Pátzcuaro Magical Town

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
La Casita de Rosi

Flag of Mexico  , Michoacán,
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zirahuén to Pátzcuaro 27km (17 miles) Elevation 2240m (7349ft)

Pátzcuaro dates to 1320 and has colonial and indigenous character. It is both a "Pueblo Mágico" and one of the 100 Historic World Treasure Cities by the United Nations. We were looking forward to experiencing the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations there through November 2nd, with the big day being November 1st. But first we had to get there.

We have had zero rain since leaving Guadalajara and this day was not different. Temps around 70F. A great day for biking. The first quarter mile out of Zirahuén is steep up. We pushed our bikes. We rode the next mile and a half to the highest elevation of the day. From there, the libre (free) road toward lake Pátzcuaro has rolling terrain but the ups and downs were frequent and we could continue without feeling wiped out.

We arrived near the crossroad; up, to the town center of Patzcuaro and down, to the lake. We decided to stay in Patzcuaro for the next 8 days instead of heading north for 37 km to our warmshower host in San Andres Tzirondaro.

Since, we were near the lake, we checked accommodations by the lake. We found a nice enough place right away, but wanted to see options in the historical center. Dave walked the mile and half up to the town on the side of the mountain. He checked a dozen places. All had high vacancy rates early in the week. But on the 3 day festival time, things were tight. A low budget bunker was available as were many of the expensive places. But some of the swanky places were booked solid. We decided on the cozy La Casita de Rosi right next to the Basilica, but would have to move in four days to make room for a small group that comes down from the US every year. Then we reserved another so-so place for one day and would have to move again to a backpacker place called Posada Rosa right on the small town plaza. It would be a pain, but we decided we would prefer to be right in the center where major crafts competitions and bazaars are located.

The historical center of Patzcuaro, consists of Plaza Grande (where massive handicrafts tents were being set up for the festival) Plaza Chica (where the public market, theater and the lovely historic library are located) and the Basilica (where our Casita Rosi is, as was well as clothing and knick-knack stalls and flower sellers were). They form a triangle and are two short streets from each other. We did a quick exploration within the triangle before settling in to our Casita for a quick shower.

Near dusk, we heard marching band music and sprang out of our Casita to see what it was. A truck followed by rows of girls and guys in traditional clothing were parading by. The brass and drum band followed from the rear. We followed the procession to Plaza Chica where they congregated and did a few more numbers and danced. We took lots pictures and videos. Eventually, they passed the hat, and the band started the tune again and disappeared into the night.

One side of Plaza Grande had sellers set up for business already. Traditional Dia de Muertos breads, sugar and chocolate skulls, and whimsical skeletons were for sale. We examined the goods before stumbling into a Pizza restaurant hidden in a parking garage on the south side of the Plaza. The margaritas, beer and mushroom and cheese pizza were standard fare. But then they brought out six types of sauces to top our pizza and we noticed the pizza did not have a red sauce. And we saw other costumers slathering the supplemental salsas on their pizzas. We had to try them all; Habanera, Chimi churi (tasty spiced mayonnaise but hot as heck), Salsa Tipo Inglesa (like Worcestershire), yellow mustard, Chipotle, Buffalo Barbecue sauce, and another red chili sauce.

We were looking forward to spending the 8 days here!

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Aaldrik and Sonya on

That looks like the place you could spend longer than 8 days... See that you are still enjoying yourselves tremendously! Keep those updates coming :-)
Ciao from Tunisia,
Son and Ali

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