Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cocuchas In Cocucho

We have all our furniture and decor done. Landscaping is still a work in progress, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is one spot between two bookcases that a nice vase or something could go.

After a little thought we decided to get a small cochuca.

Cocuchas are the shapely pottery vessels from the village of ......
Cocucho! Makes sense doesn't it?

You may remember them from the post I did on the day of the dead market here in Patzcuaro. Click the link below to check it out.
Day of the Dead Post

So for a bit of an interesting afternoon, we decided to drive out to the village itself to find one small enough to fit in the spot selected for it. The drive to Cocucho is about 90 kilometres each way. On the way, you can stop into Paracho, a village world famous for its hand made guitars.

If you love guitars, you don't want to miss the annual guitar festival.This year it is August 2-10, 2008. Perhaps we will have to pop back to check that out.

Driving through the mountains and valleys you come across striking panoramas. Now that we are in the rainy season the hills are lush and green, painted against dramatic skies.

This view alone was worth the drive!

After a leisurely drive we have reached our destination. Parking across the street from the Templo de San Bartolome I see a photo-op, a cross that is echoed in the background by the cross on the top of the church it is set against.

Just as I was about to take the picture, the sun broke through the clouds. Very dramatic! If it was a movie you would expect to hear violin music and maybe a choir of angels.

300 years ago?
(click on the image to see it larger.)

I couldn't resist sepia toning to the image before I posted it. It looks like it could be a scene from 300 years ago, except for the basketball court tucked into the lower right of the image.

Now, we are off to select our cocucha. While there are signs and shops on the street directing you to where you can purchase them, most of them are taken elsewhere for sale. Because of this, most workshops are just part of peoples homes, hidden from view and lacking storefronts.
Luckily we have received advice from an expert on cocuchas and other folk art and were soon knocking on an unassuming metal door. Shortly we were ushered into the humble but warmhearted home.

Soon Francisca and Felix we showing us not only all their wears but their family also.

One big happy family!

Now, I am not sure how it happened, but instead of getting one SMALL cocucha for between the bookcases, we somehow ended up with 5 of varying sizes, 7 if you count the two little mugs.

It was a fun afternoon, and I would recommend it to anyone BUT keep a couple of things in mind.

It is not a tourist town and in many ways things there are the way they have been for 100's of years. While I was taking pictures of the cross, every woman in sight covered her face and head with her robozo. So I took my picture and put my camera away. I did also take a picture of the family and their pots, but only with their permission.

Also if you are like me, you really enjoy the negotiations that go along with these types of purchases. So have fun with it like I do, but you can tell coming into this town, that there is not a great deal of wealth, so don't overdo the bargaining. Dirt floors are very quaint and charming when you are not the one who has to live with them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Taste of the Cosmopolitan.

A Japanese Restaurant in Patzcuaro!!

One of the things I like about where we live is that we have the best of both worlds.

We have the village of Patzcuaro, a 10 minute drive. With a provincial sort of charm. For a taste of the more cosmopolitan we have Morelia a 30 minuted drive (40 if you drive sensibly)

Well yesterday I discovered a new restaurant in Patzcuaro, that is just a little more cosmopolitan. You will have to look for it. It is very new. It was its second day open when I came across it.

When it comes to Japanese food, I am not much for the Sushi, but love the rest. For my first visit I had the yakimeshi followed by the prawn and vegetable tempura.

When my meal was served, it was presented along with a small wooden bowl. In it were some fresh sliced pepper, and then poured over them was a blend of soy sauce and lime juice. Very tasty !

Light and tasty.

All in all, very enjoyable and highly recommended. I want this restaurant to do well, so I can keep going there! Next time, I think I will try the teppan-yaki.

The restaurant is located on Calle Benito Mendoza, number 8.
That is the western most street that goes between Plaza Grande and Chica.

Currently the picture below shows the sign to look for on the street, but I assume that it will be updated soon.

The gateway to Japan?

Below you can see the menu, click on the picture for a larger view, and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Michoacan's Monarch Butterfly Reserve!

Every November through March millions, perhaps as many as A BILLION Monarch butterfly's overwinter in the eastern part of our state, Michoacan.

In the spring, just before they head north, they mate. What really surprised me is that it takes up to four generations for their migration to make it back to Canada!

I guess that puts a new twist on the term "Snowbird", as a great number of Canadians who come to Mexico are called.

The Butterflies LOVE the Dahlias!

Every so often, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), designates sites as being "of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity".

In 1991, the Centro Historico of Morelia was named to this list.

Just this week, UNESCO has added Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve to this list.

The picture above, is of a couple of butterflies that seem to love the dahlias in our yard, the lantana are also very popular. But they are not monarchs, as you can see they lack the distinctive white dotted border to their wings.

Sadly, in our 2 years here, we do not seem to have made it there.
The first year, Shannon was in a wheel chair, the second, we just didn't seem to make it.

Hmmm, maybe for the upcoming season we should have a bloggers get together there.
Hey it could be the Bloggers Breakfast In the Butterfly Bioreserve!!!!!
Look out it's the BBBB!!

Breakfast in Playa Del Carmen!

Hey, remember when I took you all to breakfast in Patzcuaro?

Join me for breakfast in Patzcuaro?

Well, we have a new member of the breakfast club!

Heather of Heather in Paradise, has invited you to Breakfast In Playa Del Carmen

Heather is also the person resonsible for the Great Mexican Mail Race.
Here is the lastest update on that.
Postcards to Paradise: Still Waiting

Hey, maybe we should have a blogger get together with all the breakfast club members!

PS the garden is loving all the rain here this week, have a look at a picture I snapped of one of our canna lilies.

Canna Colour!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bird Update!

After a quick consult with one of our local birding experts I have been told that they look to be Canyon Towhees.

I have just checked the nest out and the birds have flown the coop!

A couple of days ago I went to snap a quick picture or two.

On the way to the nest, I notice mommy was in residence!
So a quick picture and I back off.

Don't make me come over and peck you!
(click on the picture for a better view)

I pop back the next day, and get a picture of the three amigos, getting quite full feathered and almost overflowing the nest.

I think they will be flying soon.
Excuse me, I am trying to sleep!

And then this morning, I go and look, and the nest is empty.

So, I guess this makes us empty nesters!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Different ESL

Once you move south of the border, the meaning of ESL changes.

It goes from
English as a Second Language
Español como Segunda Lengua

What you may not realize is that there are a large number of locals that have Spanish as a second language. Patzcuaro sits on the edge of the Purépechan Mesa, the traditional home of the indigenous Purépecha. In these homes Purépechan is the first languange and Spanish is a second language. One website I found gave the statistic that 75% of the indigenous people are bilingual and 25% speak Purépecha only.

On a drive yesterday to Cocucho (that is another post) was a nice surprise to start seeing signs in the Purépechan language.

Translation Anyone???

The village of Cheran even has a Purépechan radio station!


Related Posts with Thumbnails