Uruapan and Patzcuaro

Yesterday was one of those incredible days that you cannot believe you get to live. While it did start at 2:45 in the morning, it was worth it. Dad and I arrived at the Jardin at 3:35ish and Juanita and Kiko, as well as the students, were still not there. Big surprise. We settled down and tried to get to sleep, the bus finally left at 4:40am. That’s a lot later than 3am, but whatever. We were off. We drove South to the state of Michoacan–see here:

We first arrived at a waterfall near Uruapan at what looked like a campsite. Some little kids jumped on the bus and recited some poem that was evidently hilarious in Spanish, though I wasn’t all that sure what they were saying entirely. Then they asked for money. We ate some tortas (sandwiches) and though it was only 9:15am, were encouraged to drink this milk and tequila shot-like drink. It was alright, but the fact that we were drinking tequila, in ANY amount, that early was somewhat unsettling…oh, Mexico.

After eating, we bought some panchos because it was raining and we were going to hike down into an area with waterfalls. All they had were child-sized panchos, which was pretty funny for all of us. They had horses and, as promised, I was able to ride the horse down to the waterfall and back up–super-extreme plus side of this is that I did not have to hike down a muddy, pebbly trail, nor up it. Pretty awesome. Plus riding the horse was fun.

The waterfall was breath-taking. The horse-back riding was beautiful–on the side of bascially a cannon that was lush and green. The horse slipped a few times, but he was a generally sure-footed and good horse. We took lots of tourist-y pictures by the waterfalls and admired them for a while, then headed back up the mountain. This time, my horse (who liked to follow, not lead) decided to try and catch up with Trista’s horse (one of the med students from last year) in a canter. I was freaked out for a bit because I kept trying to make him slow down and he wouldn’t…but I eventually got used to it and enjoyed the variety.

We loaded back onto the bus and napped again while we drove to the city of Uruapan, to a national park (though we were all pretty unclear about where we were going until we were actually there. That was basically how the day went…it was somewhat unnerving, but also kind of fun to just go along for the ride. I’m just real glad I didn’t get lost). It was also really incredible. I’ll definitely have pictures when I get home, hopefully I’ll be able to load them more easily when I get my computer back sometime next week! It is ready (I got the phone call while I was on the horse in the middle of a rainforest…talk about crazy)! Anyway, this jungle was also gorgeous–smaller waterfalls, but we explored a lot more. There were guys jumping off of rocks who then would collect change. Sort of like one of those guitar-playing beggars, but way cooler. We headed back to the bus, loaded back on and drove some more to a place called Patzcuaro where we parked outside of a ragged-looking line of shops, boarded a boat that took us to the middle of the lake where the Isle of Janitzio is.

Janitzio is a fairly small island that has become a huge tourist attraction. It has a huge celebration for the Day of the Dead in November that some of you may have heard of and it’s essentially just restraunts and shops. But it’s pretty, and it was very tranquil. The lake was beautiful and the ride to the island and back was really fun–we danced on the boat, which is really low and close to the water, so it feels like you’re just flying on the top of the lake.

We got back in the bus and just chatted and hung out the whole way back. A very good trip overall. I’ve uploaded a few more pictures from Xoconoxtle, but not all of them. I’m really frustrated with picture-uploading inability. But whatever. All I can say is I’m sorry and I have tried! Until later–