January 12 to January 18, 2009
January 16, 2009 - Parked at Uruapan, Michoacan, México
A Visit to Parícutin
It has been a few years since our last visit to Parícutín. You’ve probably heard the story about this volcano. One day in 1943 it started rising in the corn field of an Indian farmer. The mountain grew and lava spread to cover nearby towns. Here's the story:
It’s possible to walk or take horse-back rides to the top of the volcano, but probably the most-visited attraction related to the volcano is the church of San Juan. This church was surrounded and inundated by lava and today the ruined church can be visited by walking (or taking a horse-back ride) from the Puripechan Indian village of Angahuan.
Our Mexico book lists a camping area in the village and we enjoy the walk so we decided to visit the village and see how things might have changed. What happened is the perfect example of the kind of unforeseen thing that make RVing in Mexico an adventure.
We were driving the Jeep, not the camper, since we were camped in Uruapan. That’s just 20 miles from Angahuan. The road from Mex 37 to Angahuan was newly paved, in fact some work was still being done and one section of road was one-way with sign guys directing traffic. As we entered Angahuan we stopped and told the usual group of horse-mounted guides that we wouldn’t be needing their services. If you don’t do this they’ll chase you until you park.
Then we went on in to town. Following our normal route we passed the square and turned in to the street leading to the campground. After a short distance we found the way blocked by construction work. Half the town seemed to be working to dig trenches and install a new water system. If we’d been in an RV we would have been facing a two block backing-up exercise.
The camping area was completely inaccessible. Fortunately with the Jeep we could bypass some of the work and get much closer to the campground. Then it was easy to walk in, check the details, and then take a hike out to the church. We were amazed when we returned two hours later to find much of the work already completed, the trenches filled, and things almost back to normal. Everything except the final packing had been done by hand with shovels.
January 18, 2009 - Parked at Mazamitla, Jalisco, México
Mazamitla is one of Mexico's Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns). Although it's a popular vacation town for people from Guadalajara it's never been an RVing destination.
Now it has a great new RV park. Hacienda Contreras has easy to access full-hookup sites, nice bathrooms, a TV room, and very helpful English-speaking owners. Since Mazamitla is only 50 miles from the Lake Chapala lakeside area this is bound to become a popular destination.