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jennifer rose

Nov 1, 2001, 10:01 PM

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El Dia de los Angelitos

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We started out our trek to Muertos’ Ground Zero bright and early today, duly noting as always the informative sign on our way that Janitzio is but 52 km distant from Morelia. Just how many people have ever driven to Janitzio? Why isn’t the mileage from Patzcuaro to Morelia posted?<p>We handily found parking down along Ponce de Leon, just a few blocks from the Plaza Vasco de Quiroga. Trekking across the plaza to inspect vendors’ wars from hither and yon – loads of Cocuchas from (duh) Cocucha, truckloads of Ocumicho devils, Patamban pottery, Capula ware in the new lead-free, high-fired variety, baskets from Ihuatzio, vegetable-dyed sweaters from Patzcuaro, and much, much more.<p>I found a victim who hadn’t seen the Juan O’Gorman mural at the Biblioteca, so I dragged him over there….only to be hugely surprised by an incredible exhibition of papel picado. And I’m talking papel picado the likes of which most of us have never seen. I’m talking jaripeo scenes in papel picado. That alone is worth a jaunt over to Patzcuaro.<p>Over through the mercado, where the aisles were lined with magnificent displays of cempazuchitl, pato de leones (which I was told was the local patois for giant cockscomb) and orchids by the gazillion. Backtracking through the ex-convento de San Agustin, we headed back through the portales and the usual stunning display of candied skulls, caskets and the chazeri of the season. We finally had to stop for a caffeine recharge before foraying over to El Naranjo and then over to Once Patios to check out the prize winners of the Concurso de Artesania Noche de Muertos 2001. Now here’s where the fun really began. Museum-quality pieces – from miniatures to rebozos to carved Tarascan posts – were selling from anywhere to “Giving it away” to “Are there really two more zeros on that price tag?” Fortunately, we were rescued by a rendition of the “ancient” 75-year old Danza de los Viejitos.<p>Finally, it was time for lunch, so after buying some of best flour tortillas in the region (La Casera de Don Emy) at the abarrote Golfo de Mexico, we headed off to San Francisco Uricho, in great anticipation of a fine meal at Los Pinos. Sadly, we were disappointed, because the property was in the process of gaining a second floor on its way to transformation into a much-needed hotel along the edge of the lake. We headed back toward Patzcuaro, hoping against hope that the Camino Real in Tzurumutaro (a.k.a. “the Pemex restaurant”) would have a table. By the time we arrived, lines of people were waiting, so we headed back down the road to Chapultepec, one of those burgs along the highway to Morelia, where we found sustenance at Los Pinos’ sibling eatery. The day’s entertainment hadn’t yet come to an end. The pilgrimage of some three hundred or so, riding all the way from Morelia to Patzcuaro on horseback, trotted on by as we ate.<p>There’s still more of Muertos to come!

 
 
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