Sunday, January 10, 2010

Copper Canyon (Batopillas Canyon Actually)

Jay and I had a long day of dirt riding near Copper Canyon. Our goal was to go the town of Batopillo in the heart of Copper Canyon. We left Fuerte early so that we’d have a good chance. The cold morning warmed up quickly and we rode in T-shirts under our armor.

We had a clear disadvantage in that our map was too large of a scale, so it didn’t make out all the small side roads. Plus, there are always roads that are not on the map. This meant that we had to stop often and verify our route with people.

We had many friendly encounters while asking for directions. The information we got from different people was often conflicting, so we asked many people until we got a consensus. Where the road turned to dirt a car stopped and a man asked if he could help us. Later he reappeared on a motorcycle and led us for about 10 miles. This escort was unexpected and was a very nice gesture. His name is Abraham Atondo Portillo and he lives in Choix, Mexico.

As we rode the hills and canyons became deeper and red 1000+ feet cliffs began to appear. Jay and I were enjoying the land. I saw many hawks and birds and enjoyed their company.
We took a turn that we thought we were supposed to take. The riding was beautiful and someone told us that it was the way. Later though three people told us that it was not the way, so we turned around. We continued along our original road for another half hour or so, and came to a gate across the road. This was the mine and they did not let people in for security reasons. They said that they could let us in when the mine closed at five pm. Then it was another two hours to Batopillos.

The scale of the canyons is huge. Jay and I opted to turn back instead of waiting for the road to open. Later I was glad for this choice because to do the circuit and return to Fuerto would probably take another 3 days or so. Though we really enjoyed the canyons and mountains, we didn’t feel that we had that many days to spare here. I’d like to return at some point and spend a week or so here in Copper Canyon

We made it back to the hotel around 8:30 and had chicken enchiladas and some fried dough with sugar from a street vendor. Now it’s time for bed. Yummy delicious sleep after 12 hours on the bikes!

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