Detours off Mex 15 South

Good section south of San Carlos.

Left San Carlos and caravaned down to the beach at Hautabampito for three nights. The trip down was, and always is, punctuated by Pemex visits to refuel and grocery stops at grocery stores or, I hate to say it, Walmart stores. Always a challenge to find product on the Spanish shelves and hope that the credit card does not bounce at the check out. So far all has been well.

Single lane and crossing over to the other side.
Out for a run on the beach at Hautabampito.

The beach is hard packed sand and runs for miles. Locals like to come down over the weekend and drive along the sand, stopping along the way to eat, drink and be merry as can be seen in the sunset shot below.

RV park backs up onto the beach.
Sunset at Hautabampito.

From the beach we went back up to Mex 15 and then across to the pueblo of Alamos founded in 1684 by the Spanish when they found silver in the surrounding hills.

Entrance to the town of Alamos.
Evening service at the Catholic Church.
Tour bus for the day.

We were met by Juan and the car/wagon that he had built himself for an informative tour of the city. It has a rich opulent past fueled by the riches of the silver boom to bust as evident in its buildings and architecture. Now a days a bit of agriculture, tourism, and a hideout for the eccentric rich or famous including the Mexican movie star, Maria Felix.

Maria Felix lived here.
Hill behind has a view point from the top.

We drive around and make many stops while Juan tells us many stories of times gone by and occasionally dropping names, Sean Connery?, of celebrities he has run into.

Old agave farm in the distance.
Upscale residential street.
Why do tours always pass through the cemetery?
Juan, our informative guide, with more stories of those that lived out their life in Alamos.
Triple decker.
Bit of a haphazard layout.
Tropical courtyard inside one of the hotels.
Rooftop terrace under construction.
After lunch exercise up the hill.

We have lunch and then we’re free to roam on our own. Some of us needed to speed up the digestion of tortilla, rice & beans and head for the hill behind the town. There is a set of steps and we dutifully start climbing. I can’t remember if it was 170 or 270 steps but we did summit the hill and were rewarded with a top down view of the little pueblo.

It can be fun being a tourist.
Looking down on Alamos.
What goes up must come down.
Dry camping in the bushes just outside the town.
Off to El Fuerte.

Now it was off to El Fuerte (the strong or fort) which is also the point where we leave our RV’s inside a walled compound and depart on the El Chepe train up to the Copper Canyon. But before that we need to do a bit of sightseeing.

Dinner around the pool.

We arrived late’ish and there was a dinner at a local hotel that also had a El Zorro “show”. We sat inside the courtyard and alongside the deep blue pool which gives this semi-desert landscape a feeling of serenity. “El Zorro”, who doubled as our guide the next day, entered with a crescendo of Zorro music that Hollywood made famous and enticed a few ladies to dance – all good fun.

Wendy being entertained by El Zorro, in the town where legend has it that he lived.
More dry camping in El Fuerte.

Next day we floated down the El Fuerte river and searched out the banks for bird life, Rose & I kicked ourselves for not remembering to bring our binoculars with but such is life.

Early morning river cruise.
Looking for wildlife.
Great Egret about to take off.
Difficult getting photos of birds without a zoom lens.
Working on a name …..
Petroglyph lesson.
More El Fuerte river.

Next was an introduction to the Mayo Indians, some of whom had a nearby village. Interesting but it had that real tourist air to it. Not sure if I liked it for what I learnt or disliked it because it treated me as a tourist which I guess I am.

This whole “caravan” we’re part of. The pluses outweigh the minuses, I get to experience way more than I would on my own but I have to participate as a group member and some of my freedom goes away. I guess I’m just not used to going on organized tours that much.

Mayo Indians making tortilla.
She fashioned a pot for us.
Mayo Indian doing the Deer Dance.

The dancer was very good and he reminded me of other cultures that live close to the earth perform their rituals. He portrays a deer by wearing a mask/head gear of a deer. When the deer head faces forward he is a deer, when it faces backwards he is himself. Especially notable were the deer head movements, the way deer gaze for potential trouble and then dart their head down and up to make sure it is safe to drink at a water hole.

Coyote Dance.
Bee hive.
Closeup. Bees kept to their business of making honey.
End of El Fuerte.

Packed our warm clothes for our early morning departure as it will be freezing overnight up in the Sierra Madre.