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