Saturday, March 3, 2012

greetings from Mountain Goat Manor

We have been in Patzcuaro for the last week, in the mountains of Michoacan. We rented a delightful little casita attached to a large house. This compound is perched midway up a hill that only mountain goats should try to climb.

This is half-way up the hill,

this is half-way down.

The street is cobblestone, very slippery and uneven. There are no sidewalks. I'm not even tempted to try to negotiate this road, even though we're only a 5 minute walk into the center to town, to the Plaza Grande. But I'd stay in this casita again in a heartbeat.

The compound (which is for sale for a high 6-figures) was built by a 50-something woman from Michigan about 6 years ago. The main building is a 2-story house that is two complete apartments but she uses it for now as one dwelling.

This is a one-story, 2-bedroom casita in front of the house.

with its own little garden and patio

and lovely, shaded seating area.

Above the casita is a fabulous roof-top garden and gazebo,

with views across the city to the lake and mountains in one direction

and to the Basilica in another.

The owner has thought of everything for her guests' comfort. The main selling point? As many electrical outlets as you could possibly want! Most Mexican-built properties we've rented have one ~ two, if you're lucky ~ outlets per room. The furnishings are colorful and comfortable.

Unlike San Miguel, where every building is painted a different color and frequently two or three colors, Patzcuaro has strict rules about how your house must look on the exterior. All properties are painted an oxidized red from street level to 5' up, and white from there to the top of the wall. All rooftops are tile. All signage is exactly the same; first letter of every word is in red, rest in black. Font usage is the same throughout the town. Even big stores that have signature colors, such as the Bodega supermarket that is ALWAYS painted green, adheres to the red/white rule. Therefore, the real color explosions take place indoors, in the patios and rooms of a house or store or restaurant. Even the "For Sale" sign for this house, which is painted right on the outside wall, is in the black/red motif.

There are NO neon signs, billboards, or other commercial advertisements. All notices of a business are painted on the wall or over the door. I don't know how she gets away with the large banner hanging from the second-floor balcony announcing the sale of her house! The Paint Police probably haven't spotted it yet.

I've done lots of shopping for fabrics for new drapes for the house. We went to Tzintzuntzan to the stoneworks and found a lovely St. Francis statue to add to our garden. We've been looking for one for several years and finally found just the right size. Photos, of course, when we get him installed. Right now he's nestled in among all the Talavera pots we bought in San Miguel during our marathon 3-day shop-n-eat spree. Photos of those, too.

Today we had a last comida at Lupita's, really the best restaurant in town. It's located just across the street from the Basilica in an old hacienda that is filled with color

and light and art and absolutely sensational food.

Lupita used to be the chef at the Hotel Gran on the Plaza Chica where hungry diners would flock to sample her menu. But when she got the chance to have her own place, she left and brought the faithful with her. We went twice. First time I had Tampiqueña that was so tender and juicy I could cut it with a fork. Today I ordered Camerones al ojo. Now you have read that I think Dago does the best shrimp anywhere. This was awfully close. Mr. C had Dedos de Pescado, fish fingers with French fries or Fish and Chips. The first time he had soup and Cheese Enchiladas. We both were delighted by our choices. It's first on our list for our next visit. We also found a great chicken rotisserie joint at the end of our street. Bought one today to take home for dinner tomorrow night when we arrive back at the beach.

Yes, this little sojourn is over and we head home tomorrow morning. But we've already made our reservation for next year, March 17-24, 2013. We're (sort of) hoping she doesn't sell before then!


mary ann said...

unbelievably beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

What a wonderful report! We've missed you here on the blog, but are relieved to hear: 1) where you've been; and 2) that you had such a great experience! Safe travels on the way home...