MEXICO – STATE OF MICHOACAN – From Patzcuaro to the thousands of Monarch Butterflies

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Then, it is with a new guitar that we drive to Patzcuaro.

Patzcuaro, its lake and its island

We decide to take some rest in this kind little city. The campgroung even offers a swimmingpool but the weather is too fresh… no swimming this time. The mornings are foggy and cold. Winter is here, even in Mexico!

Patzcuaro is known for its lake and the little island of Janitzio in the center. Pretty touristic The village of Patzcuaro is very nice and we enjoy the paved roads and the new year atmosphere to descover the zocalo and walk the tiny streets.

Our days will be divided between the city center and the visit of the lake and the island.

The island of Janitzio

In the early morning, we decide to walk and take the boat to Janitzio. The lake shelteres some pelicans and egrets and is used for the dozens of boats that transfer tourists to the island.

The trip takes fifteen minutes while we enjoy the music of some mexican band on board.

The water of the lake used to be blue and the fishermen used to fish…

Today, the water is mostly brown and there is no more fish. The fishermen offer some dance to the tourists and hope for money in exchange.

The island is dominated by the statue of José Maria Morelos, a hero of the mexican independance. The little streets are full of touristic gifts.

The center of Patzcuaro

The days after are a mix of rest and walks through the center of Patzcuaro. Paved streets, old stones, market, colored houses and animated zocalo. We discover all the little things that we love in the mexican villages.

After some shopping, it is time for us to drive to Morelia and the Monarch Butterflies sanctuary.

Morelia and the Monarch Butterflies

Between Santuario de la Mariposa Monarca Chincua and Santuario de la Mariposa Monarca El Capulin we choose the first option that seems a bit less touristic. We arrive at the end of the day and park in the parking lot at the entrance of the park, to be the first ones inside tomorrow. We are all alone and the night comes. We decide to watch a thriller movie. In the middle of the movie, someone knocks on the body of the van. Panic on board, we were alone on the parking lot?! We both go out with our lights… but nobody..

Wait! A cow walks slowly 3 meters from us!!

In the morning, while it is almost -3° outside, the grass is white, we meet our little friends.

After a warm coffee, we enter the park with a german couple and the guide. The park is not opened yet and the guide explains to us that he has to collect some butterlies to send them to scientists for analysis. He seems to be a certified guide but we are not sure that he is allowed to take people with him during these specifics missions… Anyway, we walk with him in the little paths of the forest and discover 2 different places full of butterflies.

These butterflies are well-known for the thousands of kilometers they can fly with just their small wings. From Canada to Mexico. The migration starts in Canada by the end of fall. They cross United States and enter Mexico. The most suprising thing for scientist is to understand how these butterlies can do such things as far as the migration can take several generation: how do they know where to go?

When we discover them, they are still merged in the trees after the fresh night. The sunlight awakes them little by little and they start flying. We realize how many they are: somtimes we cannot see the tree they cover…

After 5 hours of walk, we go back to the van, eat a warm soup and decide to fly by our own also.

Direction Mexico City !

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