Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8th 2014??????


Wow, how did that happen? Where did the last couple of months go? The last time I set fingers to keyboard for my blog was the end of October, 2013. It’s been a very busy couple of months, but there has also been time to fit in some fun. Like the only place to be for Day of the Dead… Patzcuaro!

In October my friends and ex-neighbours in Corazon de Durazno, near Patzcuaro told me that they were off to Playa del Carmen for a week to spend some time with friends from up north who would be vacationing there. While I was pleased for them that they were about to embark on a nice warm holiday, I didn’t really think that this would affect me much, until Kathy mentioned that they were looking for someone to stay in their house and look after their cat while they were gone. Whoopee! A week in my old stomping grounds, and at Day of the Dead, no less.

I arrived in Patzcuro on October 30th and immediately headed into town to view the tianguis, the huge market set up in the main plaza, and of course the concurso. The concurso is the competition among the best of the best of the artisans that produce the amazing array of Mexican art that we see at this time of year. People from all over North America, and actually a lot from Europe as well, come every year to Patzcuaro to view, admire and purchase these rare pieces.



Incredible pottery from Capula



The photos above and below are work from Zinapecuaro, probably my favourite Mexican ceramics.




In San José de Gracia the Hernandez and Alejos families have been creating piñas, pineapples, for 40 years.


A stunning Day of the Dead version of The Tree of Life



Above and below, the whimsical art of the town of Ocumicho




Patzcuaro truly went all out for Day of the Dead 2013. The concurso was very successful, making excellent sales from what we could see of the sold signs, the tianguis  was huge and well attended and the town of Patzcuaro was decked out like never before.






I loved this display built over the fountain in Plaza Don Quiroga. People from different walks of life are kneeling before Quiroga in thanks for his teaching them their crafts and bringing affluence to the towns of Michoacán.

Throughout the week I had time to visit with friends and have some great meals in some of my favourite haunts. One such afternoon was spent with my good friend David at Rancho La Mesa. The restaurant sits high on a hill above Patzcuro and has one of the best views of the area.


Beach 2013 009

Ostrich pens at Rancho La Mesa

Beach 2013 010

I think he knows he’s on the menu


View from the gardens of Rancho La Mesa


All in all it was a week I will remember for some time to come!


  1. Glad you are back blogging. I love that piece with the hummingbird on it and the blue stuff in the back of one table grabs my eye too.
    Why do they have the orange tubing/piping at the top of the ostrich fence? Does it stop them from trying to escape?

    1. Thanks Brenda. I really love the Zinapecuaro ceramics too. I really wanted the one with the hummingbird but the stuff at the concurso is SO expensive. Rightly so, however.
      I have no idea what the orange tubing is for. They can't fly so I don't know how they would escape. Maybe they can jump, they have incredibly powerful legs, and I'm not sure the tubing would prevent that. I would be interested to know.

    2. Ok, I just thought it might have come up while you were there. There is probably no reason for it; but it made me curious. Maybe it reinforces the top of the fence or they just needed a place to store their tubing and figured no one would argue with the ostriches to steal it lol.
      I am not sure if they can jump or not; but their legs are extremely powerful. I wouldn't want to get kicked by one.
      There were some people raising them close by us, around the same time that people were getting into llamas, alpacas and buffalo. They need less grazing area than cattle; but are not a real money maker or weren't then anyway. My sister in law cooked some ostrich meat one year along with some bison meat and to be honest I wasn't impressed with either of them and haven't them again.

    3. That's a good notion about shoring up the fence, and you're right, I doubt anyone would want to tangle with one of those birds! At Rancho La Mesa they mix ground beef and ground ostrich for the burgers and it's quite good. I don't care for the meat by itself though, I find it a little gamy. I like bison though.

  2. Really enjoy your blog and miss it.
    Shirley from Nanaimo BC

    1. Thanks so much Shirley. I have definitely been remiss as a blogger and I will endeavor not to let that happen again. I will play catch-up with the next few posts.

  3. I have never seen the ostriches there. Is that something new? Come to think of it, I have never eaten there without either you or Todd being present.

    1. They used to have pens way over to the left of where you come in Steve. They were hardly noticeable. Now they have moved them into the center corral where the cows and goats used to be and there are a LOT more of them. I don't think I can order ostrich burgers anymore after looking them in the eyes.

  4. And welcome back. I am certain my frantic email made me sound like some sort of overly-protective parent.

    1. LOL, thank you for caring Steve! We did just sort of drop out of sight for a while, but I am back and I will be more diligent in my posting.

  5. Your post makes me homesick for Patzcuaro.........such a lovely, beautiful place that is one of a kind in Mexico!

    1. It really is Barbara! It is still in my heart and I imagine that I will likely move back one day.

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