Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spending Time in Familiar Places


Our first stop after leaving Cholula was Patzcuaro. It's a 300 mile drive (long way for us), but much of it is on cuotas (toll roads) including the Arco Norte which loops around Mexico City. Our Streets and Trips mapping program doesn't have the newest western section of the Arco Norte, but Brian was able to show our route using the Streets and Trips "Create GPS Trail" function. The thinner blue line is where we actually drove on the Arco Norte.
We've always loved Patzcuaro and keep going back. We like staying at Rancho la Mesa which is a restaurant, hotel and RV park. There's a fabulous view of town and Lake Patzcuaro from the RV spaces.
The island of Janitzio is the largest island on the lake, and is ever changing as the fog rolls in and out.
There are boats that run from the mainland to Janitzio. On previous years we have gone over to the island and climbed all the way up into the top of the arm of the statue of Jose Maria Morelos.
We've written quite a few posts about this area. To see more about the history and our adventures, enter Patzcuaro into the search box on the right hand side of the blog page. This will bring up prior blog posts with more information and pictures.

Valle de Juarez

The drive from Patzcuaro to VdJ is 147 miles and takes pretty much all day. The road we take is curvy and goes through lots of towns, all with their share of topes. It's a beautiful drive and provides an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the view.
Both Brian and I think that VdJ is one of the prettiest towns in Mexico. It's just one of those places that make you feel good while you're there. Hard to explain, we love it and we love being there.
While in VdJ we chose to stay at Chema's instead of Hacienda Contreras where we stayed on previous visits. Since the ownership of HC has changed we thought we'd give the other RV park at Chema's a try. We enjoyed our stay there - sorry I forgot to take pictures. We had a great time visiting with friends Sal and Barb who still have their lovely house in town, and with Heinz and Ulli who have given up RVing but are renting an apartment in town.

Roca Azul

Roca Azul Resort on Lake Chapala is 50 miles from Valle de Juarez. The closest town is Jocotepec, and it's not far from Ajijic, Chapala, and Guadalajara.
The resort has several pools, a sauna, a tennis court, huge soccer field, and large RV spaces.
 We found a nice spot for the Bus with a view of our neighbor's garden. There are several spaces here with long term renters.
There has been some kind of a soccer camp going on during the time we've been here. From what I understand, the kids are from Guadalajara and they are here for six weeks. They practice during the week and teams come in from other areas for games. Fun to watch.
We made a repeat visit to the Women's Cooperative in San Cristobal Zapotitlan with our friends Kris and Ken. It's about 6 miles from Roca Azul, directions can be found in a previous entry
The women in the area make fantastic dolls and flowers out of cornhusks, and a wide variety of baskets woven from reeds.
Everything is very affordable and it's worth a visit when in the area.

While we've enjoyed our stay at Roca Azul and had fun with Ken and Kris, as well as our friend Micky who lives in Ajijic, we're ready to hit the road. Next stop, Guanajuato.


  1. We are looking forward to arriving at Rancho La Mesa this coming Saturday!

    1. I think you and your caravan folks will like it up there - and of course the whole area is fascinating. Sorry we missed you in Guanajuato, arrived today and have the place pretty much to ourselves for now. Looking forward to some exploring - enjoy Patz!