Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Mexico: Day 15

by Kathy 14. May 2009 22:49
<< Day 14: Mexico City; TeotihuacánDay 16: Pátzcuaro; Santa Fe de la Laguna >>


Driving to Pátzcuaro


This morning we would be driving from Mexico City to the small town of Pátzcuaro, in the state of Michoacán. Two guidebooks gave a driving time of 5 hours from Mexico City; however, the local people that we talked to all said 6 to 8 hours.

We had a bumpy start getting our car from the Hertz office in downtown Mexico City. First, the address that was provided on my emailed reservation confirmation simply did not exist. Our taxi driver was resourceful enough to whip out his yellow pages and get the correct address. Then we discovered upon arrival that this Hertz office did not have any cars; so they had a driver transport us to another Hertz office. After we completed the car inspection and signed the paperwork, our transport driver accidentally drove away without giving us our copy; so we had to wait for his return. Finally, the gas gauge needle in the car was solidly on “E”, and the Hertz attendant could not tell us where the nearest gas station was. (What?! Are we are on candid camera?)

Here is a wonderful statue across from the first Hertz office:

We eased into the Mexico City traffic, and headed out of town. I figured that there had to be a gas station soon—this was the main artery leaving the city, with bumper to bumper cars. Ben was gentle with the gas pedal, I was projecting the “let there be a gas station around the next corner” vibe into the universe, and we were both scouring the streets for a “Pemex” sign (Mexico’s national gas station).

Sebastian was happy in the back seat:

After ten minutes (which seemed like an hour), we saw a gas station—hurrah! These nice attendants filled our tank and checked our tire pressure:

Then we entered the “crawl” out of the city:

After a solid hour, we had traveled 1 ½ miles. The drivers around us all seemed to be resigned to this state of being, with no angry horn blowing or rude gestures. We inched forward in the same spirit. We were in awe at the sanity of this insanity.

We passed through a neighborhood of single family homes, some of them quite large. We could tell that we were leaving the “big city” behind.

This house had a beautifully carved gate:

We passed this unusual building, with people cleaning the outside:

We saw a lot of road construction today, including these workers paving the tunnel road:

We found the vast majority of paved roads in Mexico to be in excellent condition—much better than many of the roads in our home state of California.

We finally left the traffic behind and sailed along on the toll road, heading toward the state of Michoacán. We all enjoyed looking at the many types of houses, catching glimpses of the bits and pieces that make up other people’s lives. Here is some passing scenery:

There were many roadside restaurants (“barbacoas”). We stopped at this one:

There was only one thing on the menu: pork tacos. We had the choice of ording individual tacos, or buying the succulent pork meat by the kilo and making our own tacos with all of the fixings.  We chose the individual tacos, and they were heavenly. We devoured a total of 12.

The restaurant also had a very fun playground for the children, who made a beeline for spinner:

After lunch, we all settled back into the car for a pleasant drive:

Both Genevieve and Sebastian were soon fast asleep:

Ben and I gave a celebratory “woo hoo!” upon crossing the state line into Michoacán:

I looked back at the kids and found this:

(The photo above is one of my all-time favorites.)

We passed by this peaceful lake:

The capital of Michoacán is Morelia, which we found to be extremely charming with its narrow streets, beautiful buildings, shady plaza, and picturesque churches. We took these photos while passing through, but we’d like to come back one day and explore.

Finally, we arrived in Pátzcuaro—the drive had taken 7 ½ hours, with the Mexico City traffic delays, a ½ hour lunch stop, and another 10 minute break).

Almost there! The car ahead was coming through!

We were amused by the creative techniques that drivers used to pass by each other on these narrow streets. Sitting in the passenger seat, I often found myself instinctively squeezing in my shoulders and body parts, and holding my breath, in an attempt to make our tiny car even smaller.

We were staying for three nights at Casa Werma, a bed and breakfast inn in the center of town. Casa Werma was a walled-in oasis of greenery: five acres of grass, flowers, fruit trees, and even an old cabin that the children were free to explore. Here are Genevieve and Sebastian admiring an avocado tree:

This old cabin on the property was a wonderland for the kids, inspiring hours of imaginative play:

Our large comfortable rooms were in the “grand casa” (big house), which had a lot of character. Sebastian was enchanted with this large wooden trough.

After settling in for a bit, we set off to explore the nearby town squares. Pátzcuaro has two town squares, only a block apart. Leaving Casa Werma, the children were prepared for sporadic showers:

This is our street, which in the daytime transforms into a bustling market:

I found this old building to be fascinating, with its colors and combination of stucco, brick and tile:

The square nearest to Casa Werma is bordered by this wonderful old church:

We wandered to the next square looking for a restaurant that was recommended in our guidebook, which unfortunately contained only a vague description of the location. We walked around the square, enjoying the sights, but with no luck in finding the restaurant. We finally decided to eat at La Compañia, which prepared fresh and delicious meals for us, combined with very good service. We were very pleased.

Sebastian ended the day, as he had started—with a beautiful smile:


<< Day 14: Mexico City; TeotihuacánDay 16: Pátzcuaro; Santa Fe de la Laguna >>

Back to Mexico Index Page

Back to Home Page



Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview

Map of Our Journeys

(click the map to enlarge)
Our travel map

Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin