Today, we sailed to Isla de Janitzio.
It turned out to be a darn fine way to spend the last day of 2012!
Do you have some time on this - New Year's Eve? I have 64 photos to share with you - and trust me it was tough to weed them down to that few. This is ANOTHER get comfortable blog post!
The boat dock is not far from the RV Park - on our way we stopped at the office to ask the Owner, Arthuro for directions. He gave us the direct route so we were there in no time - about a 10 - 15 minute walk.
We easily found the pier - it wasn't hard to miss - look for the boats - right?!
We were about to walk down to the boats until we looked back and realized that we probably should be buying tickets - $50 pesos each for Derek and I.
All sorts of things, in addition to people, need to be taken to the Isla.
A full load. Most of the passengers were Mexican tourists. I think I forgot to mention that Patzcuaro is obviously a prime destination for Mexicans to visit during the holiday season. We haven't seen other Gringos just what appears to be Mexicans from the cities.
Have I mentioned that I'm not really a boat person. Thankfully the ride over was pretty smooth - not like the ride back which was VERY turbulent.
We were treated with music for the ride.
A real treat for Cassia - she hasn't been on too many boat rides. Funny - she thought that her Oma was on the island since every spring and fall we take the ferry to Vancouver Island to visit with my mom.
Getting close to the island. Because the boat was heading straight on we couldn't get a good photo on our approach.
Just before the Isla the boat stops to view - and take pictures of - the butterfly fisherman. They put on a bit of a show by getting in a circle and opening up their nets. Sadly we were on the other side of the boat and so we couldn't get a great shot.
Docking at the Island - the ride took about 20 minutes.
A LOT of stairs! And - VERY steep!
But WHAT a VIEW. You can see a passenger boat with the butterfly fisherman getting ready for the next show.
The streets are filled with vendors selling a wide range of artisan crafts and clothing.
Finally at the top - there is a $10 peso charge to enter the statue area.
The 40 m statue of Jose Maria Morelos, a great hero of Mexico's independence.
Looking up into the statue.
We are going to climb it - yup - all 40 m of it - take a meter or so!
Murals line the walls depicting the life of Morelos painted by Ramon Alba de la Canal and other great Mexican muralists. You are only allowed to take photos without a flash.
More STEEP stairs!
At the top of the body there is a teeny tiny circular stairway up into the arm. Way out of Derek and I's comfort zone.
But definitely worth the hike!
A bit challenging to look down.
This is the little space you have to squeeze yourself through to look out.
And now down again!
Trickier then it looks!
Once down Cassia had only one thing on her mind!
Well, she sure isn't shy about joining in the fun.
For lunch we decided to head to this little restaurant that we had passed on the way up.
What would you have? Good thing we now have our new little book translating Mexican foods - too bad I left it at the van.
BUT - we did recognize Sopa Tarasca - the local specialty.
We each got a bowl figuring we should give it a try - very very good - but hard to explain.
Here is a link describing it.
Isla de Janitizio's Church.
Cheeky girl - that's what I get when I ask for a smile. Notice a different outfit? We had just come from buying Cassia three dresses and a shirt/pant outfit.
The interior took my breath away when I walked in - so much colour!
Not sure why it is so richly decorated - on the exterior they were just decorating it so maybe for New Year's Eve celebrations.
Stopping for some fresa helado.
Heading back down for the second time. If you can believe, we climbed the stairs twice. Once near the bottom we decided to go back up to find Cassia a new sweater.
During our walk up and down the streets - I found that three things really stood out.
These fried fish.....
almost every vendor selling cups with drinks - seemed like an inside joke ....
Many of the kids had them - but really WHERE would be have put that in the van? An eye would be out for sure!
Sitting in the boat waiting to leave.
Hasta luego Isla de Janitzio!
Getting close to the pier a rocky 30 minutes later.
Not long after we returned to the van Cassia found a couple of friends. Derek and I were sitting inside and heard voices - wondering who Cassia was talking to we looked out to see this - a couple of boys that live close by - Estevan and Emilio.
During our travels through Mexico I have been tempted to purchase some clothing - as Derek has done with his shirts and hat. I could never quite find what I liked. Today I did! Two shirts and a skirt.
For Cassia we found 3 dresses, 1 beach shirt and a pant suit.
And this sweater.
A while later we had some more visitors to our camper - Tor, Kevin and Nate from Chicago.
And some people are worried about Cassia's socialization - she was in that soccer game like a dirty shirt!
ANOTHER great day here in Patzcuaro.
Cloudy skies - not great for photo taking but we were happy with the cooler temps for all that walking - it wasn't as cool as it looked - about 23ºC.
What an overwhelming experience - definitely on the top 10 list of places travelled to date - for sure!
So - here we are - down to the last few hours of 2012. It's been a good year for the Wood Clan.
All the best to you and yours as we head into 2013!
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: If that wasn't enough photos for you of Isla de Janitzio check out this neat site showing an arial of the Isla and a ton of pictures from around the hill.