Trip Report including Patzcuaro

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Escrito por Sweetles desde ( el día martes, 02 de enero, 2007 a las 20:40:22 horas :

Hello Everyone,

I've been reading all the trip reports here for almost a year, and it's finally time to post mine. A big thank-you to Rob and all the posters here for all the information on Zi; couldn't have done it without you as there is not that much written info out there.

The trip report is basically on our website, and there are two albums with narrative, Zihuatanejo and Patzcuaro. They are geared for our friends and family, so there may be some explanatory narrative that you would want to skip.

We had the most AMAZING trip of our lives, and are planning to return in November. This is the first time we have been to Mexico (besides Tijuana). We found the Mexican people to be wonderful. I can't describe them other than they are very connected to each other and their world. Having spent the past 2 weeks in Mexico, and coming back home, I realized how our society has become so disconnected to each other. Whenever we smiled at someone, they smiled back and even the grumpy ones had a grudging "Hola". I did an experiment at the airport and any gringo I smiled at I was ignored or they looked away, uncomfortable. In Mexico, whenever we seemed to be lost, there was always someone asking if they can help. A group of smiling 16 year olds stopped a heated soccer game on a side street to let us cross. Not something that would ordinarily happen here in Canada.

Mexicans love it when you speak Spanish, and really encouraged my horrible Spanish, never laughing at me, always patient and encouraging. We got along fine with a dictionary/phrase book and hand gestures, writing things down, etc. If there are any first timers out there who are afraid of language issues, don't be. You will be ok.

We did take some traveller's cheques (one hotel we had to pay in cash), and having been warned be earlier posts about having to give a copy of your passport, that never materialized. All they wanted was to see the passport and that was it. I don't know if it was the amount we cashed or what it was, but we brought all our xerox copies home. We went to Bancomar and HSBC banks in Zi and Patzcuaro.

I had a couple of Oh My Gawd moments; once at the Bancomer ATM where after I punched in my request for 3000 pesos, the machine refused to spit out my money. I panicked and repeatedly punched the cancel button, sweating bullets. There was a big pause, then my money came out. The other moment came when we were walking around Patzcuaro and I realized that we were probably the only gringos in town as we saw no one else remotely looking like they were from the US or Canada. I took a deep breath and told myself to get a grip, and everything was fine.

In Zihuatanejo, stayed at Amuleto and Ricardo has truly created a place that is heaven on earth (no I don't work for Ricardo ;o)) We stayed for a week and it really felt like we were leaving old friends when we checked out. We miss all the staff there. In Patzcuaro, we stayed at a relatively new b and b, called La Siranda, which is right next door to La Casa Encantada. I cannot say enough good things about Isabel, the owner, who is from Venezuela and speaks excellent English. Again, you feel like you are friends who stopped by for a visit. The decor is more European than traditional Mexican, but like La Casa Encantada, and Casa Brunson down the way, La Siranda is a restored 18th century building.

If anyone is looking for a reliable english-speaking taxi driver for transport, I can fully recommend: Sr. Mancera (fairly good english) Taxi No. 497, Sitio Los Delfines, tel: 044 755 100 13 35. He is always 10-15 minutes early for booked pick-ups, which really surprised us. Martin Chavez (excellent English) tel: 044 755 101 07 44. Both drivers are very safe, drive at reasonable speeds, and you will not have white knuckles.

In Patzcuaro, "Nacho" or Ignacio can be reached through the owners of La Casa Encantada or La Siranda. He speaks little English, but is completely honest, reliable, and trustworthy, plus he is a safe driver.

Thanks again to everyone, and I hope you enjoy the pictures!!


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