Filled up the propane tank as we left Creel. It was a little expensive, at 8.21 pesos per litre but we knew we still had a few more chilly nights so better to have enough propane.
We didn't get a photo, but just on the outskirts of Creel is a big building project. Turns out it is a new airport runway, paved and everything. They sure had to move a lot of rocks to get it that flat for that distance. I guess a fairly major airport will bring more tourists to the Copper Canyon.
The drive from Creel to Divisadero is another twisty windy road with lots of steep uphill and downhill sections. It doesn't help that there was a heavy frost overnight and some sections of the road were still a little greasy!
Frost on the road. Yes, we were crawling down in first gear. Again, there was no traffic.
If the sun was on it, the road was fine though.
Until we came to this!
They were pulling a truck out of the ditch. I guess someone was going too fast! We only had to wait 15 or 20 minutes and we were moving again. Hey, we could have got our propane from that guy. Which is totally true actually. Here in Mexico there are a lot of propane delivery trucks, and you really can simply flag one down if you need to fill up!
We made it to Divisadero, and our first real view of the canyon.
Natives selling their handicrafts.
Divisadero is the one stop on the train line where the train sits for 20 minutes so that passengers can get off and get a view of the canyon. So it's a hive of activity for that time while people view the canyon, buy souvenirs, and get some food from the many stands ready to sell for that short period every day.
After our quick view of things, we needed to find somewhere for Sherman. We had been told about Mario, a guy who manages the hotel here, the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas. We had noticed that they have a large gated parking lot, and it was pretty much empty at this time of year. Mario, being the nice guy that he is, said Sherman would be perfectly safe, and that we were welcome to leave him for a night or two. Nice! Thanks Mario!
Sherman, parked for the night.
Ruth, overlooking the canyon.
A local lady with her basket weaving straw.
This lady has long thick hair!
Here comes the train!
Ruth, in her second class seat!
Can't for the life of us figure why anybody would choose to pay the difference for first class. It's about 50% more expensive and the only real benefit is that you can use the dining car. Our second class tickets from Divisadero to El Fuerte cost 520 pesos ($42.50) each for the five and a half hour journey.
The train was busier than I expected. This is the slow time of year for tourism, yet there were many locals who take the train, some from stop to stop, and some all the way from Chihuahua to Los Mochis...more than 12 hours journey. We spoke to one tour guide who said that it is mostly Mexican tourists at this time of year, and mostly European tourists interspersed with some American tour groups during the summer. It seems that Americans are for the most part still too afraid to come here.
There's a bridge up ahead.
On the bridge.
And a tunnel.
Part of the fun with this adventure is not only watching the amazing scenery, but wondering at the engineering that built this series of bridges and tunnels to begin with. The line took decades to complete, and was opened in 1961. Like I said, amazing!
Scenery along the way.
That's our tracks down there.
Heading over another bridge.
And the view we had from that bridge!
We arrived in El Fuerte at about 7:20pm. It was dark out, and the train station is actually located 7 kms (4 miles) from town. Quite a few people got on and off though so there were people getting picked up, and a few taxis around. We knew that to take a private taxi would be expensive, and we found a collectivo style that would take us for 50 pesos ($4.20) each. Not bad.
In town, we had them drop us off at Hotel Herradura, and managed a room for 400 pesos ($32.80) for the night. Pretty basic, but it had hot water for a shower and we were happy! We went out for dinner, and before we knew it, it was time for bed. Up early this morning. The same guy is picking us up at 7:40am to take us back to the train station to get back to Divisadero today. The views are supposed to be better this morning, so we'll have more pictures for you tomorrow!