Today, we decided to head down to the center of Patzcuaro.
From blogs and talking to people we knew that it was about a half hour walk from the Villa Patzcuaro Hotel and RV Park. Collectivos are available just outside to take us to El Centro for $12 pesos each, and we did consider that, but in the end we decided to walk -- we reasoned that we could always get a ride back.
The nice thing about walking was that we could see the sights along the way. Pretty much most of the way had a sidewalk. We looked at the downtown briefly on google maps last night but didn't have anything to take with us. In the end we took the long way to get to the centro - we did much better on the way back with map in hand from the tourist office.
During the day we noticed that Patzcuaro has a LOT of graffiti - we don't mind this kind as much - more like artwork.
Now that I have a fast, free, wifi connection - here's another marathon photo blog post. I mean - really - how do you choose from so many photos! I LOVE to add a bunch so that you can get a real feel for a place. The photos to follow are really random because we really just wandered here and wandered there.
Patzcuaro has two Plazas - The Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra (chico) and the Plaza Vasco de Quiroga (grande). We first came upon the Plaza Gertrudis - I notice that we really didn't take any pictures except for this one at the Market. We will be going back to the Market while we are here so I'll get more pictures then.
Ex Convento De San Agusin.
We then found our way to the Plaza Vasco - Patzcuaro's main plaza - it is framed by the 17th century facades of old mansions that have since been converted to hotels, shops and restaurants.
Vasco de Quiroga.
Derek and I are definitely developing a sixth sense for panaderias because it wasn't long before we spotted the Panaderia Riviera. So - we went on it and picked out some treats and headed back to the plaza to enjoy.
This is the first time I have seen this poster showing all of the Mexican pastries. Seriously, even with all the walking we do - Mexican pastries are what is standing between me and losing weight. I'd love to have my own copy of this poster - but really - by the time we leave we should be proficient in Mexican pastries!
From our seat at the plaza we looked up this street - so - we decided to walk up it to see where it led.
Patzcuaro has many temples in it's downtown, This is the Templo Y Colegio de la Compania de Jesus.
Across the street is the Sagrario.
As we continued walking we came across the Casa De Los 11 Patios. Sue from Brian and Sue had told us about this place while we were at Hacienda Contreras. I was glad that we had found it so easily.
The Casa De Los 11 Patios is a restored Dominican convent from the 1740s. Today it houses artisan shops each specializing in a particular regional craft.
And textiles. I ALMOST couldn't walk out without buying one of the pillows - but I did it - I know where they are.....
From there we followed a set of stairs that went up quite a ways - enough to get a nice view of the city.
We then headed back to the Plaza Vasco and walked around to look at the different shops. This table and chairs caught Derek's eye.
As we continued along we came across this lady. She was collecting money and quite a few people were stopping. As we walked by I was struck by how beautiful she looked to me. We returned and gave her some money - we also asked to take her picture. Now - in Mexico - you need to pick who you give to - we do the same as we do in Canada or the USA - we go by our guts. We give when we get that feeling.
A few doors down we came across this restaurant and hotel - we stepped in to take a look. These items were for sale - they all looked delicious.
The inner courtyard.
As we stepped back outside we stopped to look at the menu - then decided to stay. One of the nice things about eating at a cafe on the plaza is the people watching that is available - a chance to take in the atmosphere of the place.
Other than the word 'taco' I wasn't sure what I had ordered. I was pleasantly surprised! Turns out it was taco dorado which is stuffed deep fried filled tortillas.
The view into the restaurant from my seat.
Just as we were finishing up and waiting for the bill I heard a sound. I looked over to the plaza and saw costumes dancing. I handed Derek some money, grabbed the camera and Cassia and quickly went to take a look - it WAS what I THOUGHT it was!
The Dance of the Old Man!
Again, Sue had mentioned it as a 'must see' while in Patzcuaro - I'm glad we didn't miss it - A Dance for the Ages.
Here's a video - a MUST see!
By then we were done. Promising ourselves to return next week to see some more, we headed back to the RV Park.
A much faster and easier trip since it was now all DOWN hill.
Just before dinner, Arthur - the Owner stopped by with a gift for us!
EXACTLY what we need!
This is sure to help us with our grocery shopping and ordering at restaurants.
So - we did it - we walked into El centro de Patzcuaro and walked back again. Cassia?! Not so much - she spent a lot of time in my arms and on Derek's shoulders. Oh well.
Since the trip to Isla Janitzio also involves quite a bit of walking we are going to wait until Monday for that. Tomorrow? We're going to hang around the RV Park.
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: I posted this link on A LIFE MADE SIMPLE'S facebook page today, but since many of you may not be on fb I'll link it here also. Fallacies about Mexico is written by our friend Chris at Living and Boondocking in Mexico. While we were at Hacienda Contreras with Chris we had a few conversations with him about this information. It is a good read and very informative.
While traveling in Mexico there is a HUGE difference between the reality and the propaganda we get at home. I'll probably do my own blog post on this topic one day.