The RV Parking area at Hotel Villa Monarca Inn near Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Mexico.

Monday, January 20, 2020

An odd propane problem

Yesterday was a day off for the group, with nothing official planned. However, we are very close to the small city of Zitácuaro (pop 200,000) so some of the group decided to hop on the collectivo and go into town.

Ruth and I have driven right by Zitácuaro several times, but have never made a stop. This time, we had some other things on the go and just decided not to go. Zitácuaro will have to wait for another time.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Not the best visit to the monarch butterflies

But, it's still a fascinating experience.

This was our sixth visit to see the monarch butterfly wintering grounds in the mountains west of Mexico City. And our second visit to the El Rosario sanctuary. Depending on which article you read, there are anywhere between 8 and 16 known locations, but only 4 of them are open to the public. We have now been to Sierra Chincua twice, Piedra Herrada twice, and El Rosario twice. We have not yet visited Cerro Pelón, however that may change over the next week!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Patzcuaro to Zitacuaro

With a 9:00am start on the schedule we were up early getting Sherman ready to go. As always, everybody was ready on time, and we set out towards the big city of Morelia (pop 650,000).

We didn't really want to have to drive through the city, but the only other route option would have had us taking toll roads for most of the day. And we wanted the group to be able to see the fantastic scenery from old highway 15 going through the mountains east of Morelia.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Out exploring, and time to move on

Yesterday, some of us just hung around the campground and some of us went exploring. Ruth took off with Roger, Mona, Aron, Owenita, and Denise to go see Lago de Zirahuén.

I never left the campground.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Out for a hike, and Ruth's new glasses

We set out at 9:45am for a hike to Estribo Grande... an old volcanic hill overlooking Patzcuaro. There is a mirador (lookout) there, as well as 472 steps leading up to another lookout.

We decided to do the route that goes up and around the other side of the volcano, and then down the 472 steps.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The copper artisan town of Santa Clara del Cobre

Sorry for the delayed posting. Didn't get out of bed on time, and then had a few other things to do on the internet and time just ran out!

On Tuesday, we took the group to Santa Clara del Cobre. This town is famous or it's artisans who make products out of copper. There used to be a mine in the area, but now all copper used to produce the products is recycled copper that come mostly in the form of copper wire before it is melted down.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Off to the island

One of the tourist attractions here in Patzcuaro is Janitzio Island. And it's worth a visit if you've never been here before.

But Ruth and I have been to the island 3 or 4 times... and we really didn't need to go again. And the people in our group who were with us last year didn't want to go again either. So I walked down to the embarcadero (dock) with those who wanted to go and I guided them to the ferry pier where they caught the boat to the island.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Just another great day in Mexico

A bunch of us went for a walk yesterday morning along a dirt road that goes through a farming area on the other side of the highway. We took off at about 9:30am and went for about an hour and a half.

A few clouds in the sky, but very pleasant temperatures. Highs are around 24C (75F) and lows around 6C (43F). In our opinion, perfect.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

In to the town of Patzcuaro, and Ruth orders new glasses

A relaxing start to the day, and we didn't take off until 10:00am. It's a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) walk downhill to the central plaza, and the whole group walked into town.

First stop was the cathedral, followed by the central plaza but we each went our separate ways for a while and met again at 12:30pm to show the group Mario's birria stall at the market.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Uruapan to Patzcuaro

No need to rush out of Uruapan because it was just a relatively short 80 km (50 mile) drive to Patzcuaro. So we left the RV park shortly before 9:00am and regrouped at a nearby gas station to get ourselves headed in the right direction to get through the city of Uruapan.

There is no easy way through Uruapan. It's a busy city, and the main east west road is four lanes of busy traffic with a bumpy road and lots of traffic lights. But, it's also an easy route to follow, and we had no problems.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The guitar town of Paracho

One of the places that Ruth and I had never made it to was the town of Paracho, Michoacan. It's known around the world to anybody with an interest in guitars because the town of about 35,000 people produces over 1 million guitars per year. Some articles say that 90% of the town's workforce is somehow involved in the guitar business.

We arranged for the hotel van to take us to the town, located about 32 kms (20 miles) north of Uruapan. Cost for the one way trip was 750 pesos, but there were 12 of us going so not a bad price at 65 pesos ($4.50 CAD, $3.50 USD) per person.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A little too close for comfort

Our mini bus arrived just before our planned 8:30am departure and we were soon on our way to the town of Angahuan (pop 4,000?) located 31 kms (19 miles) away.

We arrived at the mirador overlooking the volcano and lava field just before 9:30am after a very slow drive through the town itself.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Interesting day in Uruapan

We set off walking from the hotel/RV Park at 9:30am, headed for the national park located right in the city of Uruapan. Ruth and I have been here several times before, but it never gets old. It's a beautiful park, and an easy place to spend a couple of hours.

It was about a 35 minute walk all downhill.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Valle de Juarez to Uruapan, Michoacan

We were on the road yesterday at our planned 8:00am start time.

Our original schedule called for us to spend a night at Lago de Camécuaro National Park on the way to Uruapan, but because we took an extra couple of days to fix Garth's oil cooler line, we decided to make the park a lunch stop instead to make up one of those days and then head directly to Uruapan.

The first part of our drive began on what is arguably the worst stretch of highway in Mexico!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Time to hit the road!

Sunday morning, most of us decided to go to La Cocinita for breakfast. It's a popular spot and we've been here for two weeks now and still hadn't made it over there.

We arrived at about 9:00am to find that a large group had taken over most of the tables. Still, half of us managed to get seated and served, while the other half had to wait another 45 minutes or so.

But it didn't matter. After all, we have lots of time!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Market day, bike ride, and steak for dinner!

Saturday is market day here in Valle de Juarez, so we walked into town at 9:30am to do our weekly grocery shopping. We think it's fun stopping at the wide variety of stalls and shops to do our groceries.

There is one larger grocery store here, but almost everything is available if you know where to go to find the smaller shops.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Nice to take a relax day every now and again

With an unexpected three additional days here at Valle de Juarez, yesterday turned into a mostly relax day. It was supposed to be a travel day, but we have now put that off until Monday. Nobody in the group seems to mind, and that's the whole idea... a relaxing trip with lots of flexibility.

I did get a few things done though. About a year ago we had bought a new shoe hanger thing that was designed to go over the back of a door. But we cut it into sections and then attach them to the bed frame. Just for another use of space in the motorhome.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Time ran out!

Ruth and I like to play Yahtzee and Backgammon. In fact, we play those games almost every day. It's become kind of a habit when we are traveling in the motorhome to play a game or three of backgammon before happy hour. And we play Yahtzee while we eat supper!

A few years ago, we started keeping track of our scores on an annual basis. Are you ready for the final scores of 2019?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Kicking off the New Year with a 20 km hike!

But before we get to that, make sure you check out our December and 2019 full year expense report, published only yesterday evening.

And next, we have to back up a little to New Year's Eve! In the morning, Ruth went with the group over to "the castle"... an event center located nearby that has some interesting things to see. Late afternoon, we had wine and cheese happy hour, and then an evening campfire to ring in the new year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

December Expenses and 2019 Expense Review

December was a bit higher than expected. Seems we are having a lot of those kind of months lately. Still, at $2,175 CAD ($1,680 USD), we saw an awfully lot of neat things during the month! Plus, a big chunk of that was gas for the motorhome.

But, we finished the month with pretty much a full tank of gas and the liquor cabinet is full and so is the fridge. So maybe it wasn't such a bad month after all.