So it’s about 8pm, we’re loaded with our packs, and for the first time since San Francisco, we are presented with a cool evening.
With the skies darkening, we began to wander, trying to find a plan B sleeping option after earlier reading that the local backpackers hostel had closed its doors about a month ago.
We stumbled around a few wrong streets (probably fatigue, it wasn’t that dark), before finally finding the Hotel Real de Chapultepec and booking ourselves a very cosy double room (this room could have slept six as it had 3 double beds)!
Then it was time for a quick wander about the town, and to investigate options for dinner.
Having only eaten just over 2 hours ago, Sarah declared that she wasn’t hungry, until I played somewhat underhandedly and ordered a cup of corn (knowing she wouldn’t be able to resist).
This was basically a cup of steaming kernels (I went large, she went small), which was topped with butter, sour cream, cheese, chilli powder and a squeeze of lime.
In this cooler mountain air (by this stage we were both in jeans, shoes and sweaters), this was a perfect finale before bed.
The following morning after a breakfast of eggs and Corn Flakes (Sarah had the cereal), we’d decided on a pretty relaxed course. Explore the town, and see if we could arrange a tour to Copper Canyon for the following day.
The local ladies in their colourful dress, and insistence on trying to sell you trinkets was reminiscent of Sapa in Vietnams far north, whilst the musical troupes that frequented all eateries would quickly send you broke if you donated to them all!
We’d earlier spied a Christ figure (another Christo Rei) perched high on a hilltop, and expecting some wonderful views, made that our next destination.
The correct ascent however was unclear, so eventually began scrambling up a loose path (with was in fact merely a dry watercourse), which got us to the top.
It’s become a habit of ours, seeking these elevated religious icons, however they often hold the best real estate, and with that, the best views…
On the upward climb, we’d encountered an older Mexican in a random, fairly isolated location. Upon our return to descend the hill, he had remained in the same location, and it was that he began to beg for pesos.
Given its remoteness, not a very sound business plan I would think…
There wasn’t much more to this town, but we did investigate the possibility of a Copper Canyon tour, and discovered that most of the operators expect a minimum of 4 in a group.
Despite signage stating a fixed price for 1-4 people (so we were prepared to pay this full price for just the 2 of us), nobody offering the tours that appealed to us would move on this point, so after researching departure times at the local bus station, we resolved to do the trip ourselves.
With that decided, we spent a portion of the afternoon back at our cabin relaxing (I even had a siesta whilst Sarah read).
When registering our details at check in, we’d noticed the name before ours listing Australian as her nationality, and later that afternoon and again in the evening, we actually met her (Laura) and her traveling companion Bridget.
We shared a dinner together, and discovered they too would be catching the same bus out to Divisadero to investigate the canyon for themselves, before boarding ‘El Chepe’ in the opposite direction we’ve been traveling, and heading to Los Mochis.
Calling it a day (or night), we said our goodbyes, hoping for a solid nights rest before our journey to Copper Canyon on the morrow.