Monday, November 17, 2008
Beside the Lake
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing on the breeze
There is a magical ride that takes you out of Patzcuaro along the lake around Janitzio Island. The road passes through farmlands and small adobe villages Tocuaro. We like to visit the workshop of Juan Horta Castillo and sons to see what new designs they have created each year. The village of Tocuaro specializes in fantastic original masks made using traditional Purepecha designs which are used in local festivals the most notable being the devil masks from the pastorelas. Horta's masks are ranked number one in Mexico and are faithfully selected for use by Mexico's world-class Ballet Folklorico. Sadly, we learned that Horta's tradition is now fully in the hands of his five sons as he passed on shortly after our last visit two years ago.
This hypnotic road continues to meander lazily past Tocuaro for a full 52 km alongside the lake to our base in Quiroga. Donkeys, herds of cattle, and horses provide more traffic than automobiles. For our last day of riding, the mists slowly burn off the lake, we munch our way through a market in Erongaricuaro, and I quietly slide into yet another case off empty nest as our gang slowly flys the coop back to their lives beyond the borders of Bike Mexico. It's nothing a serving of carnitas (roast pork) on the square in Quiroga can't soothe.