Sunday, February 20, 2011

La Paz across the Sea to Topolobampo

My cousin Dave and his Joan at the pearl ruins in bahia san garbriel on Isla espiritu Santo Little fun with shadows!!
Blue footed booby birds in Los Cuevitas on Isla Partida These birds are found throughout the sea of cortez. Easily identified by their blue feet, these birds have a wingspan of 4 - 5 feet and live on fish. They fish by diving like a bullet into the ocean. They can also swim underwater. Very cool to look at!!


Bahia Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida


Crossing the Sea of Cortez on our way to Topolobampo The crossing took us 17 hours with fairly calm seas and the wind blowing north east around 10 - 15 knots





This is what coming into a poorly marked unfamiliar port in the dark looks like!! note how we drove up on the land? (tee hee!!)





Actually, it wasn't that bad, we were finally able to get to an anchorage by following the path the ferry took as it was leaving the harbour. The chartography for Mexico is poor, but with the combined information we had from various sources (and the ferry) we were able to get into Topolobampo harbour.

This is the view we had when we woke up in the morning!!

Port of Topolobampo


More port

Local fisherman using poles. Apparently they have a net strung between the poles and drive the boat in reverse. We have yet to find out what they are fishing...


Los Mochis
The city of Los Mochis has an interesting history that is fairly complicated. Not originally developed by mexico, it was originally created by a man named Albert Kinsey. He envisioned a U.S. colony at the site in 1872 His plan was to develop a railway terminal for trade from Texas to Mexico and beyond. As this is a lengthy story, I won't continue on. It is very interesting and you can find a lot of history on this on the internet

Dave and blake shopping for treasures at this open air market in Los Mochis

Dave and Joan bartering for their blanket

Los Mochis is a large city


I love the open store fronts that are typical in Mexico
views from the hilltop in topolobampo overlooking topolobampo bay


Open air restaurant in Topolobampo; plenty of fresh mariscos (seafood)

more topolobampo

and more...

6:am All Aboard!!! We took the train into the Barranca del Cobre (copper canyon) for an overnight trip into the Sierro Madre Occidental. The building of therail line (another long and complicated historical story) took approximately 90 years to build with a cost of over 100 million U.S. dollars. Originally built to give southern Texas transport access for farm produce to the Pacific, the object of the rail line has as many curves in it as the tracks themselves. Still the only transport link across the Western Sierra Madre it runs from Ojanaga on the Texas/Mexico border to Chihuahua and then west through canyon country to Topolobampo. Construction of the line, initiated by mostly american investors, was abandoned in the first half of the last century. In 1953, Mexico announced plans to complete the railway which, at that time, still lacked a route through the most difficult part; the mountains. In 1961 the line was finished. It involved some extraordinary engineering and a lot of hard work. Between Los Mochis and Chihuahua is the section usually travelled by tourists. There are 37 bridges and 86 tunnels. The line reaches a height of 2400 metres and for much of the route, skirts the rim of an enormous canyon more dramatic than the grand canyon


The dining car, enjoying a little huevos ranchero

Of course, the bar car!!


Beautiful mountains views


A few small villages dot the rail line

More mountains


Some examples of the switching back the track does


beautiful

The trip left los mochis at 6 am and arrived (at our destination) at 2:30 pm


As we climbed further into the mountains, the vegetation changed from desert cactus and shrubs to an alpine vegetation. If you didn't know you were in Mexico, you would swear you were in the interior of BC


Barranca del Cobre, one of 12 canyons in these mountains



The hotel we stayed at; Barranca Mirador

Local vendors; Tarahumara natives


Climbing down the trails towards a Tarahumara village

Young vendor selling quartzo

Tarahumara village

more village


more hotel views


I can't write enough about this incredible journey into the moutains. Learning about the history of the rail line, the migration of the Tarahumara natives, the development of Topolobampo as a major port is so interesting. I hope our few pictures here will inspire you to put this part of Mexico on your bucket list. We have not felt unsafe here once, the people have been nothing but friendly and helpful. In topolobampo, we are the only white people but we feel no prejudice. A wonderful place to visit.
Our next blog update should have us in Mazatlan and area
blog ya later!!




































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