The train arrived on time, and we were lucky to get seats on the right side of the train!
When you're doing the route (or part thereof) from Los Mochis to Chihuahua it is best to have seats on the right side. If you're heading the opposite direction, left side seating offers the best views.
So we got into our seats, and in the very last car. We waited for the porter to come buy and collect the money. There are no ticket booths at the stations we were at, and ticketing is done by the porter once you're on the train. Cash only!
We were hungry, but it took him about 40 minutes to come and collect our money and we didn't want to leave our seats until he did. So it was around 9:00am when we went searching for some food. We walked up through the second class cars to the snack car, but the food didn't look the best and they were making burritos using flour tortillas which we don't eat.
So we decided to bite the bullet and try and get into the dining car for breakfast. We weren't sure that would be allowed because second class passengers would have to walk through first class in order to get to the dining car, and I had read that only first class passengers were allowed in the dining car.
But nobody stopped us. It could be because we are tourist gringos and they assumed we should be in the first class car anyhow. Or perhaps they simply didn't see us. Either way, the next thing you know we are seated at a table, reading a very expensive menu.
The first class dining car menu on the Copper Canyon train.
Breakfast is served!
We each had a plate of Huevos Rancheros. Eggs, with refried beans and potatoes and salsa and tortillas. 120 pesos ($9.85 CDN) and a cup of coffee for 30 pesos ($2.50 CDN) per person. So, with a tip our breakfast cost 330 pesos ($27.00 CDN). Pretty expensive in a country where you can normally get a good breakfast for 45 pesos ($3.70 CDN) each.
However, our stomachs were full and the food was good!
Walking through first class, we went to go through the doors to second class and we were stopped by a policeman. Yes, they have several armed police on the train for security, and I expect, because the train carries a lot of cash from the ticket sales. Anyhhow, we had to explain how we had second class seats, but had only been up to have breakfast. Nope, apparently that's not allowed! But, it was done now, and we were allowed to go back to our seats.
It was a beautiful day and we decided to hang out for a while in the open section between cars. There's a half door on each side of the car both front and back that they let you stand and get some fresh air and take photos without having to try and do it through the windows.
We stood there for over three hours!
The weather was perfect and the scenery was spectacular. And, we took a lot of photos. Here are a few of the best...
Going over one of the bigger bridges.
This vulture was sunning himself with his wings spread.
Great sky too!
Ruth, with her hair blowing in the wind.
Great scenery and we haven't even made it into the canyon yet!
Remember, you want a seat on the right side of the train if you're heading towards Chihuahua.
Now we're getting into the mountains.
How many times can we say "wow"!
The Copper Canyon railway line began construction in 1898, but it wasn't opened until 1961. From near sea level in Los Mochis, it rises to 8,000 ft altitude near Divisadero before dropping again into the city of Chihuahua. It crosses 37 bridges and goes through 86 tunnels!
Here comes a tunnel.
Hey, look at that! No idea what he's pointing at.
We were down there just a few minutes ago!
We spent three hours standing right here!
Despite this sign, which nobody pays attention to.
Surprisingly, this town has a full service Pemex. Only dirt roads to get there though.
At stops along the way, the Tarahumra try to sell you their goods.
We bought a basket from this girl for 30 pesos ($2.50 CDN)
This boy was watching the train go by.
Arrived at Divisadero. One of our porters. They're a friendly and helpful crew!
We arrived in Divisadero just a few minutes late at about 2:25pm. Walked over to the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas and thanked Mario the manager for allowing us to park there. It's a really nice hotel, and has fantastic views. Thanks again Mario!
Sure enough, Sherman was waiting for us and everything was fine. We drove the short distance into the park where the cable car and longest zipline in the world are done over the canyon. We had to pay 20 pesos ($1.65) each to get in, and that included the ability to park overnight...at the best boondocking spot in the world!
Stay tuned for part 2 later on today...all we can say is WOW!