Train ride on "El Chepe"
Trip Start Sep 04, 2011
7Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Palmira Marina in Topolobampo Mexico
What I did
Copper Canyon & The beautiful city of Batopilas
Train ride from Los Mochis to Creel
We were finally able to leave the vortex that kept us in the beautiful city of La Paz ! We left the Baja side of Mexico and crossed the Sea of Cortez with sun and wind 12kts all day long with the auto pilot steering dead on to our way point of 60 degrees! Best sailing day ever, averaged 7-8 knots with our boat.
We are now in a marina in the town of Topolobampo ( near Los Mochis) on the west side of the mainland of Mexico, north of Mazatlan by 200 miles.
We came to Topolobampo to take the infamous train ride into Barranca del Copre ( Copper Canyon). It is 7 times bigger than US Grand Canyon, The Train track took 100 years to complete through the rugged mountains. It is the only passenger train running in Mexico and starts in Los Mochis and ends in Chihuahua city. The train was completed in 1961, and 2011 was its 50th Anniversary! There is a total of 126 bridges and 87 tunnels , there is one part of the train ride that makes a 360 degree turn around a mountain
We decided to go to Creel as it had the most things to see. The town was at 7,800ft and we are here in Winter. Every home, store, hotel room, resturant had a fire buring to keep warm. Our hotel was quiant and complete with a wood stove that Bill kept stoked all night, slept under 3 thick wool blankets to stay warm. Our hotel cost $18.00 a night, very clean, and had a HOT Shower!
Our first encounter in town was seeing the Tarahumara Indians in their traditional colorful clothes. All females wear bright colored dresses, scarfs, and shawls. The men would wear colorful blousey tops with a white skirt, but masculine. All their shoes soles were cut out of old tire tread and then leather string wrapped around their legs. We felt like we were in the wild wild west with cowboys riding into town jumping off their horse leaving their horse parked on the side of the rode not tied up at all, while they ran into the store for groceries! It was a trick worth noting for those of you who ride, it is to take one rein and put it under the front hoove of the horse. The horse holds himself , if he trys to walk forward the bit in his mouth would pull back and stop him.
We toured through the village of the Tarahumara Indians, rocks called mushroom rock, Jesus , Mary, and Joseph rock, elephant rock, and the famous fertility rock
Next day was a 5-6 hour wild bus ride down to the bottom of the canyon to the beautiful town of "Batopilas". It was a full bus, so full that every one in the aisle sat on buckets! We were at the back of the bus a bit bumpy and got quite dusted with the windows open. We now name this place our next best place to retire! Colorful city, many Tarahumara Indians live through out the mountains. They estimate 65,000 that choose to continue to live in caves and disconnected from society. They are also known as the "Ramari Indians" for their ability to run through the mountains. National Geo did a document on them. We bought beautiful woven baskets from them for only $1 or $2 dollars!
Our last part of the trip was to view the Copper Canyon and the fertility Rock! We were allowed to go out on the edge of the canyon for a photos it was a bit scary that is why I was looking toward land and not down....6,000 ft down!