Album 14 - Uruapan, La Tzararacua, Paracho & Zamora

January 14, 2006  -  Overnight at the Hotel Concordia right on the plaza was quite comfortable. Up early the next morning we took time for breakfast & packing before heading out for the day.  Our first goal was the church at neighboring San Juan Nuevo where we heard that folks healed there danced in gratification. Road closures prohibited us from finding that particular church so we continued in a southerly direction to find the some waterfalls of note.  We had better luck with this goal and were delighted to have succeeded.  Next destination was the Parque Nacional on the west side of town.  However this was a weekend day and the place was packed with no parking places to be found.  We decided to not fight the crowds, bypass this recommended stop, and head north towards Zamora.  This was a pleasant drive through the mountains and valleys of northwestern Michoacán - with a special stop in the town of Paracho, known as a place where fine guitars & other stringed instruments are made.  We arrived at the town of Zamora by late afternoon, found a hotel and enjoyed an evening of watching a very special community holiday event unfold in the main town plaza. 


Sunrise from our hotel room promises a pleasant day.

The main plaza had several very nice water fountains like this one, plus blooming trees.

Susan, Jack & Keith enjoy a breakfast at the notorious mercado de antojitos.

This is the entrance to the La Tzararacua waterfall area as seen from the highway.

We had not expected to take a horseback ride, but found it totally delightful & not at all expensive.

The trail was quite steep and indeed horseback was clearly the best way to navigate it.

The horses were very gentle and well cared for by competent caballeros.

Keith's mount stops for a drink before reaching the waterfall.

The waterfall itself was particularly beautiful & was evidence of the importance of water here.

The grotto like location was refreshing and peaceful with this rainbow (this shows only the bottom section of this tall falls).

A handsome stone bridge arched over the river and afforded a nice view of the falls.

Jack and Susan prepare to remount for the trek back up the trail.

Our caballista holds our horses for us as we get ready to return to the top.

Nearing the top, the horse is anxious to get to the barn, and the strong-legged caballista holds its tail to slow him down as well as to get a little assist up the grade.

The successful ride called for a celebratory local brew. Unable to access the specially recommended National Park, we regretfully continued north, arriving eventually at Paracho, noted for its guitars.

A main Paracho stop was the museum Casa para el Arte y la Cultura P'urhepecha (Exposition and Sales of Stringed Instruments). 

They did indeed display an exposition of fine stringed instruments, many of which were for sale at a reasonable price.

Peg and musician Jack admire the interesting handmade instruments - true works of art.

Jack was impressed with the clever & unique smaller instruments - many with beautiful inlays or mother-of-pearl appliqué.

On north to our hotel in Zamora, Hotel Fenix, which boasted this fine pool and event venue.

At the town square, we find this series of tables circling the entire plaza.

Large loaves of holiday bread were arriving by the truckload and being placed on the circular table.

As evening fell, the ring of bread was completed and all was ready for this special Christmas related celebration.

We don't think this policeman really needed to guard the bread.  The sign proclaims the name of the event - "The Great Ring of Kings."

Here we saw the bakery truck bringing the last of the loaves as dusk approached.

Following the requisite official declarations, townspeople lined up to get their portion of "The 3 Wisemen" bread.

We enjoy the celebration from a restaurant overlooking the plaza - no bread, but cocktail time for us.  

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