Creel, Barranca del Cobre, Batopilas
It's finally time to fill in the details since my arrival in Dallas.
Through the Horizions site I met Les Hall who lives 5 minutes from downtown Dallas. He offered me the most incredible hospitality by allowing me to share his home for three days. Dallas is a beautiful young city, and for me the highlight was visiting the infamous "Book Depository" and the "Grassy Knol". For those of you who forgot, or, are to young to remember, this is the place where JFK was shot. The 6th floor from where Lee Harvey Oswald "supposedly" fired on JFK has been turned into an amazing museum, and on the street below, a big white X marks the "spot". I spent a few hours there and found it to be quite moving. Another day was spent at "Dallas Honda" where I put on 2 new tires as well as a major inspection of the bike. Service was excellent...(but Phillip Cantin from my Montreal dealer, "Alex Berthiaume", is still the BEST....don't let this go to your head, Phillip!). Before leaving, I treated Les to a fine dinner at "Texas dos Brazil"(Jody, check out it's web site), my friend, Jacques McCabe's recommendation. For a prix fixe of $45 per person you get the most amazing salad bar and all the charcoal grilled meat and chicken you can eat. The food, chicken, lamb, ribs, pork, sirloin, etc., is continuously brought to your table by roaming waiters carrying "spits" of freshly BBQ'd meat where they slice off as much as you want!
From Dallas I went W to Abilene TX., then S to Big Bend Natl.Park, and then W to Presidio TX., a dusty boring border town, where I spent the night. The next day I had a relatively painless 2 hour border crossing into Mexico to Presidio's sister town of Ojinaga, MX., from where I continued SW to Chihuahua. It was a beautiful 7 hour drive in sunny, 104oF weather. Chihuahua is a big "non descript" city of around 600,000 people. After spending the night there, I continued 200 miles SW to Creel, a real pretty small village which just a few miles N of the Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon) National Park, where I am now. I spent the night at a great hostel, Casa Margurita's, where for $150 (read 150 pesos ... 7.5 pesos = $1.00 CAD) you get a clean private room with shower and a full breakfast and supper, served "mess hall" style.
Here I met 4 great guys, Xavier and Andreas, both Swiss, and Peter and Anders, Americans. We rented a pick-up truck for 2 days from "3 Amigos", a super tour company here in Creel. They loaded it with a picnic lunch for all of us, and we threw our packs in the back and headed DOWN to Batopilas, a tiny village at the very bottom of one of the deapest canyons in the Park, where we spent the night. We returned to Creel last night after a great 2 days of good times with new found friends.
Now Creel is at an elevation of around 8,000 feet where the day temps are in the high 70's and nights in the low 60's. As we decended the 5,000 feet into the Batopilas Canyon we left the pine trees of Creel and entered the tropical climate of desert, cactus, mangos, and 95oF weather. In the decent to Batopilas we dropped almost 5,000 feet over a distance of 6 miles over 1 lane (barely) dirt roads with NO guard rails, carved into the almost vertical canyon walls. This has to be one of the undiscovered wonders of the world. This beat any amusement park ride by miles! We hit the bottom around 4pm after a 6 hour drive. The guys hiked to a small mission 3 km away while I filled up un Margaritas, and then drove to the mission to meet them a few hours later. The next day..yesterday morning.. we hired a guide to take us part way up a steep canyon wall trail with some amazing views of Batopilas below, to see some abandoned copper mines. Then it was back in the truck for the 6 hour climb to Creel and much cooler weather. But before leaving the heat of the canyon we found a neat swimming hole in the bottom of the canyon where we skinnied in the warm rushing water of the river.
Today I hang loose in Creel, the guys are leaving around noon to Los Mochis by train. Tomorrow I will try to make the 300 miles W to Guaymas, where I will take the ferry across to Baja where I will spend a few days ay my sailing friends, John and Priscilla's eco lodge "Danzante" (google it).
Posted by Ness at June 23, 2004 06:06 PM GMT