Letter from Copper Canyon

dsc04437An assorted group  of us  decided to travel to see  Copper Canyon/ Barrancas del Cobre by train , plane and bus  over a 5 day trip , staying in 4 different hotels .

Copper Canyon is longer than The Grand Canyon by several miles . It gets its name from the coppery green mountains

The cooper hues of the soil . View from hotel/lodge  bedroom !

We went via El Chapo`s  (the notorious Drug Lord( who escaped from prison via 2 mile tunnels on a Suzuki)  hometown of La Fuente. The people there adore him , he is a bit of a Robin Hood to them as he helps the people , especially the poor.

In fact the original “Narcos ” are sorely missed as they were for the most part philanthropic , but the new breed of Drug Lords do not even hold fiestas for National holidays I was told in disgust .

Oh and guess what , Ajijic , my local town, and the surrounding area, are safe because  the “gringos ” bring so much employment to the place that they are left in peace .

Back to The amazing Copper C :

Tectonic plates caused this huge movement of land mass , whereas The Grand Canyon, USA ,  was caused by the sides growing  upwards whilst the river was going even deeper .

In fact  , as a matter of interest ,Mount Everest is still growing upwards .

dsc04663We took the The  famous  Chepe train  . It snakes it`s way  along  one  side  , sometimes vertiginously , sometimes sinuously going in circles to reach ever higher . Apparently it took 80 years to build and was initially for moving cattle from Kansas City to the Pacific coast . Of course as soon as it was built it was redundant as refrigeration had bloomed .

Ralph took all the photos ,so you  will never know what he looks like!

One of our group Pierrette is a Yoga teacher , so we have been thanking the day ahead with an Ommm or two  , planks and tree poses  et al.  Invigorating .

Whereas  we all sweated away in  the early morning of La Fuente , we were chilled  in the mountain mornings,  just some 7 hours away by ( a slow) train  . The second morning Pierrette and I were in full downward dog looking out over the canyon when  literally two local dogs sat down in front of us and curiously looked on . I kid you not …. .The pose became a little wobbly.

Pierrette in the Tree Position
Our faithful spectator. Complicated posture for the crossed hind legs with tail aloft .

The morning  , a small group of us walked/ ambled more like for 2 hours   up through  the  National Park area to the main visitors area .  It was very quiet and peaceful.The breeze shifting gently through the  heavy and profuse downward hanging pine needles  . Our guide  a blue eyed Mexican ( his ancestors were French )  ” vaquero”( cowboy) sporting his summer stetson , cowboy boots , Levis and coloured shirt , Not a trace of hiking paraphernalia on him . He  also as well as our guide picked up  litter  , plastic bottles , sweety wrappers etc and carried them until he  could dispose of them..He is proud of this area  where he was born.

Our destination was the Visitor Centre and  here our hopes were dashed of a ride on the funicular and a whizz down the Zip Ride , as both were down for repairs  .Had so wanted to have a ride  but did think I might need plastic knickers  .

Unbeknownst to Donald Trump , the Chinese had a delegation , staying in the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas , visiting this magnificent Mexican wonder  , in ” brotherhood” as they also possess an enormous canyon  , Enshi .Now the Chinese really know how to build a wall.

The rail goes over the river and then spirals upwards

From the very hot and humid Los Mochis , where our journey began  to the cool and dry air of the mountains . The train  followed the sides and curves of the mountain , sometimes vertiginously , other times through tunnels and always with workmen , sleeping in hammocks or tents alongside the tracks  , continually maintaining the rails  , removing rocks and stones that tumble down .

The train driver would whistle our approach and we would all then wave at one another .

Most  of us train travellers put to good use  their  iPad , cameras, phones  etc recording  this incredible scenery . people are allowed to  hang out the open half doors that were on either side of each carriage. No “Elf & Safety “. Just had to be a bit active when a tight tunnel hoved into view.

This is not Ralph.
The funicular and ZipLine were situated far right

Indiana Jones was close to mind when we waited for the train at the station for the 2 nd part of our journey. .

Local women, dressed in no less than 4 colours  ,would just sit on the ground and sell the most marvellous apples

You walked up a concrete incline with colourful stalls selling necklaces , fine wool scarves , belts and the usual touristic paraphernalia. Local women  cooked on log fired stoves, with the smoke being sucked up aluminium chimneys poking through the corrugated iron roofs and sealed by concrete. Tortillas  were being heated up on metal platters . All sorts of ingredients in bowls , to make up tortilla a la carte .There are only two trains a day . But the “cooks” keep the fires going even when the trains have long gone  for any peckish tourist / local worker  passing by .  They were scrumptious , although I will admit I bought one for a very skinny , female dog with pendulous teeties , obviously nursing.

The local dogs potter about looking for the odd morsel

My room was the last one on the right , ground floor
The  tame mountain goats that visited our “terrace”for breakfast and an evening munch
Another view of our habitation

We then took the train again to Creel .dsc04471

A sort of one horse , charming tourist town , with the locals buzzing around on small dune buggies.The funniest tiny train took us on a tour . The one “wagon ” we sat in was packed .Knees knocked knees. The drivers wagon  area as well.

The first 10 minutes  of our 50 minute jaunt was by way of the local petrol station to fill up. .The axles squeaked and squeaked, there was actually nothing to see but did we care ? Heck no. There was a band of ladies , Mexican ladies , from Mexico City . They were telling each other jokes . They  sang individually .Then we  all sang along at the tops of our voices  .La Cucaracha and other such gems. It was charmingly nuts and very happy . The only dour point was a rather  large wall painted with the 8 faces of local men who had been murdered in 2008 by the ” Narcos “.

Bought beautiful  scarves in the softest wool on this trip. Highly recommend

Anyway the rest of the trip passed in a bit of a blur.dsc04676

Flew home from Chihuahua to the balmy weather of Guadalajara and home .

Good Times…..


One Comment

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  1. Looks amazing so do your brown legs!!!


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