We spent a day exploring the back roads and rural Michoacán countryside around Rancho Madroño.
In the little town of Sevina, everyone seemed to be a wood carving craftsman, building similarly styled rough but beautiful furniture. We spotted a couple giant carved owls for sale (US$250 each). These craftsmen obviously didn't put the same effort into building the bleachers of the local bullfighting rings!
Like all Mexican towns, Sevina had a town square and a beautiful ancient church. But, it was lunchtime and Sevina had no tortas for sale, so we had to move on.
The busy town of Nahuatzen was somewhat bit bigger than Sevina, and we finally found yummy tortas to eat in the market square. The torta stand had an interesting sign posted on the back wall, saying something like, "This home is Catholic; Don't bother us with your Christian propaganda." I take it that "Christian" refers to non-Catholics. The stares we gringos received in town told me that Nahuatzen is beyond where tourists ever venture.
From Nahuatzen, we then drove a counterclockwise loop through the tiny towns of Arantepacua, Turícuaro, Comachuén, and back to Sevina. It was fascinating to explore the "real" Mexico, with farmland (still plowed by animal) in the valleys between the tree-covered hills. In Comachuén, women were using buckets to fetch water from the town well. But it was sad how trash was dumped into streams beside the road.