Monday, May 15, 2000

Got up at first light around 6:30 and walked around town. It was too hot to sleep anyway, and the only time of day cool enough to move around. I might mention that May is their hottest month, so it’s not always this deadly. People were up and about, mostly washing the streets and sidewalks. You have to wash the street when you’ve got dogs and cows and chickens and pigs and burros running around!!

Batopilas in the morning

We crossed the river and quickly checked out the ruins of the Hacienda San Miguel, a relic from Balopilas's mining days. One of the rooms toward the back was full of cows and drooling bulls, so we didn’t go too far. We also saw a cute deer with a scarf on it leashed to a tree. It looked to be a pet. How do you keep a deer for a pet? The area looked to us like a prime location for a pot field, so we hastily made our retreat.

The coolest street scene in Batopilas

After another five-hour teeth-rattling drive back out of the canyon, we took a room at the other Margarita’s this time. Much, much nicer, even had good food. Mercedes (her name is not Margarita), the proprietor, gave us a break on the room since we had taken one of her tours. We asked about buses, but no one at Margarita’s knows anything about Creel unless they can make a buck from it. Mercedes pretends to know very little English, but if you ask about any of her tours, she suddenly becomes fluent. They really do their best to make sure that if you spend money in Creel, you spend it at Margarita's.

Nancy found out about a hike onto Tarahumara land and asked us to go with her. Sure glad we did! 15-peso toll to enter. Brilliant landscapes with rock formations shaped as mushrooms and frogs doing it. I climbed a frog for a photo op. The sky darkened with storm clouds, and it actually sprinkled while we were out there - this in dry season! It was a beautiful, magical place. There were lots of caves with cave dwellers, and a mission at the end of the road and a school with solar panels.

Tom riding a big stone frog

A cave dwelling

Mission

In the evening we met some other travelers at Margarita’s bar that were staying at the crappy Margarita’s. We drank and swapped stories and laughed about "Yolanda" and the rest of the Margarita crew.

Continue to day 8.

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