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Old 06-21-2010   #46 (permalink)
syl
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This is a fantastic trip report!! John was asking me if i knew anything about this area and then i saw this!! He even read it!!!Thanks for taking the time and look forward to the rest!!
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Old 06-21-2010   #47 (permalink)
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Glad you are enjoying it! AND...I'm not even halfway done! I am DETERMINED to do this trip report from beginning to end!!

well, you are doing a great job...I am very much enjoying it and looking forward to more. Much appreciated!
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Old 06-22-2010   #48 (permalink)
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Wow! I just had to stay up late and catch up with this whole report once I found it.... amazing and extremely informative, as usual, and sooooo many wonderful photos to boot!
Carry on.... looking forward to the rest!
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Old 06-22-2010   #49 (permalink)
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Wonderful trip report!!

A trip to the monarch butterfly preserve is on the agenda for our early years in Mexico. It is near the area you are reporting on.

Thanks Joanie!!
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Old 06-22-2010   #50 (permalink)
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LOVE your trip report, it is making me want to explore all these different areas of Mexico. And I love the way you write, it completely captures my interest
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Old 06-22-2010   #51 (permalink)
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La Fiesta del San Isidro

After a LONG day visiting villages and artisan workshops around Lake Patzcuaro, Mike and I decided to head out for some cold beers. As we walked down Dr. Coss towards the Plaza Grande, we heard a brass band playing. As it turned out, it was TWO brass bands!

We headed towards the crowd to see what was going on. There was a parade in progress ~ several bands and MANY Tarascan women and children in their very best traditional costumes sort of dancing down the street in time to the music. There were men on horseback, and ox carts decorated with crepe paper flowers. Everything was very colorful and festive!

We picked out a good corner for viewing and watched the parade pass by.

I didn’t catch the name of the first band ~ the ones with the orange jackets.







The ladies weren’t just “walking” ~ they were sort of dancing in unison down the street.



I don't know if these kids were actually a part of the parade, or if they were just tagging along.



The plump little girl to the right really liked the camera being pointed her way.



One guy in the parade was carrying a big silver fish. Perhaps he was supposed to represent the fishermen out on lake Patzcuaro? Notice the lady watching the goings-on from her balcony.

Needless to say, the parade caused a HUGE traffic jam!



All of the ladies' braids were interwoven with ribbons.



I *believe* that the Saint on this ox cart is San Isidro ~ also known as Saint Isadore. His day is May 15th and that’s the day the parade was being held. San Isidro is the patron Saint of farmers and laborers.





The oxen were colorfully decorated.







The band with the green jackets had the name “Las Olas Grandes” ~ or “The Big Waves.” I asked Jaime about this, as I thought that “Big Waves” was a strange name for a band far from the coast. He told me that they come from a small village on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro where there are big waves from time to time.

San Isidro again.



This little girl, riding on a burro, was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.




I think she was a little upset by all the commotion.



I was wondering if she actually was holding onto that rather large basket all the way along the route, or if it was attached to the burro somehow.



The parade making its way to the front of the Plaza Chica (small plaza) where a dance was going to be performed in front of the library. That’s the building at the end of the street.



Once all the participants were down in front of the library, they got in place for a dance. Notice that some of the dancers are basically all in white, while others have very colorful costumes.



The dance seemed to tell a “story” of some sort. The people in the white costumes were *special* for some reason.






While were were standing in the crowd watching the dance, we saw the guy who was responsible for all the loud !BOOMS! that we had heard on Friday evening and Saturday morning.





This girl seemed to have the role of a *princess* ~ she would dance down the line and give each of the others a blessing by making the sign on the cross near their chests. I was wondering if the little girl on the burro might end up in this role some day. Notice that star of the show has a pierced lip! Modern times are finding their way even into this traditional part of Mexico!





After the festivities were over, we headed across Plaza Chica back towards Plaza Grande. By this time, we decided we were getting a bit hungry ~ in spite of having enjoyed a rather large comida about 1pm. We decided to try out Restaurante Mistongo which was located on Dr. Coss almost across from La Casa Encatada. I had Pollo con Huitlacoche (chicken with corn smut ~ sounds gross, but it’s very tasty). The restaurant is set in a pretty , enclosed courtyard. After dinner, we headed over to La Surtidora, for a couple of drinks before we went back to La Casa Encantada.



Saturday was a LONG, but fabulous day, with all sorts of interesting things going on! We needed to rest up for Sunday, as we planned on investigating the Sunday Mercado in Patzcuaro and also taking a barca over to the Island of Janitzio (Ha-NEET-zee-oh) in the middle of the lake…..

Last edited by JoanieBlon; 06-22-2010 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 06-22-2010   #52 (permalink)
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About Corn Smuth or Huitlacoche (Cuitlacoche)

This is at the market





The last picture shows the smuth after it's cut from the cob, it gets darker and the final product is cooked with some onion, chile and some herbs to make this:



The one in the middle is the huitlacoche one. On top Tinga de pollo, and at the bottom Flor de Calabaza.


Here is a different day and different cook

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Old 06-22-2010   #53 (permalink)
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Joanie!!!!!

This last set of pictures is incredible!! What a beautiful parade!

Huitlacoche....yummmy!
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Old 06-22-2010   #54 (permalink)
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Joanie!!!!!

This last set of pictures is incredible!! What a beautiful parade!

Huitlacoche....yummmy!
We had NO idea that we would be treated to that Saint's Day parade! We just got back into Patzcuaro at exactly the right time! If we'd gotten back at 6pm, it would have been all over.

The next time we go, I'm going to ask Cynthia, from La Casa Encantada, and Jaime, who also lives right in Patzcuaro, if any festivals are coming up.

I know that Patzcuaro is famous for its Noche de los Muertos activities, and we were thinking of going in 2011, but I've read that it's VERY VERY crowded and noisy, so we're thinking of skipping it and going some other time. We don't want to lose our enchantment of picturesque, old fashioned, sort of sleepy Patzcuaro.....
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Old 06-23-2010   #55 (permalink)
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We had NO idea that we would be treated to that Saint's Day parade! We just got back into Patzcuaro at exactly the right time! If we'd gotten back at 6pm, it would have been all over.

The next time we go, I'm going to ask Cynthia, from La Casa Encantada, and Jaime, who also lives right in Patzcuaro, if any festivals are coming up.

I know that Patzcuaro is famous for its Noche de los Muertos activities, and we were thinking of going in 2011, but I've read that it's VERY VERY crowded and noisy, so we're thinking of skipping it and going some other time. We don't want to lose our enchantment of picturesque, old fashioned, sort of sleepy Patzcuaro.....


I would love to be in Pátzcuaro, Tzintzunzan, or Oaxaca for Noche de los Muertos. I am sure that the festivities will be going on in the morning. Also, during th few days before, the towns must be bustling with activity. I can imagine the flower stands and those selling things for NM.
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Old 06-23-2010   #56 (permalink)
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Your pictures are amazing!!! Lovin' this!!!!
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Old 06-23-2010   #57 (permalink)
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Noche de los Muertos

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Originally Posted by Sol View Post
I would love to be in Pátzcuaro, Tzintzunzan, or Oaxaca for Noche de los Muertos. I am sure that the festivities will be going on in the morning. Also, during th few days before, the towns must be bustling with activity. I can imagine the flower stands and those selling things for NM.
We still have Jaime booked for 2011 to take us around to the cemetaries and I am on the waiting list for a room at La Casa Encantada. As of right now, it's totally booked.

I still do have some reservations about going to/staying in Patzcuaro "Los Muertos." Apparently a lot of kids (students) from Morelia (even Mexico City) come over for an extended non-stop "party" and I have heard from a guy who lives in San Miguel de Allende (permanent resident - married to a Mexican national) that there are all night outdoor discos going on. The entire Plaza Grande is devoted to selling stuff. From what I can tell, the hotel prices are about double of what they are in off-season.

I guess taking the boats over to Isla Janitizio, where a lot of the action is, is almost a nightmare because of the crowds.

I've read that the celebrations in the little village of Jaracuaro on the west side of Lake Patzcuaro are pretty nice ~ and possibly not so well attended, but there's no place to stay over there.

The guy from San Miguel de Allende recommended Festival Cultural de Calaveras in Aguascalientes. Use the Google toolbar to translate this website from Spanish, if necessary. Be sure to look at all the photos in The Gallery!

I'm currently looking into this ~ combining Aguascalientes with trips to Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, and possibly Guadalajara as well. Oaxaca is another spot I've been considering for Noche de los Muertos as well.

Actually ~ the guy from San Miguel de Allende recommended Oaxaca for another festival La Guelaguetza which I am considering as well.....

Quote:
La Guelaguetza is certainly one of ALL of Mexico's most important festivals, and is actually often considered to be one of the most COLORFUL Celebrations of dance and music in ALL Of The Americas! Also known as Lunes del Cerro ('Mondays of the Hill'), La Guelaguetza ‘blends’ ancient indigenous tradition laced through Catholic ceremonial influences, and Really IS something that everyone should experience and enjoy…… At LEAST Once!

2010 celebrations are scheduled for July 19 and 26. The Main Shebang is a state-sponsored hoop-la at the outdoor ‘auditorium’ on Fortin Hill in Oaxaca City (with Stunning vistas overlooking the entire valley!!), while smaller Guelaguetzas are held in towns in the Central Valleys, including nearby Zaachila, Cuilapan de Guerrero (near Zaachila), Santa Crux, San Antonino Castillo Velasco (near Ocotlán de Morelos), Tlacochahuaya, Reyes and Villa de Etla…… with each pueblito hosting their own unique “flavor” to this ancient custom…… Amid The Land of The Sixteen Cultures!
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Old 06-23-2010   #58 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Sunday ~ El Mercado

Sunday. Gracias a Dios!!! NO cannon-fireworks BOOMS this morning!

We enjoyed our simply wonderful hot desayuno with juices, tea and coffee, pastries & breads, and fresh cut fruit at La Casa Encantada in the lovely breakfast room. I grabbed the following 2 photos off Trip Advisor, as I somehow neglected to take any pictures of the breakfast area.





Following breakfast, Mike & I set out to explore Patzcuaro a bit more. We wandered aimlessly through the lovely, historic streets. We were heading in the direction of the main church, but knew we were also approaching the market when we turned up this street. BTW ~ I was quite impressed with how clean the streets were in Patzcuaro.



We bought some apples to take back with us. Mike like to share an apple each night before we go to bed.



Apparently blackberries were in season, as we saw lots of them for sale.



These plants were ready to be taken back home and set into a garden or a decorative pot.



We meandered through the HUGE mercado that was humming full tilt, being Sunday.

The mercado was absolutely amazing and went on for blocks and blocks - offering everything you could possibly think of. I REALLY wanted to sample some pozole - which I saw at numerous stands, but I was so full from breakfast that it was a "no can do." Something else to try on another trip!

Many people in and around Patzcuaro still cook over charcoal. It was available for sale in the market, but somehow I didn’t get any pictures. The charcoal is NOT in briquette form like we get it here in the USA. Also VERY commonly available are little woven rattan “fans” which the ladies on the sidewalks try to sell to you to fan yourself, but they’re really made for fanning up the charcoal.

These pans which I believe are called “Charolas” were in use in many of the taco stands in and around the market. Jesus?? Can you verify the name?



There were all sorts of little dried fish for sale. I’m not sure just what is done with these ~ perhaps they're used for soup? Notice all the gourds hanging from cords ~ yet NO gourd lamps like they sell in Playa de Carmen were available for sale… I suggested to Jaime, our guide, that he should start making them! I bet he’d make a BUNCH of money! He told me that he thought it was a GREAT idea!



More little fishies ~ along with peppers and metates. One of the ladies who attended one the churches we visited was actually passing her time there by grinding corn in a metate.



An example of just a few of the items that were for sale in El Mercado. There’s NO Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club yet in Patzcuaro (there's a Wal-Mart in Morelia), so the owners of these stands still have a fighting chance to make a living with them.



This stand sold ollas ~ which are used to cook food over charcoal. They are set into a hole in a “cook top” or supported by bricks or concrete blocks.



These woven bread baskets were made with an indentation (sort of like a BIG sombrero!) so that they sat and stayed easily on your head. Lots of guys were walking around selling little breads and pastries.





Orchids for sale. I don’t know where these were collected from, as I never saw any wild orchids in trees.



Attractive, ready to eat fruit cups on display.



Various necessities for home use ~ eggs, oil and chilis. I think there are some quail eggs there too. The can label "La Morena" ~ reminds me of a Spanish lesson from long, long ago ~ "Alto, Moreno y Guapo" ~ "Tall, Dark & Handsome!" The can shows a lady, so she's a Morena...



All I could think of was how much delicious pozole was going to be made from all this corn!



All the vegetables for sale in the market looked really good.



Garlic & dried chilis were for sale at this booth.



More good looking vegetables for sale.



These dishes were displayed for sale on the ground outside the market.



This booth had all sorts of woven items available ~ baskets, hats, etc. I would have loved to have brought home one of the “cat baskets” ~ the ones that look like little caves ~ for our cat Wiggy.



These Tarascan ladies were taking a break from their shopping (or selling).



The main entrance to El Mercado was across the street from Plaza Chica. The shoe shine guys were doing a brisk business. People here still do wear leather shoes and leather boots, although you see some sneakers too.



After wandering through the market, we went to some artesenias tiendas, where I bought a very nice black ceramic calavera for my "Mexico" room. This isn’t the one I bought, but it looks just like it. I paid $70 pesos for it (about US $5.50), which I thought was fair.



We then took a taxi from El Centro down to the muelle (dock) for the barcos to the Isla Janitzio. The taxi fare was a bargain at just 25 pesos. It was quite a long way.

Last edited by JoanieBlon; 08-10-2010 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 06-23-2010   #59 (permalink)
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What an awesome TR! Really enjoying the pictures. Looks like a great place to visit.
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Old 06-23-2010   #60 (permalink)
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Wink The "Mystical Signs"

I have to confess ~ this trip sort of resulted from a “SIGN”….. a mystical sort of “You should check THIS out” message.

Quite some time ago ~ before this trip was ever a dream ~ I was browsing on eBay one day, looking for things to add to add to the décor of our home.

I found an old hand painted Mexican tile mural that had been removed from an old mansion located in Palm Beach Florida that was being torn down. I REALLY liked the looks of the mural, and was the only bidder on it, so I won it. I have NEVER seen another one like it.

This mural depicted fishermen on a lake in their boats ~ using “butterfly” nets. I was curious about the scene, so started doing some investigating, and concluded that it HAD to be an island ~ Isla Janitzio ~ in Lake Patzcuaro and that the fisherman were the ones that Lake Patzcuaro is famous for.

The more I read about the area, the more fascinated I became with it ~ SO….I started planning for our trip there! It was like some “message” had been sent that we HAD to go see this place!

In addition to the tile mural (which now is on an outside back wall of our house by our pool) I ALSO received ANOTHER sign…! A Mexican restaurant near us, which we tried out soon after I bought the mural, has a very large painted mural of Isla Janitizio adorning one of its walls! I felt I was definitely being told, “GO!”

I have to ask the owner of that restaurant sometime if he’s from the area…..

Here is the Lake Patzcuaro mural ~



Next ~ the real fisherman of Lake Patzcuaro ~ and Janitzio....
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