[ Zitácuaro, Michoacán ]
[ 12-feb-22: After a whirlwind birthday week in Medellín, Colombia, I have reunited with my bike in the wonderful town of Zitácuaro, Michoacán. I fell in love with this small city when I first arrived—back in early December of long-forgotten 2021. My return visit has reinforced that impression. ]
As I mentioned in a previous post, Zitácuaro proper wasn’t originally on my route. But after four days of challenging, off-road climbing post-Queretaro, I decided to take a couple of nights off. I wanted a proper rest before the looming ascent of Nevado de Toluca—at 4,680 meters, the highest point of my ride and fourth-highest in all of Mexico.
The brief stop was not to be, for as soon as I rolled into Zitácuaro’s town center I was hooked. It was overflowing with life and joyful energy—crowded streets, bustling markets, food vendors, buskers, drunks, and beggars—as well as seasonal offerings like the baby jesus, goats, and ponies on display in the town square’s living nativity scene. The whole city was gearing up for Christmas, with special outdoor markets selling lights, decorations, wreaths, toys, piñatas of reindeer and Minions and Santa, and rolling carts full of diabetes-inducing sweets. It reminded me of Christmases spent in Cologne, with little missing except Glühwein and Belgian waffles.
True love at first sight-smell-sound does exist! And so rather than two nights, I spent eight days wandering the city, getting to know its rhythms and routines, and acquainting myself with its character and characters. I took photographs, had long conversations, and went riding in the surrounding mountains, before storing my bicycle and departing for the US border and Christmas back home.
Central Zitácuaro has two very distinct personas: daytime and late-afternoon/night. I have separated my photo uploads to reflect this distinction. Please enjoy a few photos from Zitácuaro’s Day Shift.