As we usually do on a travel day, we were up early this morning at Hacienda Contreras. Although we try to have as much ready and packed up the night before, the mornings always seem to go fast as we are trying to get all the last minute items stowed away.
We also knew that we would be stopping to say goodbye to all of our friends as we were leaving.
By 8:30 am we were pulling out of HC -- on to Valle de Juarez were we turned left to head to the 15. Not long after -- 10 kms or so we turned right onto the 15 headed to Jiquilpan.
To us - Jiquilpan was just a Scotiabank stop. We did do that but it turned out to be about a two hour lay over.
Who knew that Jiquilpan is a Pueblo Magico - one of 83 towns in Mexico with this designation.
Based on our map I THOUGHT that I had sent Derek down the main street with the Scotiabank on it. Turns out I didn't. So by the end of the street no Scotiabank. But in the meantime we realized that it must be market day. The good luck was that at the end of the street was a large parking lot that everyone seemed to be pulling into. So - we did the same and decided to look for the bank on foot as well as find something to buy.
We found the Scotiabank easily enough once we stopped and asked someone. We were shocked when it materialized after we followed the directions we received - in Spanish. We walked around a bit and then decided to head back to the fruit stands. As we were doing so we passed by Henry.
Note to everyone: When you pass someone in Mexico and they start to talk to you - talk back - you will most likely find out a lot of good info. In this case - Henry wanted us to have fresh squeezed orange juice rather than the pan we were asking him for - for breakfast.
He told us to go to the main market which we knew we had passed. Obviously that wasn't enough - he got up - with his two boxes - Derek grabbed one - and headed with us to the market. First stop - naranja! That's Henry with Derek.
Then through the market
and out to the street.
He was taking us to the Panaderia.
Where we met Maria. If you can believe - Maria lived in Vancouver BC for a time - going to school for English and to Film School. She absolutely loved it and is hoping to return. We had a great talk with her and of course bought some bread and bakery treats.
Maria also suggested Tono's for breakfast/lunch.
Which turned out to be a fantastic idea. Ordering involved Derek going up to the counter/kitchen area to order our dishes + talking with a fellow and his girlfriend from New York at the next table. This is what we came up with and they were delicious - Derek had beef and I had chicken. Grand total for this meal that I couldn't even finish plus tip? $87 pesos! Economica for sure!
We thought about staying longer but by 12:30 we figured we should continue on. On the way to the van we bought 2 small watermelons, 1 pineapple, 2 starfruit, 5 passion fruit, 2 kg of mandarinas $45 pesos! Boy were we doing good with prices. The panaderia bill was $27 pesos. So with the fresh squeezed orange juice and all the rest we dropped a whopping $173 pesos = $13.31!!!! AMAZING!
The view going south on the 15 towards Zamora.
LAGO DE CAMECUARO
As we were leaving Hacienda Contreras this morning, Barb suggested that we stop at Lago de Camecuaro for lunch since we were going right by. Well, we were a little late for lunch since it was around 1:30 pm or so -- but we decided to stop.
A really neat park around a lake with swamp cypress.
Boats for hire or rent - I'm not sure.
With the holidays it was a busy place. Cassia also managed to find the playground - WoW - two playgrounds in two days - her cup runneth over!
We decided to walk around the lake - at the far end is this bridge.
This is near the entry/exit. Again, although we were having a good time we decided to get back on the road. The park was filling up and so was the already tight parking lot - we didn't want to get stuck.
Sorry! Bad joke! Barb warned us about possible road blocks along the 37 south as there had been some last year. Boy - we weren't expecting these guys!
Does anybody know what day it was today in Mexico that would bring these guys out to the road? Specifically the topes. After about our tenth group we realized that we were supposed to be giving them money - so the last few groups got the rest of our change.
Through the town of Aranza - at least it was a one way....
Not long after through the town -- or city -- of Paracho. Our road bypassed it -- near the end we spotted this large guitar which must be the entry into the Centro. I imagine they are known for their guitar making. A village further down had nothing but furniture lining the street.
So a busy day of totally unplanned stops. As a result we didn't get anywhere near as far as we thought we would. Ahhhhhh - Mexico - how we love thee. So much to see!
In the end the day was made extra special by meeting Henry and Maria in Jiquipan.
Thankfully we saved enough time to get on the 37 headed south to Uruapan where we are spending the night.
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: Of course Kevin and Ruth have been through Uruapan - here is one of their links - if you want to see more of their time here just do a search on the right side. Here is the link to their visit to the Paricutin Volcano near here.