Ride to Ucazanastacua

It’s also the road to Cucuchucho.

WE LIVE IN a beautiful area, and some spots approach spectacular, but you have to know where they are.

One is the road to Ucazanastacua.

Yesterday, while my child bride was gossiping downtown with visiting relatives, I decided to take a jaunt.

As you may know, we live near a huge, high-altitude lake. There’s a two-laner that circles that lake, and it’s a nice ride.

But there’s a nearby route that’s relatively unknown. It does not circle the lake, but it abuts it for a spell in a spectacular manner. It reminds me of Route 1 along the Big Sur coast.

Up until about eight years ago, this road was primarily unpaved, consisting of dirt and potholes, only marginally usable. In the rainy season, it was mostly mud.

Then it was paved. It remains, however, little used even though small restaurants are appearing along the way.

I snapped this through the Honda windshield. Lake is to the right.

What the above photo doesn’t show clearly is that along much of the drive, it’s a deep drop-off down to the water. And look! No traffic. On a major holiday weekend.

I did not notice the post till I got home and downloaded the photo. Silly me.
Somebody’s home down thataway.

Being Easter weekend, I spotted a number of crosses along the way. They were decked out in purple crepe paper. The below is not a cross, but it was there for Easter.

Not a cross but an arch.

I stopped at an overlook, rolled down the Honda window and shot this brief video. Bob Dylan was crooning on the car’s music machine and competing with the sound of stiff wind.

I never did get to Ucazanastacua. A sign pointed down a steep road to the water’s edge. I did go through Cucuchucho, however.

And that’s your brief tour for the day. Leave tips in the jar on your way out. A joyous Easter to you Christians. To you Jews, shame on you for what you did! Tsk, tsk, tsk.

No Easter eggs for you people.

37 thoughts on “Ride to Ucazanastacua

  1. I was surprised and amused to hear Bob Dylan, a well known leftist, sing “Mr. Tambourine Man” on your soundtrack.
    I also like that lakeside drive, although it’s been years since we rode along it.

    Don Cuevas


    1. Don Cuevas: Load up the better half and head on out there today. It’s quite nice. Restaurants too that you’ve not encountered.

      As for Dylan being a leftist, if you want to listen to music, watch a movie, just about anything from the entertainment business these days, it’ll be a collectivist nimrod performing. There’s no getting around it.


  2. Felipe,

    There doesn’t appear to be much development on or around the lake. Are there any homes with direct access to the lake? How far is the lake from centro Patzcuaro?



    1. Troy: If you take the normal circular route around the lake, there are quite a few small villages and a couple of good-sized towns. Between those little population centers you’ll find ranches and whatnot. On the route mentioned here, however, it is far less populated even though there are a couple of very small population centers along the way. Ucazanaztacua, for example. It’s right on the lake’s edge. I imagine they are inhabited almost entirely by the indigenous Purépecha folks.

      The center of Pátzcuaro is about a mile from the lake’s edge, I’m guessing. I’ve never measured. Basically, we’re on the border of the lake.


    2. You might also note that most of the edge of that lake is a muddy, swampy thing. The lake is a lot smaller than it used to be, so it’s not the kind of place where there are many spots that you could build a house with a boat dock in the back.


      1. Kim: True, the edge of the lake is not ideal. However, there is an increasing number of houses and restaurants popping up on that route. Most are quite high on the incline and offer stupendous views.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Carole: That’s a Purépecha word, so I imagine a born Mexican and a made Mexican (me) would start from the same point. All of which is to say, who knows?


  3. Ah, dang, I need to go find a store that is open today to buy some Easter chocolate. We watched Church on TV because we can’t leave our dog alone in the RV. Thoroughly enjoying our 35-foot 5th-wheeler down in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. We bought it in Lake City, Florida, last Wednesday and drove on down here. Enjoying your updates every day. Love the pictures. While some of those names are even longer than some of the Japanese names of places I went to. Happy Easter to you and your child bride. Hoping to make it down to Mexico sometime next winter, so maybe we will finally get to meet. Take care, Felipe. Teresa


    1. Teresa: Easter chocolate should be on sale today.

      So you’re “trailer trash” now, huh? Just kidding. I’d love to have one of those things and were it not for the expense and lack of a place to put it, I might already have one. When I moved to Mexico 17 years ago, it was my alternate, my backup plan, in case Mexico did not suit me.

      But Mexico turned out to suit me just fine.

      Sure, come on down. I’ll treat you to a cafecito on the plaza.


      1. You are not the first to call us trailer trash, ha ha. This would have been a great alternate plan for you had you not been fortunate enough to meet your child bride. By the way, your description of her describes me almost perfectly. Also the Florida heat is a little hard to get used to, and it is wearing me out a lot more quickly than usual — the lowest temp this week will be 87. My body needs to adjust after coming from all that Seattle rain. I will email you a few pictures of our Tin Can home later on. By the way, may I have some churros with that cafecito? I can’t believe we didn’t have any during our recent three weeks down there. I’ll have to look for Easter chocolate tomorrow as I have not left the RV all day. Heck, maybe it’ll be even cheaper then. 😃


        1. Teresa: The only decent churros I’ve found here are those sold by hawkers walking the streets. So, yes, they are available. But my sister-in-law’s coffee shop does not sell them.

          As for Florida’s heat, I thank the Goddess daily I no longer live in that type of environment. It’s always cool here.


  4. That road is one of our “go to” Sunday drive routes. I might suggest that for a special occasion you grab your child bride and take a weekend at the resort there.

    It is very difficult to find. In fact, it took us about one hour of going up and down several roads and asking locals (each ask resulted in a different direction). Once you get there the resort, which is rated very high, only has seven rooms, a great restaurant, gift shop and a quaint little bar.

    Hacienda Ucazanaztacua is reasonably priced even for locals. I took my wife there for our anniversary a couple of years ago. We have been wanting to head out there again for a quiet couple of days soon.

    Hopefully, it will not get too popular so that prices get unreachable. Check out their website, and you will be surprised that we have such a nice resource so close.

    There are a couple of small shack restaurants perched on the side of the road looking down to the water. They are basic and have fresh fish (fried) and a variety of other pedestrian dishes at real low prices.


    1. Tancho: I saw that website years ago, and I’d completely forgotten about it. Here it is:


      I see it does what so many hotels down here do. No prices visible. That really chaps my behind. It’s akin to saying, “If you have to ask, you cannot afford us.” Of course, not putting a visible price on things is very typical in Mexico. It annoys me. I’ll take your word for its good prices. If I recall, years back, I emailed them, first to chastise them for having no visible prices and then to ask what the freaking prices were. I do not recall it being “reasonably priced.” Of course, what is reasonable to a high-roller like you and what’s reasonable to a cheapskate like me is likely quite different.

      Looking at the map on their website, I obviously drove right by the place yesterday. I don’t recall seeing any sign or other indication of its presence, another hoity-toity characteristic.

      The video at the top of the website is interesting and pretty. However, I don’t think I’ve ever known of a hotel that includes urinals in a promotion video.

      One problem for us regarding spending time in such a place is that my wife has no clue about how to chill out. She’s like a Harley-Davidson with the throttle stuck wide open. Relax is not in her vocabulary.


      1. Video of the hotel is nice. Looks like it would make for a very relaxing stay. May have to add it to the list of things to do “some day.”


        1. Peggy: How right you are! I did not dig deep enough into their website. For me, it’s an instant turnoff to find hotels, etc., here that charge in dollars and only in dollars. Should be illegal. That’s an immediate tip-off that the price will be quite steep. Translating into pesos, I see their cheapest room is about 3,700 pesos and their top suite is over 9,000 pesos.

          Can you imagine opening the website of a swanky hotel in the U.S., even in the southern border states, and find prices stated only in Mexican pesos?


        1. Don Cuevas: Yeah, I finally found it yesterday afternoon but thanks. A place that lists prices only in U.S. dollars while sitting in the middle of Mexico is ridiculous. And you can tell them I said so.


  5. I find those road signs with a bunch of completely unpronounceable places one of the more hilarious things in Mexico. Usually I’m completely past before I can even mentally work out the syllables. In fact, when I saw this post on the prior one, I thought it was a joke. But I guess not.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we do have some funny, but pronounceable city names like “Hayfork” and “Weed.”


    1. Kim: I don’t know for sure, but I imagine our area of Mexico has a higher percentage of unpronounceable names than perhaps you find in other parts of the country. It’s due to the Purépecha language. They are not Spanish words.


      1. Well, if my road trip through Mexico is any guide (and it’s probably as good as any), I’d agree that your part of the country has more of those unpronounceable names than elsewhere, though elsewhere has plenty. And they are always indigenous words. Perhaps a form of lasting revenge against the Spanish overlords.


  6. You know, Mr. Zapata, that looks like one hell of a nice ride on a motorcycle kind of road. Just sayin.


    1. Mark: You are the second to make that observation. And you are correct. I’ll tell you what I told Ray: Bring your bike down and let’s go for a spin. I’ll ride on back. Don’t go too fast.


  7. Probably not the place to share with you but I wanted to let you know I passed both my verbal and written Spanish language tests at work. Getting a 15% boost to the paycheck. I guess the three year adventure down there has finally paid off !


    1. Mark: Well, uh, yeah. That’s why the Goddess invented email. Have you lost my email address?

      Aside from that, congrats on the accomplishment and the pay raise too. That means you’ll have enough extra cash to come visit again. You’ll hardly recognize the place. Supermarkets, stop lights, etc. Way more Gringos, alas. All your old girlfriends are waiting for you still.


  8. I felt the same way about the road when I discovered it — even though I was told by several people it did not exist. Darrel and Christy were impressed with the views when I took them there.


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