Monday, September 27, 2010

Where is Chinipas?

I digress. When planning the Copper Canyon motorcycle trip, Jordan would go on Google Earth and get excited about the serpentine roads he saw indicating adventurous mountainous travel - be careful what you wish for!

From Álamos, we headed back to Los Tanques where we were instructed to go to Milpillas and then to Chinipas. Upon arriving at Milpillas (N27°12.500' W108°36.030'), we were then instructed that we had to return to Los Tanques and go a different direction to Chinicas (not Milpillas) and then to Chinipas.

We came upon a donkey on the side of the road where we had stopped for a brief rest. He seemed to be a bit friendly, not like on our previous motorcycle trip where you could not get close to the donkeys. So being Jordan, he decided to see if he could sit on him, and...

...success, the donkey did not seem to mind at all!

On the way, it started to rain which of course made the roads slippery. We came to another water crossing and had to swerve to avoid a large deep pothole. The bike slipped once again and Jordan's foot went into deep water, soaking it completely.

Jordan wringing out his slopping wet sock

We followed a truck part way but needed a break for snacks as we had not eaten since early morning (carry snacks - restaurants are in short supply!) We seemed to be doing okay but couldn't find Chinipas. We decided to turn around and then found the "sign" - Chinipas was carved into a rock on the side of the road! "Road" is an overstatement. These roads were narrow, axle busting, extremely steep at times, and switchbacked with sheer drop-offs. Hey, but the scenery was starting to get spectacular.

Through the heavy rain and clouds, we spotted Chinipas (N27°23.313' W108°31.599') in the valley far below - but first we had to cross a deep fast-moving river. Where was the bridge? Two young lads were playing in the river and pointed that a bridge was "up and around, just follow the road". Oh no! Each slick muddy road (Aaron and Dee dumped a couple of times!) had numerous turn-offs. After several attempts, Jordan finally found the bridge.

Several boys on a quad led us to a motel just at dusk. We were beat and slopping wet and the bikes caked in mud. After cleaning up and drying off, we hit the restaurant where we were finally able to have a meal instead of just snacks. There had been no restaurants between Álamos and Chinipas along the route that we took.

So far, 5 motorcycle spills for us, 4 for Aaron and Dee - these mountain roads are a real mishmash of surface types.

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