SOME SIGHTSEEING

We have seen considerably more of Michoacan, including Caracuero, to which before driving us a week after, our friend walked on the 15th Visita to Al Senior de Caracuero, the Black Jesus, one hundred and twenty meters from Tacamboro through mountains and valleys to Caracuero. Two thousand people we understand made the walk, in the end many supplicants walking on their knees as they came to the Iglesia which holds the crucifix with the black Jesus. We drove, ourselves, or were driven by our friend, through (with apologies for getting some of these names wrong) Tacamboro, Cuesta del Toro, Arroya Frio, Arroya de Apo, Loma Larga, San Antonia, El Limon, Las Cocinai, Nocupertaro any many other towns, most not on the map, through Avocado growing country, grape orchards, corn fields, on country roads and main highway to Caracuero.
Also we have visited briefly almost all the villages around Lake Patzcuaro, also most not on the map, Uranda Isla, barely an Island in the Lake, Huecaro, Tzentzuntzen, Tocuaro, where we drank some Pulque, a beer derived from the Maguey cactus, San Bartolo, Juaracuaro, Francesco Uricho, Erongaricuaro where also a local variety of Mezcal is made, Opondio, Ichuipio and Tarerio, called Puerto la Cielo, as it looks across the lake into the mountains and broad sky. The restaurant, overlooking the lake, had pictures of the restaurant, and of the owner, who joined us after lunch, and her family. The pictures were from 1959… The women in bobbs and American skirts… The spirit of the pictures indicated, unlike the present where Americans fear to travel, a more prosperous time when tourists and travelers could be expected… We went on to towns I think named Puacuaro, Del Sandio, Chupicuaro, with good beaches on the lake, Santa Fe de la Laguna, Patanbicho, where two peninsulas run into the Lake, and which are called ”Ojos de Agua,” the eyes of the lake. Also again to Ihuitsio where a coyote statue is in the center of Town and where also the impressive pyramids are, and a town with the hardest name of all to get down, Ukasanaʹstacua. We understand that much of this land, separated by carefully constructed stone walls, and featuring many small herds of steers, bulls, cows, and vaqueros on horse or foot, is owned collectively.
The Towns each hold histories and mysteries of their own we do not know. The style of building in all these and other towns seems to follow the Spanish model. The buildings line the public streets, privacy secured by high walls and strong gates, more often than not iron, then inner private gardens, and lastly the homes. The Moorish influence brought with the Spaniards, in the cities is pronounced in the Arches and I am told other architectural aspects.
On arriving back from the tour, we passed again by the first statue one encounters on arriving in Patzcuaro, I think called Tanean as well as Rey Tarejaqui. Again I may have the name incorrectly. But the man in the statue was a famous warrior king of the Puerepechas and in the statute is clothed as was the custom in an impressive long cloak. Around 1520, he or his father or son, (my fault for not being able to read the plaque well enough), although humiliated by the Spanish invaders, saved his empire from the ravages inflicted on the neighboring Aztec empire by making peace with the invading Spanish.

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