The Albanian side of Lake Ohrid.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Shkoder, Albania on May 19th!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead. November 1st and 2nd are Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. It's actually one of the reasons we're still here at Hacienda Contreras as originally we were expecting to have headed out by now.

But we figured, why leave when there's extra traffic on the road. So we'll stay put for a few more days. Besides, we had been invited to the local celebrations at the nearby community college.

Oh yeah, never really told you about our wild potatoes. They don't really have a particular flavour...sort of like a cucumber maybe? And the consistency is very strange, it actually gets kind of slimey the more you chew it! But, it's edible, and Ruth has used the balance of it in a chicken curry that she made for tonight.

Monday afternoon, we had new campers show up! People don't normally start to arrive in this area until mid-November, so we were excited to see someone pull in. Toni and Felix are originally from Germany, but have spent the last four years working in Vancouver. Now, they are taking their specialty rig all the way to Argentina. What a great adventure for this young couple!

Toni and Felix and their 1994 Mitsubishi diesel 4x4

They only stayed one night because they were on their way to the popular Day of the Dead celebrations in Patzcuaro. But we enjoyed spending a couple of hours talking with them yesterday morning as we had breakfast together.

So last night around 6:00pm Sal took us over to the local college where they were having a Day of the Dead fundraiser. The students had made shrines to celebrate popular Mexican figures from days long ago. And then, there was a costume show and contest. It was a lot of fun and there were a ton of people. And you bought coupons to use towards food and drink with money going to the fundraiser. They made a hot fruit drink, almost like a tea, and then added a shot of sugar cane alcohol to it. Each drink was 5 pesos (39 cents!). And for 20 pesos ($1.56) you got 4 chicken tamales, which was enough for dinner for the two of us.

Three of the better shrines they built

Notice the boots sticking out the end!

And some of the better contestants

Some of the costumes and makeup were really well done! We love experiencing the Mexican culture this way!


  1. Wow, looks like a real fun day, getting involved in local events is what really makes your time there special.

  2. great Day of the Dead celebrations!!! the creative!

  3. Looks like a great time was had by all, and sure didnt hurt your budget...that is an odd looking vehicle...looks like it sits high enough to go thru small streams. Good thing they are young, very small car to spend so much time together and on the road. Glad you gave us the update on the potato, sounds like you arent going to go hunting for more.

  4. How lucky for you to be able to celebrate with the locals! We drove thru Parzcuaro about a week after the celebrations one year and even then it was impressive.

  5. Kevin - Check with Tony and Felix and see if they were in MN a couple months ago, a rig just like that was in our park for a couple nights. Our manager said they were from Germany and on theri way to South America. We were in Spicer, MN, in Lakeside Motel and RV when we saw them.

    So enjoy reading about your adventures in MX and the hospitality you find there. So many wrong impressions out there about our neighbors to the south!
    Take Care

  6. We have a friend in Phoenix whose favorite celebration is the Day of the Dead. Looks like fun.

  7. I waited all this time to hear that the potatoes were slimy? Oh my!
    How cool the party was. Love the costumes...where is the picture of you all dressed up?
    So glad you are having such a wonderful time!

  8. Toni and Felix are parked here in Patzcuaro a couple of spaces away from us. Too funny!

  9. great blog excellent pics...don't think I could eat those potatoes esp if they were slimy....take care :)

  10. Some great costumes! Can't get over the prices. Have you seen any bandits. My wife says the place is full of them.

  11. Wow, what cheap prices! Not sure if I'd like anything with a slimy consistency! Great costumes!

  12. George and Suzie...It was a fun evening and another new experience for us.

    Sue and Doug...Yes, they celebrate with festivals, parades and going to the gravesites of their dearly loved and departed family members and put flowers down and have picnics in the graveyards with foods that the departed ones loved and then they will also have a priest come and give a service. It is an all day and sometimes all night affair and a very big holiday in Mexico.

    Donna W...It is an odd looking vehicle for sure. It is 4 wheel drive and yes it is high so that it can go through rivers and streams, it even had an airbreather for going through deep water. You have to hope you have good weather because with a vehicle like that as you will spend more time outside than you do in. No, I don't think we will go potato hunting again.

    Contessa...We would love to have gone to Patzcuaro but didn't want to deal with the traffic or the huge crowds. I bet it looked fantastic even a week later.

    Judy and Emma...Yep, and that was only a little local celebration. They go all out, it is a big holiday here.

    Bob and Vicky...I have sent Toni a message but I haven't heard back from them yet. We'll let you know when we do. The media, like with most things only gives you the bad news, it doesn't show you both sides of the coin. We think the good far outweighs the bad.

    Janie and John...It was lots of fun.

    FULL-TIMERS...They are very slimy when you cut them up but they don't seem slimy to eat. The costumes were great. Only the college kids that participated dressed up, it's not like Halloween at home.

    Chris...Yep, too funny. We told them to keep an eye out for you guys. Hope you got a chance to talk with them.

    Elaine...Thanks! They weren't really slimy to eat. I found that they didn't really have much flavour, pretty bland.

    Paul...They were great costumes, the girls were much better than the guys. No we have seen no bandits. This is our 4th year travelling in Mexico and we have had no problems. We find people here very friendly and helpful.

    Lea...We love the prices of most things here. One of the reasons we come, that and the people and the weather and the scenery and so on and so on.

    Kevin and Ruth


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