FELIZ NAVIDAD ASSHOLES!!!
Words from Birch to the train conductors who took off today. Why?
Our experience wih CHEPE had been terrible from the beginning starting with our 6 am depature from Los Mochis. We were the last to board, they asked ur to “disarm” (means dismantle?) our bikes, then when ready to have us walk to the cars, we were told to carry EVERYTHING (then why did you ask us to take it all apart?), pushed us on down the line of cars and had 5 minutes to load our bikes and gear on the racks.
When attempting to board the train on Thursday, there were many people, so it was expected that boarding would have been difficult. The economic class filled up. We tried to ride/run back to the front to load on the Primira class section, but the train began to roll out. We were left. We hoped at least Saturday, we could board the train..
On Mexico Xmas day (Saturday, 24th)
We arrived early, waiting for the train. We had a plan to first load the panniers, trailer, then the bikes. When it did arrive, the attendents got off to make some announcement. Everyone was on standby. Finally they let people board the economic train cars. Birch hopped on a car to load the panniniers, first. I was right behind, with my bike. A helpful guy helped Birch load the trailer and my bike. At that moment, I ran to grab Birch’s bike. When I ran back to load, the train police and the attendents all were surrounding Birch and blocking him from the door- they told him he could not board with his bike.
Oh, Hell, No!
Birch was being held back by police (with HUGE GUNS) and an attendent was standing at the door with a radio, communicating with the conductor. The train began to move. We shrieked “NO!!!” Birch was screaming “My bags are on that train!” I screamed “ALTO! ALTO!” The train stopped and the attendent with the radio had said something. I ran up and jumped on, begging for them to wait for Birch to get on- or let him on. When Birch picked up his bike, they held him back- not allowing him on. The sreaming panic continued. The train began to move again. The police were moving in on Birch. I screamed and cried thinking I was stuck- either going or jumping off the train. I yelled at the conductor to stop the train and let me take our stuff off the train. I pulled my bike off the rack and tried to walk out, but the attendent stood blocking me and his hand was pushing my tire back. I screamed at him to move. He did. The helpful passenger from before started to help me load off the trailer. When it was almost out the door, my scarf snagged on the trailer fork and it was pulling my neck down, slowing down the process, and increasing panic and pressure. I ripped off the scarf throwing it and the trailer, all out of the door. Last, I grabbed the panniers and jumped off. That’s when Birch wished the assholes Feliz Navidad.
At the counter- the Chepe rep said that the train crew is from Chihuahua- they are not very nice. The would be switching crews at a couple next towns (hours a drive away) He offered for 500 pesos (on top of the tickects) that they could take us there and we would board the train. We were not going to take the bribe- we had enough.
Total Epic Fail. Screw CHEPE. Creel was pretty, but I cannot recommend anyone boarding that train, at least with a bike.
So now, we will take a route along with Chris. It was never our intentions to cycle down from Chihuahua, but there is a route that cyclist have taken with no traffic. There is 3 of us, and the vilages are not far from eachother. It’s an adventure into the next. Stay tuned…