Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer 2007 Car Trip - 24

We were anxious to get out of Morelia and continue on our way but we had some housekeeping details to attend to first. We had to find a laundry and try to get some clothes cleaned. We thought we might have a hard time finding a laundry service in Patzcuaro. Clothes delivered with a a promise of an 11 AM pick-up time, we headed off to find breakfast.

We grabbed breakfast at a cute little cafe in one of the cities side parks and B and I settled in for a second cup of coffee while L headed out to Immigration. He had to renew his tourist visa while we were in a city with such an office. Unlike most of the restaurants we had been to in Morelia, the staff at this one were friendly, courteous and knowledgeable about their menu. Of course, how could you not know about bacon and eggs? I really liked the logo of the restaurant on the t-shirts they had on and asked to buy one. Unfortunately, they had none for sale. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I try to buy a t-shirt from each town we visit. My idea of a souvenir!

L finally returned, we picked up our laundry and headed out for Patzcuaro. It was an easy drive of about an hour. I don't remember much about it until we got to the outskirts of Patzcuaro. At that point we were getting glimpses of the lake and the road was lined with pine trees. The scent coming into our car windows was heavenly. The road into town passed many little businesses and a few homes while gently increasing its' grade. We finally found ourselves at the top of the hill that leads down into town and followed the signs for El Centro.

Patzcuaro is not a large city. Not small, but not large either. It's street are old and in the center of town, all one way. We had our list of hotels we wanted to check out but couldn't get to them! The way around the town square was blocked off by some big bus and road blocks. Just all of a sudden one had to turn in the opposite direction and we were off, traveling away from where we wanted to be!

We were finally able to find our way back to the Plaza Grande and Aldama Street. We parked right on the square and were shown a room in the Hotel San Rafael (24). The fact that they had off street parking sealed the deal! It was kind of Plain Jane on the outside, but take a look at the interior courtyard.

Here's a better look at one of the many lounging areas circling the courtyard.

The bathroom vanity in our first room. Copper is very big in this area.

Our first room there was okay. Just okay. Nothing to write home about. But when we turned on the TV and it didn't work, something had to be done! So the desk clerk got his big ring of keys and we started a tour of the hotel. Second room. I don't think so. Third room. Getting there. Fourth room. A winner! This was really a three room suite if you counted the huge bathroom. There was a large sitting room as you entered, then the bedroom with two double beds and the huge bathroom. It even had a bathtub!

Having settled in, we started out on a little walking tour of the city and to get something to eat! We ended up at the town's other plaza, Plaza Chica, more formerly known as Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra, after this chica.

She is a local heroine who was hanged in 1818 for her part in the independence movement. She looks like she was one strong lady!

We had a light lunch and headed back to the hotel for a light siesta before cleaning up for dinner.


couzin frank said...

Very interesting! Your photo essay is very enjoyable.

Norm said...

Interesting blog, but lacks details on prices of food and hotels in Patzcuaro and what you are driving......we were there last Jan. about some specifics?.....tks...Norm

Islagringo said...

norm: glad to have you aboard reading my blog. That said, this is not a travelogue or Lonely Planet blog. It is about my personal adventures and impressions traveling around Central America. I take the position that nobody cares how much I paid for shrimp dinner or a hotel room. It's about the experiences, not a travel guide. I was driving the same car that I talk about in the beginning. A 2005 VW Pointer. Hatchback. Or do you mean the condition of the roads? If so, I do talk about that a lot.