Lago Zirahuen- a few days at the lake!

Upon suggestion from other travelers and a person that lives in Michoacan, we decided that Lago Zirahuen might be a good destination.  It has been a long time since we aired up the stand-up-paddleboard and this lake seemed like a possibility to use the board!  We passed through the bustling city of Morelia and then found our way through the hills to Zirahuen.  But before we settled in, we opted for a run to the nearby copper-capital of Mexico.  Since our last hometown (Clarkdale, Arizona) was known for its copper, we thought it was fitting to check out Santa Clara.  When we arrived it was drizzly, chilly and just past closing time.  We wandered through a few remaining shops and looked at a huge amount of gorgeous copper work.  But without room for copper in the camper, we decided to move along fairly quickly.

After the local parade cleared out of the roadway, we headed back to Lago Zirahuen and parked the camper.  Our selected camp spot was just a few steps away from the rocky shoreline.  This seemed to be the daily path of the local herd of wandering horses.  Or maybe they just passed by to bother our dogs!

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Horses wandering through camp.


Legend and lore says that Lake Zirahuen was formed by the tears of a mermaid.  We never saw mermaids, but there were some large fish jumping and a healthy population of ducks and other birds using the water. zarahuen camped at zarahuen

Each afternoon the clouds rolled in and a gentle rain washed off the dust of the day.  The rain also made the outside mat quite muddy from the tracks of two humans, 8 dog feet and the dust from the nearby roadway.  Here is a photo of Mike hanging the mat out in a nearby tree to dry for the night. zarahuen after rain.jpg

We walked along the shoreline and found the local trail that leads to town.  We found a place to grab some lunch.  Then we wandered through the small village.  Mike bought a new baseball cap.  Isn’t he cute? zarahuen mike.jpg

On the way into Zirahuen we had noticed many avocado plantations growing along the hills and mountains. We saw numerous companies advertising the buying and selling of avocados and we saw hundreds of pick up trucks (like this photo) hauling loads of baby-avocado trees off into the hills.

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Avocado trees being transported through town.

This photo is a local truck, bumping along a typical cobblestone and mud street in Lago Zirahuen as it heads for the hills to plant those new trees.  When we asked about this abundance of avocados we learned that the demand in the USA is greater than the production in Mexico can meet.  So right now the avocado prices are super-high at the grocery stores in Mexico because they are exporting nearly all that they can produce.  And related to that is the decision by landowners to put in acres and acres of new avocado trees, in hopes that the demand will stay escalated and they will profit when the trees are producing.  This avocado-boom is an interesting situation to watch because as we all know, the American market is fickle and government changes could limit the import of this product.

While walking around town we saw a dance class rehearsing in the courtyard of the local school.  Perhaps practicing for a quinceneara or a school play or even a dance team.  It was a fun glimpse into teenage life in this small town.

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Dance practice at the local school yard.

Back at camp that afternoon the horses wandered through camp again. In this photo Zeb is working hard to ignore the horses behind him as they graze past camp.

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Zeb trying to ignore the horses passing through camp
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Horses wandering through camp

And while we were there, we did air up the stand-up-paddleboard so we could spend some time on the water. The lake was glassy-smooth each morning so we each took turns on the board and so did the dogs.  Zeb and Mango love going for rides on the board.

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Geneva and Zeb on the SUP
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Geneva and Mango on the SUP
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Geneva and Mango on the SUP


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Panoramic view of Lago Zirahuen

We had plenty of time for the drive out of this area, so we took the long loop around the lake.  It is a beautiful area.

We are going to head into Morelia for laundry and groceries and then make a quick visit to some waterfalls.  Keep following to see why we decided the waterfalls were hard to handle……….

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