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Getting to the Finish

June 28, 2017

Lago Arareko, Copper Canyon area. 18th June.

The bakkie has really eaten up the miles the last week. It’s done well over 2000kms mainly on good toll roads but even still, we have ended most days feeling quite drained. Having to find a place to camp at the end of the drive adds to our weariness. But the ever changing scenery has included gems fit for any western movie back drop: Cactus strewn plains leading up to rugged mountain ranges vultures wheeling in the updrafts. All under a burning sun with hardly a cloud breaking the blueness.
But there were some breaks. Spending two nights along side the Rio Nazas with shade from the burning sun was a blessing. A place to recharge before another 600km drive the next day. And here at Lago Arareko not far from the Copper Canyon has been a delight. Last night as the sun dropped a family of the local indigenous people came down to fish. All of them, even the youngest was throwing the lines into the water. It was a tranquil scene. As was the case this morning before any other visitors arrive.
It was our intention to spend a few days in the Copper Canyon area, there is so much to see. The drive getting here had been through pine-covered mountains, deep gorges and mostly dry riverbeds. And even included driving through part of the Copper Canyon itself so the guide book says. But to stand on the edge of the canyon and gaze 1800 metres down to the river was an amazing sight. They had zip lines to get to the bottom which appealed to Joan but travelling at 40kph on what seemed like a ski lift type seat was not my scene. So we took the cable car that goes half way down. Even that was an event.
There are actually 11 different canyons in the area, the Copper Canyon being the most famous. This whole area is a rocky landscape with pine trees covering most of the slopes. Creel is the major town but even that is only some houses and shops built alongside the rail line that runs from Chihuahua on the plateau to Los Mochis on the coast.
Tomorrow we head off once more, another 4-5 days drive before we start looking for storage.
Puerto Penasco, Gulf of California. 24th June
Also know as Rocky Point from the time the US had a base here during the 2nd World War the town is a favourite for the land locked citizens of Arizona. The town a mere 100kms from that state’s border. It must have more pharmacies than any town this size all with their billboards advertising Viagra and Cialis with a 20-50% discount. Must be a lot of dysfunctional visitors from the north. It’s not a nice town esp on the weekends but it has worked out well for us. There are many RVs stored here by US and Canadian visitors but most are outside and the sun here is scorchingly hot. But then we found Ruben, a nice young bloke that offered us lockup storage for US$70 a month. And although there is no international flights from here there is a shuttle bus for a 4 hour drive to Phoenix where we will spend a few nights, then a greyhound but to San Diego for another three nights then a short bus ride to LA on the day we fly back. It has worked out well.
So at the moment the bakkie is being serviced, Joan is sorting what to take and what to leave and we head off next Tuesday the 27th for Phoenix.
Time to look back on our trip this time around. We weren’t looking forward to coming this time which surprised many but I knew arranging the shipping across the Darien Gap would take up a good percentage of our time and that proved the case. It was almost a month from the time we arrived in Cartagena till driving off the Veracruz port. Getting to Cartagena from Ecuador was a case of mostly one night stopovers and that was also the case once taking off from Veracruz. But we have enjoyed Mexico and its people. Very hospitable and helpful. There were many instances of people going out of their way to help. The countryside has been varied and that around the canyons especially impressive. The roads are generally very good and the drivers mostly courteous. They even stop for pedestrians and compulsory stops mean exactly that.
We have met three different men who had worked in the US but one had been deported as an illegal worker, one, who because he was the oldest and had been born in Mexico was sent back while the rest of his family, some had married American citizens, were allowed to stay. The third is now a policeman, I am not sure why he had returned. All said they were earning much more than they were now.

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