Winnie the Winnebago Goes To Mexico
by Paige & Rich Demuth
published January 2001
Then we drove through Morelia and on to Patzcuaro. This was our first time there and we were instantly charmed. We stayed at a beautiful trailer park and went into town for the first time on a Saturday night. The Zocalo was all lit up and so clean and tidy. The corridors were lined with artisans and ladies selling uchepos and tamales. It was the first place on our trip where we really were around a lot of indigenous people, something I had missed on the first part of our journey.
From Patzcuaro we drove to Santa Clara del Cobre and bought all sorts of copper things. We were apparently the only gringos in town. I really felt like we were sort of invasive, but the store owners loved us, so I did not feel so bad. There I found one of the coolest things on the trip, a copper pot rack that you hang from the ceiling, with fish stamped on it and copper hooks and a copper chain...$28!
We continue on from there along a very old road north to Lake Zirahuen, and then on to Uruapan. We stayed the first night there at the motel outside of town, Pie de la Sierra. It had a fireplace and a TV so we got to watch the Olympics. What luxury! The next night we discovered they had 6 hookups on the grounds so we stayed out in Winnie, for $8 instead of $48 that the hotel cost. We met an American couple there. They had been living in Uruapan for about 40 years. Theyd raised their kids there and now had grandkids. They own a textile mill on the river just below the National Park that runs through town. The mill is over 100 years old and they still operate it. They took us on a tour of the whole place, which is about 3 blocks long. It was one of the most interesting things I have ever seen in Mexico.
We bought a few things from their shop in the mill, some shirts and fabric to make some pillows. They had all kinds of colorful hand woven things like placemats and napkins and bedspreads and pillows and bags, etc. Very nice people, Walter and Bundi, and the mill is called Telas de San Pedro. Check it out, if you don't already know about it.
By the time we left Guadalajara, Winnie was full and looked as if she was popping a wheelie! We made it back to the border in three days, driving from Guadalajara to Mazatlan, then to San Carlos, then to Sonoyta, where we crossed at dusk. We had heard it was a very small crossing and we thought the hassles might be less there.
On the way through Sonoyta towards the U.S. border, as I was wiping away my tears from knowing we would very soon be leaving my beloved Mexico and I would once again be leaving part of my heart behind, we passed by the only drive-thru La Michoacana paleteria I have ever seen. It was classic!
At the crossing on the American side, they asked us many questions and took us to the secondary inspection area. I was pretty nervous but soon calmed down. After about 20 minutes of looking through the motorhome with flashlights, they let us go! We thought for sure we would be there all night, opening every box of stuff (about 50!) and unpacking and repacking, but they didnt opened a single box or even asked us how much stuff we had!
We were so amped that we drove all the way to El Centro that night!
To sum it up, we had a great, unforgettable trip. We met so many people, ate some great food and really learned a lot more about Mexico. I have found after many trips and much time spent there, both living and travelling, that the Mexico experience gets deeper and deeper the more times you go. The more you love it and have it in your heart, the more rewarding and enriching it is.
I once read, "It must be love, for I forgive Mexico her traffic, her belching buses and her pollution...". For me it is true love, and I am already dreaming of our next trip down there...so many places to choose from, where to go next...
Thanks for all your information. Your book also provided us with much information. Things that we could not find in our other guide books we always found in yours. You both are muy especial. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!
Paige and Rich