9 February 2010 Quiroga… I must admit, it sometimes becomes more of a mumble from me as I try to pronounce some of the village and town names here in Mexico…Quiroga… We’ve been trying to see as many of the towns around the lake as we can before we leave, and there’s good reason for it. Each and every town and village is really unique, but yet so much the same. Quiroga is a much larger town than Patzcuaro and has one of the largest markets in all the area of Michoacan, with the exception of Morelia. They are the second largest in producing and marketing shoes in all of Mexico. Their also known for their “carnitas” (chunks of slow cooked pork). Louise and I hailed a combi and headed out for a Sunday afternoon in Quiroga. Seeing as how we had a drive of 25 minutes or more, it cost us a whole 8 pesos each (about 65 cents). When we arrived in town, we were let out about 4 blocks from the central and more exciting part of town. As we looked up into town we saw why…it was one heck of a busy day at the market
and the whole town was a buzz. This gave us a chance to walk right up the middle of the market with shops (or little stalls) branching off to the right and the left for a block or two each way. Hidden in the middle we found a pathway leading into the church were a service was being held.
Finally we hit a “T” in the road and found ourselves facing a beautiful plaza that was filled with people having a great time walking hand-n-hand, necking, eating at anyone of a hundred (only an estimate..)little eating establishments, enjoying several entertainers who were playing their guitars, or playing their guitars and dancing all around the plaza area.
It wasn’t only a great way to spend a Sunday with family and friends, it was a party under the “Sun”… I mentioned that Quiroga was known for their carnitas and you couldn’t get into the plaza without passing one stand after another all across the front of the plaza and each and every one of them was trying to hand you a sample of their sumptuous delights. You could eat enough of the free samples to make a complete dinner if you wanted, but we came to town to find and enjoy a molcajetes.
Traveling the way we do, we quite often reach for our Lonely Planet Mexico book to give us direction and information, and this was one of the finer things we’ve found using their book. Taqueria los Compadres is a little hole in the wall eatery that we had a little trouble finding, but once found…one word…”MOLCAJETES”. Quiroga is a great town to visit, but I would recommend that it be a Sunday, it’s when things really get going. You can find great values in almost anything you might be or not be looking for, especially if you’re looking for anything in leather …Have fun.