We weren’t mentally prepared for the freezing temperatures of Patzcuaro’s 7000 foot elevation at night. We also weren’t prepared for how amazing the food would be in this little mountain town.
We reached Patzcuaro after a 6 hour drive from Guadalajara, around Lake Chapala, and through Morelia. We had originally planned to stay at the lake, but the soggy campground and lack of atmosphere made us push on for another 4-5 hours to Patzcuaro. It was worth the drive. We set up camp at the Patzcuaro Villa RV Park right beside our new found friends Wilson and Sarah. Sure, they’re from downtown Vancouver as well , but it’s more fun to meet in Mexico. The four of us walked to town for dinner and sat down to consume some of the best tacos of the trip.
On Day 2 we decided it was time for a hike. Richard was suffering from a mild cold, but decided that it would be best to push through. After an hour walk up a slight incline, Richard´s labored breathing (honestly, he sounded like death warmed over)and sad face persuaded us to stop and enjoy the view. The rest was short lived as a large brown/yellow (and most likely highly venomous… based solely on the fact that it was large and in Mexico) snake interrupted the peace. We moved quickly as to not disrupt the natural habitat and living habits of the snake… and because we’re ‘fraidy cats.
The following day we walked through the huge market (that they set up EVERY day!), where there were numerous food stalls, clothing items, and some of the freshest produce we have encountered so far. We sat at the very European-esque plaza and chatted/people watched for 2+ hours as we drank our lattes and ate our dulce empanadas. Actually, since we’ve never been to Europe we might just say that European plazas and cafes seem very Mexican.
Since it was New Years Eve we popped back to the campground and waited until close to midnight. With the amount of people who were out midday we were expecting a huge turnout downtown for the countdown to 2014. We had heard that the Mexican people love to party, so we quickly walked to the town square ready for some action. When we showed up the foodstalls were gone, the people nowhere to be seen, and the market long packed up. What we didn’t expect was that everyone did their shopping during the day so they could spend the evening with their families. Since we had our makeshift family we went back to the RV park, made a fire in the common room, and celebrated the new year with new friends and snacks we purchased at the OXXO (think Mexican 7/11).
Our first night in Patzcuaro… obviously we´ll try the tacos!This guy went pro years ago and it showed. Our spot on the grassy knoll next to Sarah and Wilson at the Patzcuaro Villa RV Park.The market! Food, clothes, tools… who needs Walmart anyway? The town plazas. The snake hike. Latte and dulce empanadas anyone? Our go-to coffee shop in the plaza.There were wool products for sale in every plaza. We should have bought some. Yup, those are chips in a bag covered in hot sauce. New Years Eve extravaganza! At least we made it to midnight this year!We met Rachel and Stewart in the RV Park as well. We lusted over their awesome Man truck adorned with the Himalayas on both sides.