From beaches to mountains

I left Obregon on Friday 16th rode to Navajoa, 70 kms.  I got my first flat tire on the road. A young guy walking along the highway helped me fix the flat. I enjoied the empty parts of new highway to ride- it was like a road bikers dream.  A road construction worker named Erick, walked and assisted me for 2 miles, carrying my bike through muddy construction zones. Later he caught up to me on his bike to ride for a while. Navajoa appeared to be a pleasent small city. I stopped for lunch/dinner- torta with carne. I checked my emails for two cyclist who I located back in Obregon. Thanks to my good friend and Hermosillio host, Daniel Diaz, he put me in connection with cyclist, Birch, who he hosted weeks later in Hermosillo. Birch and I made plans to meet in Los Mochis, as he was already on his way there. The other cyclist was a Swiss guy name Chris. I saw his profile on Couchsurfing.org and current location in Navajoa. Turns out that time, he was heading east, into the Copper Canyon, headed for Creel. He was open for traveling together from Creel.

In Los Mochis, I was picked up by my host, Ramiro(Chocki) at the bus station. It was arranged by friend Alex Urias from Hermosillo, who’s helping me find connections in Latin America.  An hour later we picked up Birch, who was waiting at the station. Chocki took us out to get dinner at one of the best taquerias in town.

Chocki was a wonderful host. We had comfortable rooms to sleep in, and made sure we had all that we needed- advice and equipment- before heading out on the road.

The next day, Birch and I began out first ride together at noon, to Totolabampo.  It was a 20 km ride out. We took the fork of the road north to a small beach town next to Totolobampo. We stopped to check out a large bat cave just off the road. The ride was very pretty over the hills over shallow lakes and mangroves. We arrived on sand between beach-front resteraunts on a quiet town. We had the most delicious seafood dinner on the beach. After, we scouted a place to camp out by the dunes. We camped behind vegetation that seperated us from the dunes where the ATV riders were playing. We set up camp, ate mac n cheese dinner and checked out the constellations.  It was a sucessful night camp out in Sinaloa.

Next day, we rode out to Topolabambo. Not much to see there. We had a papaya bowl breakfast and rode back to Sinaloa. We stocked up, checked our emails, and bought our tickets for the CHEPE-student discount half off!

It was late in the afternoon at the train station, and we were wondering where we should camp for the night. A man walked up asking us what we were doing-Birch could comprehended his Spanish better than I. The man offered us to stay at his friends house. I was a little sketched out at first, taking an offer from a guy in Sinaloa, but Birch guarrenteed that we would turn the offer away if it did not feel safe.  aroound the corner of a small neighborhood, it was a mother who invited us to camp out- on her roof! We gladly took the offer. We made dinner and hung out with the family. We practiced our Spanish with them as attempts to communicate.. The night on the roof was not so great because  of the night neighborhood noise- the late night kareoke club, dogs and traffic.

The train departed at 6 am. The sunrise was beautiful. I was very cold and tired from lack of sleep. Into the morning I was experiencing shivers, and soon enough I could tell that I was getting sick. A nasty virus attacked. Thoughout the whole day on the train, it got worse. My body temperature was very high. I drank water to stay hydrated. The end of the day dragged on, I was becoming delirious and weak. After 12 miserable hours on the train, we were lead to a hotel by advertizers in Creel. I went to bed with a very high fever and no appetite. The harsh fridgid temperatures in Creel didn’t allow me to recover well. The next day I did feel better, so we biked 13 km out to a 30 meter cascade (waterfall), walked through the small village, Cusarari. On the way we observed very beautiful views of the valleys. There were many small markets along the trail to the waterfall. The Tarahumara women were clothed in vibrant long skirts and handmade shawls, selling small goods. A worker at the hotel we were staying at, was hosting an eco-tour at the waterfall. He gave me a ride back to the hotel after I had asked. Because I was too tired and still sick to ride back.

We stayed another night at the hotel. Since I was still sick, too cold to camp, and we were on a bubget, we decided to take the train back the following day, Thursday.

Unfortunately, the next day, the train filled up for going back to Los Mochis. We were stuck in Creel until Saturday, Chrismas day in Mexico. Birch was pondering about possibly camping out. I was thinking about a staying in a room for the night. Just then, a  older man walked up to us. Birch understood that the man was telling us that if we needed a place to stay, we could stay with his family. His daughter and wife arrived, and they too, were offering us a place to stay for the night. We agreed to. As we were packing up- I turned around and was surprized to see Chris, the Swiss cyclist. He made it to Creel. It was a nice surprise and we paused to meet and catch up with him.

After talking with Chris we followed the family out to their home. I let the father ride my bike, because I was still recovering. We did not understand that is was about 15 km out of Creel! We felt bad as we were about to head back into town, so we didn’t have to ride out on slick frosty roads early in the morning to catch the train. But, they were so nice and really wanted to help. It was getting late, and we agreeded to stay for the night. They made us a delicious dinner of carne, chrizo, and beans. After dinner, we hiked out into the mountians for a campfire. They have a favorite spot, under a large boulder like cave. They brough their goat out for the hike, Nachita, who was very loyal, like a dog! At the fire, we roasted marshmallows and practiced our spanish. The father tried his best to share storied with us about his travels. Back at the house, the father brough out his accordion and played chrismas/church songs and the mother and daugher sang along. It was very lovely, heartwarming entertainment. They given us a cozy room to share for the night.

The next morning, we were dropped of at the station. We waited all day for a freight train to come. It didn’t. Saturday moning was our next bext hope to get out of cold Creel. Late afternoon we went out to look for a cheeper hotel, through the fridgid cold headwinds. No luck, not even back at our previous hotel. I was miserable at that point- it has been a slow recovery, and the cold was beating my body up- exhausted, my nose was runny out-of-control and my exposed skin was numb. We landed a stay at a hotel and shared the dorms with Chris. It turned out to be a cozy stay. Chris was great company. Birch and him had much to talk about biking southern Mexico  and Central America.

I learned that Chris has begun this trip from Ushuaia- the northermost city in South America and rode up to Panama, toured Alaska, America and was making his was south through the mountians heading for Cancun, where he will fly out to Cuba. He has been touring for 3 years the Americas (all 3), riding a total of about 40,000 kms including Europe (thats practically around the world!) He will continue to ride throughout the world.

Birch, I find to be very inspiring. Him and his brother bought property out in Alaska where they built a log cabin home. In the summers he has a garden, catches wild game, and works in Alaska to save up to tour in the winter around the world. He is very passionate about sustaiable living and his set up allows him to have a home where he has all the recources needed around him- and travel in other countries. He also networks with bike communities in America and seekingnew ones around the world.

They both gave me reccomendations for touring Central America- to see the best parts. Chris prvided me with more forums to locate touring partners for the future. Chris and Birch may also possible tour Cuba together this spring. I am very happy to have meet these amazing gentlemen. It’s time like these where I feel like there will be more oppertunities and possibilities for a greater adventure.

Back In Magdalena de Kino after things didn’t work out with the first partner- I set out an intention to keep going, so long as I could locate a partner in Los Mochis to travel with. Indeed, it has happened, and looking back, I am glad that I gave myself a chance to ride alone-despite what most people would have preffered for me. Birch and I will continure to tour south after we return to Los Mochis.

Now, we wait for the train this afternoon- hopefully it will take us back to Los Mochis.

Unfortunately the pictures wont load today- so I will put them up later.

Feliz Navidad!

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One thought on “From beaches to mountains

  1. Feliz Navidad Marie. You are having an amazing adventure and are a very awe-inspiring young lady. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!

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