Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Patzcuaro

After a delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, granola and yoghurt, followed by scrambled egg and home grown veggies we met Miguel, our guide for the day.


Starting in the centre of the Square looking at the 16th cent houses that surrounded it, we were given a quick history lesson of which I have retained little! However I do remember that the statue is Vasco de Quiroga, the first bishop of this area.
Many of the old houses have been converted into shops, restaurants or hotels.


This church was built on top of the base of an old temple/pyramid. You can see how the stones forming the foundation lean outwards.



If you look at the top window of this church you can see how the thickness of the walls.

This small stall was selling pork and crackling which appears to be a popular breakfast accompanied by tortillas





Miguel then took us to Tzintzuntzan, the ancient Tarascan capital. The site overlooks the beautiful Lake Patzcuaro and has the remains of five yacatas or temples that date back to the 13th cent.
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A welcome from a white squirrel, which stood out from the rest of the grey squirrels.



There is something like 60,000 historical sites in Mexico. many of which haven't been excavated. There are large areas surrounding this site which have yet to reveal their treasures.









We noticed lots of signs carved into the stone.

























There was a small market in the local town




Lots of woodcarving.















We then took the ferry to the Island of Janitzio in the middle of Lake Patzcuaro. On the highest point is a 40m statue of Jose Maria Morelos, the hero of Mexico's independence.


There is a spiral staircase going up the inside, giving visitors the opportunity to look out over the island from some viewing peepholes in the wrist of the outstretched arm.


The life of Morelo is depicted in murals on the interior walls of the statue.




I couldn't look over the top when I got there but I put the camera over the edge and took this photo which gives a good impression of the height.
















The town is also famous for the butterfly fishermen who use these butterfly nets for catching the local white fish. Unfortunately the weather was too rough for the fishermen to go out in their narrow boats. You can also see a picture of the fishermen on the back of a 50 peso banknote.


 







I think this is a yellow warbler nestling in the bushes.





We finished back in Patzcuaro enjoying some very large margaritas!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rainy Mexico


Before leaving Uruapan we visited the Eduardo Ruiz National park which was just a 10min walk from the hotel but it seemed a world away. We were there soon after it opened so it was very quiet apart from the birdsong and sounds of rushing water.

A river runs through the park creating lots of waterfalls and cascading water.


















Breakfast was the most delicious mango I've ever tasted.







Returning to the hotel along the still silent streets.
Walked past this mural advertising the music club next door.
Collected our luggage and caught a bus to Patzcuaro which took a couple of hours. The weather is still cold and damp and so after dropping our luggage off at the hotel we all piled into a local cafe that Andrea our guide liked. The food was warm and filling and incredibly cheap. £2 for a 3 course meal of soup, fish, veg and rice and lemon pie! Then we all split up to explore the town. It has two plazas, one large and one small but considering it was a Sunday they were very busy. The market was in full swing.
After wandering around the Square we explored the side streets and found a chocolate shop.

The chocolates were delicious and my biggest regret was not buying a lot more of them.  




Many of the buildings in the town were built in the late 16th cent during the colonial times when they were designed to look like Spanish towns with their palaces, churches and convents.







A typical building built around an open courtyard.




The rain started to fall heavily so we made our way back to the Hotel Posada Yolihuani
The hotel was beautiful with large rooms. However the temperature had really dropped and we were so cold and wet we all needed gas heaters in the room which soon warmed up  the room.














In the evening we all gathered together and went for a pizza. I know what you are thinking but I think we all fancied a change from Mexican food.