The Sunday Traveler~ San Miguel del Monte, Mexico

The Sunday Traveler headed out one morning for a couple of hours with my cousin, tour guide, checking out a couple of little towns on the outskirts of Morelia where I was staying. San Miguel del Monte (last week was San Jesus) was really hitting the backroads as far as I was concerned (though more was still coming over the next week). My kind of fabulous. 

The previous pueblito we had visited right before this had been founded in 1525, and San Miguel del Monte was possibly older, judging by the church, but it could be the church is smaller and simpler because this little town is even smaller and more out in the mountains than San Jesus.

Approaching the church’s door one can see how small the church is, and walking in one is not surprised by seeing that the interior is one small room, no ornate ceiling or chandeliers, no side aisles, no gilded statues. A woman, the “manager of the day” sat in front reading from her prayer book. The women of the village take turns staying at the church during the day she told me, feeling a need to be sure all was ok there.

I’m not sure why I was hesitant to ask the woman to take her photo, though I wanted to badly; I usually don’t hesitate to ask when I would like to take someone’s photo; but something held me back, maybe a feeling of invading her world that was so far removed from social media and blogs. The woman was open and authentic. I thought about missing her photo and wanting to remember her; that night as I went through my iPhone photos I found my photo of her


I unintentionally got a reflection of her as she stood behind me as I took a photo of a Virgin Mary in a glass case. There was something about this contrast of virgin and woman next to each other that makes me wonder about how the Universe works things out for me…or maybe plays little jokes on me. And then there’s the contrast of two women of different worlds, and then the one taking the photo, yes, I’m in there too.

Going back outside, the cousin and I strolled around the church courtyard and street in front of the church.




It was time to head back home. It had been a pretty darn good morning in my book



Monday Photo Minimalism~In A Mexican Church

Old and older. An angel placed on a wall that had been covered over in stucco. The area on right is what was beneath in another lifetime.

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The Sunday Traveler~San Jesus del Monte, Mexico

This. This is what makes the Sunday Traveler’s heart skip a beat. The little towns in Mexico, the streets festooned with papel picado (the cut out papers/flags) strung across the streets for any and all occasions.

A quick morning visit to the church by this mom and son, and the Sunday Traveler and my cousin, out for a morning of exploring the outskirts of Morelia.

Jesus del Monte was founded in the year of 1525. I had not heard of the Pirinda tribe, and in a brief search I found an incredible history about these peoples who once occupied a large territory of western Mexico from 900 to 1450 AD, before being conquered by the Mexicas/Aztecs. There is so much incredible history here. But I’ll keep it to the church for now.

Let’s go inside

I had to laugh at “repairs” done to keep this door together, and wonder how old it is.

The church in this small town is simple, but still very beautiful in its detail

So many wonderful little details to photograph in the antiquity, color, and texture

It was time to move on

Next week our next little town visited that morning will be featured. Until then.





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Monday Photo Minimalism~Corners

Casually placed

shade and shadow

attracts my attention









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The Sunday Traveler~Lunch at Hacienda Ucazanaztacua

The Sunday Traveler traveled down the road from Tzintzuntzan with her intrepid travel guides, the cousins who know where all the little hidden away jewels are. I was told we would go to this little place for our late lunch that wasn’t too far away. I didn’t see this coming, nor expect it.

The hacienda sits on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro, and is a small botique-type hotel and restaurant.

Driving in to the area in front of the restaurant told me this was a special place

We sat on the upper level outdoor terrace at the restaurant overlooking the lake. Someone was having a party and there were two mariachis that sang throughout the meal; this was beyond fantastic, a lunch of delicious regional foods and wonderful Mexican music. We were the only people there besides the big table of party people.

Now, let’s move along to the menu and the food. I’ve been to and lived in Mexico, but not to this region/area, and the foods that my cousin had me try were new to me, and a wonderful and delicious new experience in Mexican food. I’ll go through one appetizer we started with, a Queso Purepecha en salsa de Chile Pasilla (a regional melted cheese in a pasilla chile sauce), this was served in a bowl with a side of homemade corn tortillas to make tacos with

Besides the food, the plates were noteworthy as well. From tacos we moved on to a soup of Crema de Chile Poblano ( a cream soup of poblano chile) with tortilla strips on top.

I moved on to a main course of a mole (pronounced molay) a rich Mexican chocolate/peanut sauce (not sweet chocolate) that had chicken in it

Incredible meal that went on for a couple of hours. We then wandered around the grounds before leaving for home

And said goodbye

Travel on, keep music in your heart.  Until next week.




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Monday Photo Minimalism~The Last Rays

Paddle in the last rays of day.

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The Sunday Traveler~The Yacatas of Tzintzuntzan

The yacata, a pyramidal structure of a different shape than that which we associate with a pyramid. The Tarascan addition to  pre-hispanic architecture. Five structures built high on a hill in Tzintzuntzan, overlooking Lake Patzcuaro.


There were five yacatas here that were eventually destroyed, and excavation began in the 1930’s.

Reading up on this phenomenon I found that the core of the structures consisted of what amounts to piled up rubble/rocks that had slabs of rock covering this, and decorated with drawings and paintings much like the structures built by the Incas in Peru. It is believed that there somehow were travels and communication between these places. Pretty mind boggling.

The yacatas were rounded structures as mentioned, and said to have been built over more traditional type pyramids. Rounded structures built on flat bases and were used as ceremonial sites where human sacrifices were performed; prisoners of war were the most usual sacrifice, sent along to atone the gods.

The hilltop area of the yacatas is immense, and walking the length and around them to the back side of the field was an amazing walk, feeling the history and, as I’ve had at other sites like this on previous travels, feeling the people that had placed their feet here also a very long time ago. Looking across the expanse down to the lake, as they must have.

Looking at the stacked stones, no sign of there having been any type of mortar used

It was a cloudy day, rain threatening, adding to the mystique and feelings of what had been here, and what was left.


A look back as I was leaving; how it must have looked in the beginning.

Until next week; will you join me for a post Tzintzuntzan lunch at an hacienda? It will be delicious.




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Monday Photo Minimalism~Through the Door

Going through a door into a patio of a museum in Cuitzeo, Mexico, felt like stepping into a painting.

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The Sunday Traveler~Tzintzuntzan Part 3, The Museum

The Museum of the Old Franciscan Convent of Santa Ana in Tzintzuntzan is found on the grounds next to the two churches that were showcased in parts one and two of this series. This, my fellow travelers, was the highlight of this day (but there was still more to come that I wasn’t yet aware of).

The convent was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, the first convent in Michoacan state in a baroque style architecture with a Muslim influence.

The convent was built by the Franciscan Order and created for the conversion of the indigenous Purepecha peoples that lived in this area of Mexico. The photo above is just one of many wonderful frescoes that will be shown here on this post that are on the walls of the corridors of the convent.

The convent fell in to poor condition due to weather exposure, earthquake damage, and poor maintenance due to little funding for upkeep. Parts of the convent were abandoned at one time, there were several walls and sections of roof that had collapsed. Frescoes were weather-worn or painted over, but are being brought back as best as possible. The frescoes I will show here I’ve tried to lighten up only so they can be seen, but I added no more color, and present them as best as possible as I saw them; some are restored more than others.

A well restored fresco, or possibly a recent addition, but it didn’t surprise me that this beautiful painting was here of the Mexican’s beloved Virgen de Guadalupe.

In 2003, a conservation plan was adopted by the state’s chapter of Adopt a Work of Art program, that began restorations in earnest. As much as possible was done with that funding.


The convent at one time also housed a hospital and served other functions. It is now dedicated to the exhibition of archeological and colonial era artifacts and regional crafts.

A traditional kitchen was presented in two of the rooms of the museum with molcajetes (mortar and pestle to grind tomato and chiles to make salsa) metates (to smooth out the masa, or dough, to make tortillas), a large earthen comal (griddle) and various other utensils were displayed. The museum is now maintained by the people of the town.

There were another couple of rooms displaying regional dress and pottery also

This was a post filled with a lot of photos, I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Next week I’ll take you to our next stop for the day, an archeological site with Yacatas (pyramid-type structures found in this region).

As always, thank you for traveling with me on Sundays.




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Monday Photo Minimalism ~ The Holy Water Font

 Sometimes all it takes is a splash of vivid color and a simple setting to help one see the beauty.

Found in the church in the little town of San Jesus del Monte, Mexico, founded in 1525. It is unclear if the font is that old, or came at a later date.


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