View on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania last February.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Monday, January 9, 2012

El Estribo Grande hike

Yesterday morning, we moved from our couchsurfing friend Jorge's place on the far side of the lake to the Villa Patzcuaro RV Park. Only for one night, and this way we can stock up on groceries and dump our tanks.

This morning, we are going to drive the 66 kms (41 miles) to Uruapan and spend a couple of nights there.

Yesterday's drive, 35 kms (22 miles)

Saying goodbye to Jorge and his dog Chuco.

When we got parked up, we walked only 5 minutes over to the Bodega Aurrera (a Mexican chain owned by Wal-Mart) and did some shopping. This is a convenient spot. Then, after lunch we went for a hike. We had read about an overlook at an extinct volcano that gives a fantastic panoramic view of the lake and the city. We also read that from the overlook, you can climb even higher...via 400 steps!

The hill we are going to climb.

There is actually a road leading up to the overlook, but it would be a bumpy slow drive over the cobblestones. Besides, much more satisfaction involved when you hike all the way up!

Ruth, hiking up to El Estribo Grande.

There is a gazebo at the overlook.

Panorama view of the lake.

Panorama view of the city of Patzcuaro.

We sat and admired the fantastic view. What a beautiful, perfect day it was. There were several families at the overlook enjoying picnics, but it was not what you would call busy. Then, it was time to tackle the steps. From the overlook, you can climb the 393 steps to the top of the extinct volcano.

393 steps to the top!

Kevin and the view of Patzcuaro from the top. There is just a sheer cliff two feet from where I am standing. No railings, no warnings. Most of the time in Mexico, you are responsible for your own stupidity!

View looking the other way. You can see the toll highway to Uruapan that we will be taking later this morning.

On the way back, we took a slightly different route through the central area, and stopped for a paleta (ice cream popsicle) and sat in the busy central plaza. A lot of families enjoying the beautiful day, and there was quite a bit going on, with dance displays, and bands playing.

Some traditional dancers.

Made it back to the RV park, and we had been gone for 3 1/2 hours! We guessed we had done about 10 kms but found out later that it was more. We invited Wandering Mike over for dinner, and he introduced me to a very cool website called Here, you can use their software to map out and save your hike, and it tells you both distance and elevation. Turns out we hiked 12 kms (7.5 miles)!

Yesterday's hike, 12 kms (7.5 miles)

So, this morning we are off to Uruapan. Lots to see there, so stay tuned!


  1. nice day for a hike..looks like quite the stairclimber exercise!!..have a safe travel day!!

  2. The panorama views are super! Our daughter uses mapyourrun when she is in different cities. It does the same as your site only gets her around the cities easily...and she doesn't get lost!

  3. I love to see the views from the places you hike to. They are just incredible.

  4. What a view, you guys are seeing some of the most gorgeous scenery. Glad the weather is holding out for you. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  5. That is a lot of steps, but view is terrific!

  6. I started breathing hard just looking at the steps. Great view

  7. You just had another nice day, a great hike an awesome view from the top.

  8. I think I'd need a railing if I was going to do all those steps! :)

  9. Turtleondowntheroad.blogspot.comJanuary 9, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    A great hike with a view for miles.Thanks Kevin and Mike for the site mapmyhike can't wait to try it.

  10. Gorgeous views, but that's a LOT of steps. I think I like the idea of an ice cream in the plaza and listening to the musicians better lol!!

  11. Again, thanks guys for some great chatting and seeing the sites. Hope to see you around a bit more.

  12. The dancers in the picture are quite famous and one of the reasons for visiting Patzcuaro - hope you got to see them perform - Danza de los Viejitos (dance of the old men)which can be Googled and seen on You Tube. Anyone who hasn't seen it should check it out.

  13. You are amazing with your posts. Always thorough and give great accounts of your adventures! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!


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