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We didn’t expect to love Patzcuaro.

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We expected to have some fun admiring crafts but that was it.

I was dead-sick when we arrived, completely non-functioning and in stupid pain (I ended up seeing a doctor and got knocked up with antibiotics). We wanted to find a hotel to stay in because it was COLD and I needed to REST.

meriah nichols mexico-3So, like Micah’s journal says, on account of no hotels accepting Kianna except two, and one of those being full the next day, we stayed at Hotel Posada de la Rosa

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We probably wouldn’t have stayed there had some of the other hotels accepted Kianna – but staying there was the best thing that has happened to us so far in Mexico.

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And this is why:

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Jonathan, the owner’s son.

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He and Micah became fast friends over Minecraft, and then we all became friends. He came with us everywhere, showed us a million cool spots, he hung out with us in the big plazas where they played classical music from Bose speakers and where birds swooped by in quests for crumbs.

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He took us to his grandmother’s house for New Year’s.

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Hands down, that was the highlight of our trip so far – meeting the family, enjoying New Year’s posole with them, firecrackers.

We absolutely melted with their hospitality and warmth.

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We ended up staying in Patzcuaro for about a week – and it wasn’t enough.

meriah nichols mexico-23 meriah nichols mexico-22 meriah nichols mexico-20 meriah nichols mexico-21 meriah nichols mexico-11We left because we have to get to Cancun to meet my mom, but I have no doubt whatsoever that we’re going to go back.

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Details, Disability and Access:

Details: Hotel Posada de la Rosa is a simple, family-run and family-friendly hotel right in the heart of the food market district. It’s the perfect place to stay to explore food stalls, street foot, to sample fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to walk anywhere in central Patzcuaro from the hotel.

Access in the hotel – it has a long flight of stairs and each room generally comes with one step. They accept service dogs like Kianna and are very accommodating. If they can find a way or help out, they will.

Their wifi is blazingly fast.

 Disability in Patzcuaro: I saw a lot of people with disabilities in Patzcuaro. Lots of wheelchair users, quite a few people with post-polio and a couple with Cerebral Palsy. I also saw some blind folk. It was interesting to me in that the ones with a white cane were begging, but the ones who were being led by friends (sans cane) were not. I didn’t see any deaf people – where are they??? I did see a couple of children with Down syndrome.

I was happy seeing so many people with visible disabilities out and about, even if access is very much an issue. The wheelchair-users were all riding those standard hospital-issue wheelchairs, the kind that aren’t meant for any surface other than completely flat. I have no idea how people can navigate the cobblestones with them, and how rough it must be. I wonder about projects that Whirlwind International has, in helping locals build wheelchairs themselves that will fit their terrain – I would love to see something happen like that in Patzcuaro.

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When we decided it would be fun to rent an apartment for a month ( and catch up with  our work stuff and home schooling in between hanging out on the Malecon and eating grape paletas, popsicles), we didn’t think too hard about it.

We asked around

We just started asking around. I asked a cool lady that I liked at the graffiti art gallery, she told us the range of prices to expect which was really helpful.

Then we asked the guy who washes cars by a taco stand we were eating at. He wanted to hang out a bit with us, pet Pugsley (and bemoan his lack of balls and how we’d never make any money from him as a stud pug) and test Micah’s Spanish. We just asked him where places to rent around there were, where was a good place.

He pointed up the street to an orange building with dolphins on it, said that was a good spot but would be expensive.

We went over, rang the bell and he was right, it was expensive: $300/month for a spacious furnished one-bedroom with balcony, wifi and cable tv included.

But we didn’t feel like grabbing the newspaper and going on a serious hunt for better deal (- which can easily be had further from the city centre – $300/month for a furnished 2 bedroom with a pool is not unheard of). After checking in with the hostel owner (whom we really like), we just grabbed our wallet and with no contract – just a handshake – we sealed the deal of rent for a month by paying upfront with a deposit for gas and electricity.

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 We were happy

Our place was great. We loved it. It was easy walking distance everywhere, easy biking distance to El Caimancito, the best little beach around. We had a Mexican family with 2 kids living below us (- who made absolutely no noise whatsoever, please see my post on the Well Mannered Mexican Child), and upstairs was an Italian guy who just started a coffee shop on the Malecon (- check it out! It’s right by La Fuente Ice Cream!).

Even further upstairs were extended family of the landlord – and there was a nephew coming by with Down syndrome – we all hit it off. The landlords lived right next door, these rich, smiling, laid back, chillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll people who drove a Hummer and a tricked out adventure van.

Anyway, yeah. We loved our place.

 

DSC_0747We had hot water like twice, sometimes we ran out of water altogether, the tv remote never did work (despite trying 3 different remotes), the tv would turn on and off by itself (so we just unplugged it) and the wifi was only available from the balcony, but seriously: not a big deal.

this where I did all my blogging... sitting on the chair with the laptop...
this where I did all my blogging… sitting on the chair with the laptop…

The big deal part – having space, feeling safe, convenient walking everywhere and friendly neighbours, we had in spades.

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 Renting an apartment in Mexico:

We’ve only done it once and we are pretty sure it’s not always this casual (or is it?), but the one thing we do advise is, like pretty much anything, talk to locals. See what they have to say about it and where they say the good places are and what to expect, price-wise.

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