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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Friday, 27 February 2015

Mexico day 1 - Uruapan

It was a 12 hr flight  to Mexico City where I met up with my friend Marilyn from Canada. Every couple of years we meet up around the globe and do a G Adventures tour together.  This year we opted for Mexico to follow the Monarch Butterfly Trail. Other than the mountain areas where we would see the butterflies we would also see other towns and places of historic interest.



We left Mexico City for our first stop in Uruapan. We were a group of 9 (3 from Canada, 3 from Florida, 2 from the UK and one from Australia ) plus our Mexican guide. It was a standard tour which meant we would be mainly travelling by public transport. However I was very surprised by the standard of the first bus which had individual TV screens and reclining seats with lots of leg room. It took a long time to get away from the traffic in Mexico City and to drive the 410 km to Uruapan. It was a very dull day and with the bus logo painted across the window there was no chance of enjoying the scenery!
We finally arrived at the hotel late afternoon. The rooms were all situated around a covered courtyard. They were dark but spacious. Before darkness descended we went to have a look around the square which was opposite the hotel. As you would imagine there was lots of activity.

These five young girls were put through their paces marching around the square. Not sure if they were practising for a forthcoming event or just physical exercise. But whatever it was, they were very determined to do it correctly.



There were numerous balloon sellers in and around the Square, with their heart shaped balloons, trying to make a killing for Valentine's Day, the following day.
Topiary was big in Mexico.





As night fell we enjoyed a hot chocolate in the Square watching the water fountains creating reflections.



The next morning we caught a local bus to Angahuan where we were matched up with a horse. This is the first time I have ever been on a horse and it all felt a little uncomfortable and strange. Marilyn, on the other hand, was very much at home in the saddle.

Luckily for me the owner led him so I only had to worry about staying on him. Every so often the horse would start trotting which was painful for my knees as I had no idea what to do.






One of  the youngest volcanoes in the world, Paricutin, erupted in 1943 and activity lasted until 1952, leaving whole villages buried. Miraculously there were no fatalities.




 There is a 10 sq mile lava field surrounding the volcano. The only building that remains is the church tower from the buried village of San Juan Parangaricutiro. By the time we got to the site of the buried village, my legs, knees and bottom had had enough. I was glad to get off and walk even if it was over the treacherous lava rocks.


You can see the church tower standing aloft from miles around but once up close you see how the rest of the church was covered in lava.






The altar remains intact and appears to be a place of pilgrimage looking at the number of offerings that had been left.

The land is beginning to spring back to life with the regrowth of vegetation.


A few stalls were open near the site where we could get something to eat, The quesadillas made from black cornflour were very cheap and tasty. Different fillings were available and I chose mushroom, green pepper and cheese, which tasted delicious.





 Then it was time to get back on the horse and return to Angahuan to get a bus back to Urapan.



Once back at the hotel we decided to go in search of a hot drink as the weather was so wet and cold (Am I really in Mexico?). Behind the main square there was another smaller square where a dancing competition was taking place.


After our evening meal we returned to the main square where there was a live group playing English songs from the 60s - mainly The Beatles. Myself and Frances (from Florida)  knew all the words so we had a great time singing and dancing and stayed until the end of the concert whilst the rest of our group dwindled away one by one.



Sharing with Weekend Reflections

21 comments:

  1. 12 h flight, I thought it would be more, what a wonderful tour, I never sat in a saddle either !

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  2. exciting jaunts...great views...nice shots :)

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  3. What a wonderful tour. I love the reflection of the coloured water fountain in the pool

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  4. What a grand adventure! Loved the ruins. Cool that you got to travel on horseback.

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  5. What wonderful fun you and your friend must have every couple of years... Can't wait to see those butterflies... My good friend and hubby go to Mexico about twice a year, They do mission work down there.. There are so many poor, poor people there... My friend talks about the pretty flowers they have there... I've never ridden a horse either --so would be quite uncomfortable for sure.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  6. It seems a nice and interesting country

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  7. I can't imagine getting on a horse at my age, never having ridden before. The weather does appear to be very un-Mexican.

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  8. What fun! It's been years since I've been on a horse, but I sure do know how to set the stirrups so I can keep from being bounced when a horse goes into a canter. Something you never forget once you learn it. Sounds like it was a lot of fun! :-)

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  9. Always fun to add a first to your repertoire! You stayed on - that's what matters. I would have been singing along to the Beatles songs, too.

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  10. what a great tour and such a great idéa to do it with your friend. I understand trotting was not taht fun. You need to do it a few times to get the hang of it. :) :)

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  11. I think you chose a great time of year to travel to Mexico!

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  12. Wonderful trip. This is really exciting.

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  13. Fantastic trip.. and .lovely photos...

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  14. What a wonderful adventure you have had - very different to your homelands.

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  15. Thanks for showing your photos. It is always nice to travel with you around the world. On a horse this time, that was quite adventurous!

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  16. What a neat trip. Not sure I could have withstood the horse though. What is O adventures tour?

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  17. Really nice place the church that was flooded with lava. The hut where the food was being prepared looks really cool as well. I really like that kind of places!

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  18. That was woth the ride to see the old church. Did you have your 60's clothes on to go with the music

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  19. Sounds like you had fun in the evening. I don't think I would have enjoyed the horse travel parts of this trip but good on you for doing it.

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