So we never did see Los Mochis in daylight, however my understanding is that we didn´t miss much. We even asked the guys running the hotel if there was anything to do around there and they didn´t hesitate at all before shaking their heads no - you would think they´d try to sell the town a little more so that we´d stay longer.
We woke up early, took a cab to the train station, and bought two tickets to Creel on the Chihuahua Pacifio train. The second class train (turista) left an hour after the first, and was half the cost, so we took that one. The beginning of the train ride was actually somewhat depressing. We passed tiny dusty shacks that were people´s houses for a good while. At one point I saw a dead horse on the side of the tracks that was being eaten by vultures. After a little while we were travelling over open countryside that looked a lot like parts of Arizona (at least it´s how I remember Arizona looking). It was very pretty, and I was trying to get some good pictures, not knowing that some of the most amazing scenery I´ve ever seen was soon to come.
It´s impossible to describe what it´s like taking a train through Copper Canyon. I took so many pictures, however I know they won´t do it justice. It was literally hours of breathtaking scenery. It´s a shame we couldn´t save up all the scenery and insert it into various parts of our lives, because there was definitely enough to last a lifetime. We must have gone through 20 to 30 tunnels and over 10 to 15 bridges. I feel like I´m commiting blasphemy saying it, but ufortunately it almost got to the point where it lost ít´s lustre. Then came the 15 minute stop at Divisidaro, which has a view that rivals the grand canyon.
When the train stops everyone hurries off to get food and trinkets at the little market that´s set up right next to the train tracks and take in the view. Then we all rush back on before you´re left behind. All of the food vendors cook food in big metal drums that they´ve transformed into grills. When I asked if I could take a picture I said ¨Puedo tocar un photo¨, which literally translates to ¨Can I touch a photo?¨. Shut up, I´m still learning... and she got the point...
The train ride was a total of 11 hours. When we got off at Creel we were accosted by a large group of people trying to get everyone on the train to stay at their hotel or hostel. We had heard of a couple places in town that were good, and we were planning on just walking to one of them, however there was a very nice guy that spoke fluent english and he talked us into going with him to see the rooms at his place. Turns out that it was the place to be. Cheap - $250 a night (about $23 USD) for a room with a bathroom and that also included dinner and breakfast. When we had dinner that night a couple guys with a guitar and accordian played and sang mexican songs - very cool.
Creel is a very cute little town that sits in the Northern Highlands at a little over 6000 feet above sea level. That means that it´s cold there in November. Windy and cold. We liked the atmosphere there a lot, and we were ready to stay for a few days and even signed up for a 5 hour tour for the next day. When we woke up the next morning it was raining. Then it turned into sleet. We ended up backing out of the tour because it was wet, windy, and cold. Soon it started snowing. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it was snowing fairly hard in Mexico during our trip south for the winter. Since snow wasn´t really in our plans, we decided to get out of there and head to Zacatecas, which hadn´t been in our original itinerary, but then again, neither had anything else past Cabo San Lucas.
We had already paid for another night in the hostel, and the maids had already been through to clean rooms for the day, so we haggled a $100 refund out of the manager, quickly packed up our stuff and ran to the bus station to catch a 3pm bus that would get us to Chihuahua in time to catch a 9pm bus that would put us in to Zapotecas at 6am the next morning.
The bus ride was pretty uneventful and long. We got in to Zacatecas early and took a bus into town. Zacatecas itself is a whole different story... awesome town - more to come.
Expenses for day 16 - Nov 23rd
taxi to train station: $90
2 train tickets to Creel: $850
coffee on train: $13
coke and torta on train: $35
chips on train: $10
food at divisidaro: $60
3 beers: $30
room at Margherita´s Hostel: $250
total for the day: $1435
Expenses for day 17 - Nov 24
room for half a day at Margharita´s Hostel: $150
2 hours at internet cafe: $40
2 bus tickets to zacotecas: $1580
2 burritos and snacks: $45
bathroom (yes, we got into territory where it costs money): $3
quaker granola snacks: $12
sketchy bottle of water (looked like it was refilled with tap water or something): $10
bus into town from Zacotecas bus terminal: $7
total for the day: $1964