lords and landowners, Quiroga successfully encouraged education and agricultural self-sufficiency in the Purépecha villages around Lago de Pátzcuaro, with all villagers contributing equally to the community. He also helped each village develop its own craft specialty – from masks to pottery to guitars and violins. The utopian communities declined after his death in 1565, but the crafts traditions continue to this day.
OK, back to what’s happening now.
As covered above in our brief history lesson Patzcuaro is surrounded by artisan villages.  Day 2 found us in Santa Clara del Cobre.  Copper is the name of the game and you can find or have anything made here.  Local mines are about played out and in the past few years the price of copper has quadrupled so many area have suffered a rash of copper thievery.  Its not uncommon for miles of power lines to disappear and be reincarnated into copper sinks and bowls.

Julie picked up a beautiful copper bowl for less than the price of a modest lunch.  A couple of quick beers to celebrate our finds then it was back to Patzcuaro for the evening.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Road Trip Day 1 Wednesday (the path less traveled)

       We have been planning a road trip to the interior of Mexico for some time now and leaving the boat in Barra de Navidad gave us the perfect opportunity to do it. 
For weeks Julie had been planning our stops and driving routes and our dock neighbors from Mazatlan, Bob and Deanna who live in Patzcuaro and had invited us to stay with them for our first stop. 
So on Wednesday we headed out of Barra at first light.  Two hours up to Colima and then a right to ?
All was well until ? where we should of gone straight but somehow ended up heading south.  How did a couple of savvy mariners make such an error?  Well in our defense it was raining and we couldn’t see the sun and road signs in Mexico can be lacking.  Passing thru several small towns Julie kept saying “I don’t see this one on the map” My reply was that it was a really small town and probably didn’t make the cut for the map.
At one point we saw a sign for Morelia which is just East of Patzcuaro.  Yea!  I knew we weren’t lost.  Well, the sign that said Morelia this way was like being in San Diego and driving to Los Angles via Phoenix.  You could get there but it sure wasn’t the shortest way. 
Anyway, it was only about 70 miles out of the way, the drive was beautiful and we saw some wonderful scenery.  We got to Patzcuaro before dark and were welcomed into Bob & Deanna’s beautiful house in the Centro of this lovely colonial town.