Album 12 - Last days in Pátzcuaro + Santa Clara del Cobre & Lake Zirahuén

January 10-13, 2000  -  We continued to enjoy the town of Pátzcuaro.  Its charm, culture, markets and easy pace made it one of our very favorite Mexican towns.  This album gives you a some more sampling of Pátzcuaro life.  We again ventured out to some outlying areas - this time to the south to visit the famous "copper town" of Santa Clara del Cobre - and then a loop to the southwest of Pátzcuaro to pay a brief visit to the beautiful Largo de Zirahuen and its shoreline town of Zirahuén.  On Friday the 13th of January we would leave Pátzcuaro to travel west to visit other Michoacán towns.


The Plaza Chica is a pleasant & active place on a cool morning - a vibrant community center with residents, folks from outlying areas & tourists all commingling.

Peg (center) does some sketching in the plaza while another tourist writes in his journal (left) & far right local folks get ready to sell flowers.

Peg goes to buy some "pitch wood" for fire starters in our hotel fireplace. The lady who sold such wood also sold dried minnows. They sure wouldn't make good lutefisk!

In this very Catholic country we have seen many types & sizes of crucifixes, but this was Keith's favorite - made of gnarled wood & rusty farm wire & window screen. 

Peg liked this arched view of the old convent.  The antiquated stone had such stories to tell.

The House of Eleven (count 'em) Courtyards had numerous lovely gardens settings - as well as numerous artisan shops.

This view is across one of the eleven courtyards toward steps leading to an artisan shop.

Here we see the artisan weaver at work.  Ironically, he is weaving the exact same pattern which Susan had recently purchased for a tablecloth.

With the light paying on the trees & prominent historical buildings lining the main plaza, afternoon is a pleasant time to just sit and relax...

... and people watch - especially the children with their new Xmas bikes, scooters, electric cars, etc.

Peg buys "aguacates" fresh, inexpensive & in abundance from a young son left in charge at the family's stand. Our lunch of choice was an avocado sandwich on fresh baked bread.

On Wed. the 11th, we drove south toward the copper town, but just as we were leaving we were signaled of a flat tire. Here "Dad's Helper" starts the process of the tire repair.

15km south of Pátzcuaro, we arrive at the colorful (copper color) center of Santa Clara del Cobre, known for its copper mining dating back to the mid 1500's.

The picturesque town plaza, with the church in the background plays a prominent role in this town where copper is no longer mined, but crafting copper & brass is important business.

Craft shops & workshops line the streets around, & radiating out from, the plaza - offering a wide variety of copper objects - large & small - artistic & practical.

With all the beautiful shinny craftwork on display here, it is easy to leave town with extra weight - We did!

Next we drove west along this interesting road - not a fast road, but a very scenic & pleasant drive.

With a glimpse of the lake on the left here, we approach the colonial town of Zirahuén. We wish we had more time to explore this area.

North of Plaza Chica are 2 important buildings: Teatro/theater Emperador Caltzontzin (L) & the Gertrudis Bocanegra Biblioteca/library (R).

Inside the library (formerly a 16th century church) we get this view of the huge Juan O'Gorman mural on the back wall.

This detail of the mural is part of the artist's rendition of Michoacán history before the revolution of 1910.

Another cool morning on Plaza Chica - Jack & Keith decide to get a shoe shine. Keith's shine-master spoke excellent English & works part of the year in the States. His wife/partner shines along beside him.

Peg gets this shot of Jack having his heavy shoes being well treated - the statue of independence heroine Gertrudis Bocanegra is directly behind him.

As we prepare to leave Pátzcuaro the next day, we take one last photo of the main plaza from an upstairs window of our hotel, Hotel Los Escudos,

On the morning of our departure, we hear of a market in a smaller plaza behind our hotel.

Here we find a colorful assortment of pottery - the vibrant colors & interesting designs making our eyes happy.

Jack & Susan are impressed with the lovely selection of plants that are also on sale in this market.

Then we hit the road and leave Pátzcuaro - with very fond memories!

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