Day 187- 192 Patzcauro…. Wendy Wahman…. this one’s for you


Feb 10- 15 



The State of Michoacán
Click the map for information about this state

No.  The butterflies didn’t kidnap me.  I’ve been hunkered down in a large town named Patzcauro.

Feb 10- Feb 18

The plan was that Blake and I part ways after the butterfly preserve.  Blake had plans to drive back to Teacapan (and eventually back to Alberta, Canada) by way of a town named Patzcuaro while I was supposed to drive up and around Mexico City and south to Oaxaca.  Plans be damed…..something was telling me that it wasn’t time and since I’ve learned to forgo logic and listen to my irrational inner voice, I decided to retrace my tracks and return Eastward.


First camp in Patzcuaro

Our first camping spot was a quite oasis just on the out skirts of town and a perfect distance for taking a bus or a long walk to the Central Plaza. The RV spot was a grassy spot behind the owners home and over looking his son’s property. officeI was lucky enough to park with a view of what was going on next door. What was happening? adobe4The making of adobe bricks. We arrived during a short spell of rain so I wasn’t privy to the process until a few days later when I saw them working the horse to mix the clay with pine needles and forming the bricks.


Horse is used to mix the mud and pine needles. The man in white is giving the needles loft before adding to the mix.



Muddy legs after a long day of work


Patzcuaro has maintained it’s colonial feel (and look) due to the use of adobe walls and tile roofs. There is wood involved too, for the doorways, doors, structure and beams of the buildings but this is becoming difficult with the diminishing local forests. Some infrastructure is now made with cement and overlaid by adobe to keep up the historical architectural feel of the town.

arch calle

Combi: Cheap local transport. Very few people drive in this town. People from the out lying neighborhoods rely on the frequent and efficient vehicles for everything from getting to the open air market in town to transporting children to schools. 

Despite the very reasonable price for staying at the camp site (10 dollars a day) and internet access, I decided to move after a few days. My ‘neighbors,’ a couple from Oregon were decidedly anxious about having dogs around. I thought that I’d done a decent job at keeping the Perras from wandering off my “property” and I’d only let them run on the far hill but, unfortunately, I was confronted by the husband who told me to,”Get your god-damn dogs on leashes.” Ironically this was just after his wife told me that my dogs were the most well behaved she’d ever seen. Since I’m not one for confrontation and I’m certainly not in Mexico to fight with Americans about my dogs I start a search for a new residence.


Patzcuaro is the original capital of Michoacán but after the Spanish invaded Mexico the capital was moved to Merida.  Today Patzcuaro remains the center of trade for the many pueblos around Lake Patzcuaro.

Click here to learn more about this lake

I knew that I would be staying at least another 2 weeks for Spanish classes so I looked into the possibilities of renting a house in town. Despite the efforts of both my Spanish instructor and myself after three days of hunting I couldn’t find a place that could accommodate both the dogs and my monstrous home. Actually, the size of the camper was more of a problem than the dogs. I finally accepted the fact that I’d have to pay twice the rent (a whole 20.00 per day) and move to a spot further outside of town called El Rancho La Mesa. I wasn’t thrilled with the move and when I was greeted by a convoy of ten Leviathans-of-the-RV-World I was a little depressed and frustrated. Gone was my peace and quiet and easy access to my class. I was now 500 feet higher and 2 miles away from the main plaza . Poor pitiful me.

I mean really! Who’s going to complain about a view like this? Read more about this interesting island…. accessible from Patzcuaro for a $2.00 boat ride.

I do try to look for solutions if I find myself mulling in self-pity so I decided it was time to buy a bike and make my commute a little easier.   The gods must have been pleased with my decision and the more adult like behavior because the next day the caravan left and I was left alone on a breath-taking plateau above the city and with an entire ranch for the Perras to explore.

So we settled in for the next week….. 2 weeks…. 3 weeks…..

Aluminum frame with life time guarantee equipped with all Shimano parts and 24 gears…. price tag? 6300.00 pesos (or $432.00 us) It’s a beaut
The bell on this bike requires special attention………

I don’t know why I brought this bell with me…. except that I had a feeling that I’d want a bike at some point.  This magical bell was bought in China by my mother 35 years ago.  She gave it to me for christmas almost that many years ago and its had it’s home on all my bikes.  I’ve owned three bikes in my life.  My first white 10 speed that I gave to my brother Kelly when I moved to college.  The second bike was one that my other brother, Robin, hand build for me after my first visit to Washington state.  It was that trip the changed my destiny and I think it was the gift of that bike that sealed my determination to move to Washington state….  A move that subsequently afforded me with many twists and turns and ups and downs and ultimately finds me here in Patzcuaro.