Mexico 69, 16th August 2004

Saturday I didn't do anything much. Did some shopping . Took my dirty washing into a laundry. Wrote my journal. Watched a train come into the station. The Copper Canyon train is the only passenger train still running Mexico, it's privately owned. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic routes in the World.

I tried to collect a train timetable, apparently there isn't one. I visited a museum, and collected emails from the internet cafe. It's a nice little town Creel. I returned to my campsite, pulled out a picnic chair, sorted out and read the local brochures I'd picked up from the museum, and had a late lunch. Oh, I played with the cat.

I've decided against taking a train trip. For me to travel out and back the same day, I can only go one station, and I have a 3 hour wait for the return, at Divisadero and the road route to Divisadero follows much the same route as the train. I don't want to travel further then return the next day, it would mean leaving little cat all alone, plus I don't want to leave the van parked for so long.

So these are views from the road trip to Divisadero, and the viewpoint there.

This shows the refreshment kiosks getting ready for the next train.

Back at the campsite the sunset glowed through the trees.

There was no one at the campsite gate when I returned, nor was there anyone when I left in the morning. Pity, I didn't begrudge paying 15 pesos for a night camping. The showers were locked up though!

When I went out in the morning I found a little dog, a puppy really, curled up sleeping by the back wheels of the van. He was a nice little dog but like many Mexican dogs he ran away as soon as you went near, lucky really, I don't need a little dog as well as a little cat.

I poked around Creel for a short while, I had some minor food shopping to do, then I climbed up to the Christo Rey statue for a view over the town.

A couple of towns further on I managed to find water at the Pemex petrol station. I'm not running out but I must be getting low, the last few Pemex stations have not had water available, it's 6 days now since I refilled. It wasn't serious, I have drinking water, and at 13 pesos for 5 gallons it would not be too drastic to use drinking water for washing etc.

I continued on towards Basaseachi to see the falls. Just after I bought the petrol the road turned to a dirt road number 36. I have 2 maps, the newest shows it as a red major road, my second shows it as a yellow road number 23. If I had thought to look at the state tourist map it is marked as unpaved. But I thought, it's a major road, this dirt bit is only temporary. 97 kms later I found it was dirt road end to end. 65 miles of dirt road without going through a village or a town, no road junctions apart from a few tracks going to villages, unbelievable by European standards. I think maybe I passed one small shop on the outskirts of a village. Beautiful scenery though.

I stopped for lunch in a little track by the horses, got out my picnic chair and let little cat out to play.

Then a car load of drunken Mexicans stopped, backed up, and pulled down the track alongside me. I couldn't understand what they were saying, but presumed they were asking for beer and cigarettes. They actually had beers, a litre bottle apiece, and offered me some. They didn't seem violent in any way but they were a little unnerving, so I got little cat inside the van, bolted my lunch, wished them goodbye and was off before they knew it. Whenever I stop in a quiet place like this I always make sure I am pointed the right way for a quick getaway, so I was out of the lane like a shot, if they had wanted to follow me they would have had to cram their drunken selves back in the car, then turn it around, before they could get moving.

Oops. Too many pictures in this email, I'll stop now before it goes even bigger.

Best regards

David Barker


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