Today felt long even though I started a little later than normal. I spent an hour or so doing inspections on the bike, making sure things are tight and so forth. Breakfast consisted of instant oatmeal and Mexican coffee import for Sobey’s, Toronto, Canada.
Today started out with more twisties but they were less severe. A very mellow way to start the day. As time when on they became more intense and were pretty much like yesterday. In preparation for Copper Canyon, I reviewed my friend Tyson blog from his similar trip with Ted several years ago. I’m sure I had a bit of a smirk on my face while reading it…a sort of “I know what you mean”. It is, indeed, very beautiful country out here and much of it seemingly untouched:
Having left Yecora, most of the roads were paved with the exception of a road leading into San Juanito. I am not sure whether or not this is the same road Tyson speaks of but much of it was newly paved but a lot of it was not. It was rather strange actually, as there did not seem to be much rhyme or reason as to when paving started versus hard packed gravel versus big chunky gravel versus loose soil. As mentioned by some friendly inhabitants of San Juanito who I met at the local Pemex at the beginning of this road, if we are calling the end SJ — “the road is not finished — but our van makes it through”. I didn’t think much of it. The pavement ended and various forms of the prior mentioned surfaces showed up. Having seen an abandoned van at the side of the road with missing wheel, smashed in windows and bullet holes in the side of it, I had briefly wondered if I made a mistake heading down this road.
In the end there was a reasonable amount of (dust making) traffic on it. I happened to wear my goggles today — generally noticed that the dust was starting to build up — it so happened that it was a good decision as the trucks passing on this road were creating quite the stir. My new “amigos” weren’t kidding. At first the road was similar to that used in a softball field. No problemo. As things went on it become slightly hairy. The gravel was a little larger than I am used to. It became soft soil for a while as well.
The road really wasn’t finished and it looks like their were various stone crushing and blasting operations happening right on the road. Luckily the poor conditions were not exceptional long. You have to remember that the curves spoken of before still have to be negotiated on gravel. One just has to take it easy. That said, the roads in Chihuahua seem to be built wider than Sonora. Quite a bit wider.
I finally made it to Creel. It is an interesting place which seems to be a logging town turn tourist hub. So if you drive around the outskirts it is dirt and gravel roads and very average housing and then the main drag has all sorts of hotels and a hostel (where I am staying). There are various restaurants and gift shops and you can even rent ATVs for riding around in town.
I slept well. (I am finishing this post off in the AM). The hostel serves two meals a day. I missed dinner on the account of a timing misunderstanding. Breakfast was coffee (which you pay for), one pancake, a couple of fried eggs, a copious amount of corn tortillas and salsa. Breakfast starts with some unnamed gruel. It is milky and sweet and perhaps corn based. Add some chopped banana and it is pretty good. Kind of like oatmeal juice — milky oatmeal flavour without the grains.
Well, I am going to say goodbye. I have a long day ahead of me 🙂