As we leave Patzcuaro and head north around the east side of Lago de Patzcuaro (Lake Patzcuaro), Louise comes up with a suggestion that we visit the archeological site of Iuatzio and the village of the same name. The large and partially restored site was just a short drive off the main road, so it wasn’t a big deal to make this one of our stops for the day. The ruins feature two ceremonial pyramid type structures that overlook a large open space with a 12 foot wall on three sides.
During the excavation of the site, two carved stone coyotes were found. One is located at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, and the other graces the bell tower of Ihuatzio’s church. I found it interesting to learn that by the late 19th century, the peoples of P’urhepecha (the Indians of this region and time) were invaded by the Aztecs. The real interesting part of that is that the Aztecs were repelled. Now when the Aztecs were being invaded by the Spanish, the call went out to the P’urhepecha for aid, but as you could guess, the call for help was denied… Leaving the archeological site behind, we headed into the village of Iuatzio and negotiated the very narrow streets.
We were looking for the church with one of the carved stone coyotes that was moved to the bell tower from the ruins.
Now this is one village in Mexico that doesn’t see many visitors. I say this because for the first time I didn’t see one taco stand or any other type of restaurant… What we did see as we were leaving was two or three little shops that were displaying their straw handicrafts, from furniture to Christmas decorations. We stopped in one of the shops just to see, touch, and perhaps buy something…well one of us did. Ken and Maureen found two beautiful armed chairs made from water hyacinth.
Fortunately they fit into the back seat of their car, it would have been too bad to have to leave them behind. With the chairs stuffed in, we continued on. Our next stop was Tzintzuntzan. We loved this town and we loved the bargains we found there. I don’t think anyone left without a bag or bundle in their hands. With lunch coming up real quick, we headed further north to our next stop. Quiroga isn’t a village or a town, it’s a city and a city with lots of bargains and great “carnitas”…