Around the mountaintop

HERE’S A GOOD video a nice-looking couple made of our mountaintop town and lovely things nearby.

I landed here by pure luck 18 years ago, first living eight months in the state capital which is about 40 minutes away down a smooth four-laner.

One day I came up here, sat at a coffee shop sidewalk table on the main plaza (not the one owned by my sister-in-law), took a look around and said to no one in particular: I could live here.

So I went back to my two-story, sparsely furnished rental in the middle of the state capital, packed my few things, rented a car, tossed it all in, and drove up the mountainside where I moved into yet another two-story, sparsely furnished rental. I lived there for 2.5 years until we built the Hacienda.

The first 1.5 years, I lived there alone.

When I moved to the mountaintop, there were about 40 Gringos in residence. Now there are about ten times that number, too many for my taste.

No matter. It’s been a fine time. Best decision of my life.

18 thoughts on “Around the mountaintop

  1. What a great little introduction to Patzcuaro. Too bad it wasn’t sunny though. Janitzio, although a promoted tourist spot (trap), I found to be rather cheesy. And don’t ever fall into the lake water! Beautiful scenery from up on top and all around. You live in a beautifully calm place in this world, Felipe.


    1. Leisa: It is calm when the Mexicans are not making lots of racket, something they love to do. As for Janitzio (which is that island where they climbed to the top and then up inside the statue for those who don’t understand Spanish), I’m not a fan either. In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve been to Janitzio just twice briefly. It is a tourist trap, in my opinion. I’m like Parisians who have never climbed the Eiffel Tower, or almost never. But the residents of Janitzio gotta make a living. The only way to get there is by boat. There’s a photo hanging in the Trotsky Museum in Mexico City that shows ole Red Leon fishing in our lake.

      And no, you do not want to fall into the lake. It is polluted, unfortunately. And those guys with the fancy nets were out there strictly for the tourists. They circle the motor launches so photos can be taken, and then they pull up to the launches and ask for money.

      We certainly do have lovely scenery.


      1. Ah yes, the butterfly fisherman are for looks and handouts, we got “asked” both coming and going. But the accordion/music ensemble was endearing on one of our excursions there. They try hard to make it either a romantic float back to the flotillas or a foot-stomping rowdy ride. As you said, they have to make a living.


  2. In 1975 my teachers went on strike so my parents took my sister and me to Mexico for a month, flying into Mexico City. Straight from the airport we rented a car and spent four weeks driving around central Mexico. We spent a week in your town and for 16-year-old kid from the suburbs of Toronto the old Colonial towns of Mexico in 1975 were a world apart.

    Walking around downtown Pátzcuaro a young boy kept trying to sell me an old dog-eared Readers Digest with the front cover missing by following me, waving the magazine and repeating “English!” The next day when he realized i wasn’t buying the magazine he switched to trying to sell me a puppy at the end of a piece of twine. All these years later, I have many clear memories of Pátzcuaro and Morelia. I have never made it back to Pátzcuaro yet, but it is on the list. Thanks for posting the video, I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful town again.


    1. Cathie: The area has changed a lot in the time I have been here, all for the better. It would be interesting, however, for me to time-travel back even to an era relatively recent as 1975. Morelia also has improved over the past two decades. It was kind of dull when I arrived in 2000. I had seen it described online as some Mexican version of a white-bread Midwest town in the United States.

      But both Morelia and Pátzcuaro are A-list nowadays. And my real estate values just keep going up!


  3. I remember Morelia (if I remember the correct town) as a university town with lots of young male students who could speak some English and gave me endless compliments on my waist length blonde hair.

    Yes, I am sure both places have changed a lot although the old colonial buildings are the same. In 1975 a coffee was instant “coffee” (maybe Nescafé) out of a glass jar and now there are probably lots of cafes where you can get a latte.

    You definitely bought in at a great time. Lucky you !


    1. Cathie: Morelia is still a university town, and you’ll see lots of students downtown. No surprise you got attention. Not all that many blondes in Mexico. Coffee still is Nescafe in many places, but rarely in coffee shops. You’re more likely to see Nescafe in low-brow restaurants. It’s very common.


  4. “I could live here.” We said that many times during our long visit there. Alas, we have kids and grands that would be too far away. Loved the video. Think we saw everything shown. Brought back great memories. I was pretty sure that the only things the “fishermen” caught were tourists. Thanks for posting.


    1. Steve: Our area is famous for something called “white fish,” though I do not recall ever seeing it offered in a restaurant. They do sell it in the street markets, however. White fish used to come from our big lake, but nobody in their right mind would eat anything from that polluted body of water these days, though I’m sure people do. They just lack right minds. White fish now comes from fish farms in the area, I am told.

      Come on down. The kids and grandkids know how to buy plane tickets. It always amuses me when people want to stay close to their grandkids. Their own kids, I understand, but I don’t think grandchildren generally give much though to their grandparents. Or at least I didn’t.


  5. We ate pescado blanco on our first visit to Pátzcuaro in the ’90s. It was greasy and tasteless. There are many other, tastier species. I don’t see it on menus here anymore.

    Don Cuevas


    1. Don Cuevas: Now that you mention it, it occurs to me that I have not seen white fish on a menu in a very long time. It’s used to be quite the thing in these parts, but no more. I don’t recall ever eating it myself.


  6. That was a very well-done video and quite enjoyable to watch. I wish that young couple much success as YouTubers; they’ve clearly got the talent.


    Kim G
    Redding, Ca
    Where we thought Janitizio wouldn’t be worth visiting when we were there. Maybe another time.


    1. Kim: It was a good video. As for Janitzio, it’s a tourist trap for the most part. Maybe it’s worth one visit, mostly for the boat ride, which is fun. Just pray you don’t fall overboard. I think you would instantly dissolve like in one of those old horror movies.

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