Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventurous day

Today was a very adventurous day as Jordan and I and his son Aaron and gal Dee continued towards the Copper Canyon in Mexico. We left the bustling metropolis of Obregรณn Mexico heading inland on a somewhat direct but less travelled route to the Copper Canyon (rural would be an understatement).

That day we hit roads that were hard-packed dirt, sandy, loose gravel, muddy, white-knuckle, and even a section of hand-laid cobblestones which was very beautiful but hard to control motorcycles on. I experienced my first ever spill. We came upon a concrete river crossing (one of many that we would cross) that was overflowing with a few inches of fast-moving river water. As we proceeded across, the slick algae surface caused the bike tires to slip out from under it. Before we knew it, we were sliding through the water.

Getting up after slipping - all wet - but saved the camera!

Very minor spill but we were both wet and Jordan pulled a muscle. A few hours later, Aaron and Dee slipped on a duplicate crossing and were then wet too!

The map indicated we were heading towards Quiriego and San Bernardo, also in Sonora. Needless to say, there was a great shortage of signs and the road was several hours longer than indicated. We appeared to be lost but the guys always figured it out with somewhat different directions from different locals in small villages. When we finally found San Bernardo (N27°24.078' W108°50.441'), we purchased some snacks as we had not come across any restaurants.

Buying gasoline was always difficult to find - once we were simply instructed to go to Rafael's house (no signs of course) where the motorcycles were filled from small plastic jugs along with great conversation. The next time, the gas pump was hidden inside a small white building!

Buying gas at Rafael's house

Throughout the day, we travelled through exceptionally lush green valleys where butterflies were everywhere and several mountain areas were covered with golden flowers.

The heat was stifling so we stopped for a breather in the shade at Tanques La Higuera (Los Tanques) (N27°12.409' W108°53.370') where Aaron discovered that his pelican bag rack (luggage rack) was falling off from all the shaking on rough roads and needed to be re-welded. The shop was closed and we had to roust the owner from his Sunday dinner to get the job done. While the guys were getting the welding done, Dee and I were entertained by the jovial locals who were enjoying a beer where we sat outside by a store.

Kindly man welding Aaron's motorcycle rack at Los Tanques

As it was getting close to sundown, it was suggested that we backtrack 26 km to Alamos (N27°01.397' W108°56.229'), where hotels were available. We didn't cover much distance but we ended up in this town that was not on our route but was a real joy to find. A very quaint, old colonial-type of town with fabulous architecture and a busy town square.

Alamos - a great find

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