Mexico 55, 6th July 2004

I checked out the small Sunday market at Tingambato and moved on to Uruapan. Nothing much special about the town itself, nice square. Actually it's 3 plazas joined together, about 300 metres long. It's 500 metres lower than Patxcuaro and is much warmer, the name of the town means eternal spring. After a beautiful sunny start it rained. Really rained. Most of the roads turned into river, there was no way that drains could cope with this much water. Here's a shot of water running off the gutters. It's blurry because I took it through the van window, and with that much rain tumbling down I didn't want the window open more than a few seconds.

This is the effect it had on the roads. This van is parked, the "bow wave" is caused by the water flowing past.

This is a real bow wave. This pickup is on a dual carriageway, the main road through Uruapan, just by the roundabout starting the main route into the centre. You can see the water is up to the sills on the parked car behind.

This is the same road further on, the blue car and the pickup are driving

So are these two.

See the size of those rain drops! I intended to stay at a camp site in town, but they were renovating the entrance gate, it didn't look as though I could get in. Plus someone had parked half across the entrance. I parked round the corner. The water there was about 6" deep right across a 4 lane road, and flowing at 2 or 3 mph. I didn't bother to look for a dryer bit of road, ALL the roads were flooded.

Lucy and Lucas, whom I met later, also saw the storm in Uruapan, and took these pictures.

The water didn't seem to bother him too much,

This is a police car braving the floods.

I took an early start to see the national park which is in the town, it follows the local river from it's source in the park, lots of water again, this time organised and under control. The planners of the water features, the waterfalls and the fountains and paths have done a wonderful job, gently adding their bit to nature.

Here's a waterfall. This one might even be 100% natural.

Water just pours out of the rocks on the side of the path. This isn't a waterfall - just water running out of the rocks.

This is artificial!

There is a trout farm in the park, they offer fresh trout for sale and boy! they are fresh. This is what happened when I thought that would make a nice dinner and asked if I could buy just one trout. He went fishing and brought back just one trout, cleaned it, and now I can say it was delicious!

All in all it's a very nice park easily absorbing a 2 hour stroll.

In 1943 a farmer nearby was out working in his field when the ground began to shake and swell and steam and sparks and hot ask shot out. At first he tried to cover it but then fled. It was the start of the Paricutin Volcano which was active for 8 years, now there's just a few wisps of steam. It's not really big, it produced a cone about 300 metres high but it's interesting.

There's a church half buried by the lava.

I tried to get a photo showing the church partially engulfed but this was the best view I could get, and I had to fake this one by ducking down behind some lava! The trouble is from almost all angles it just looks like a low church built on the lava, you have to climb around to see the gaps in the lava and the lower part of the church. There's a spiral staircase starting at about the level of the tower in the photo, you wind down around 10 metres blow the lava down to the old ground level!

Tonight I'm parked at the visitor centre, costing all of 41 pesos for the night, but there's hot showers for the morning. I met and passed a few drinks with Lucy and Lucas, I mentioned them earlier, a pleasant young couple from the Czech Republic, here in Mexico for a month to study turtles but squeezing in a holiday beforehand.

There's four adorable puppies living on the campsite, they belong to the guardian. Lucy took this super photo. I wish I had!

Best regards

David Barker

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