Copper Canyon: Los Mochis to Divisadero

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North America » Mexico » Chihuahua » Copper Canyon
August 22nd 2007
Published: August 25th 2007
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Off to a good start. Not. I woke up at 4am to be ready for my 5am pickup to Los Mochis train station. So I go down to the reception bright as button only to be told it was actually 4am. It appears I didn't ask about the time difference when I checked in yesterday; Los Mochis is behind Mexico City by one hour.

With a 3am start, I was afraid I may fall asleep on the nine hour train journey to Divisadero but I didn't! How could I -- it was the most beautiful train trip I've ever taken. There was a food and beverage carriage too! I had both seats to myself and while most of the scenery was on the other side of the carriage, I managed to find an open window between carriages where I took photos of mountains, gorges and rivers. I could count the number of western tourists on the Chepe train, all the rest were Mexicans. Apparently the Copper Canyon is a very popular holiday destination for Mexicans.

I arrived in Divisadero at 3.30pm. The hotel is spectacular and one of the reasons I booked this trip. It is built into the side of the canyon, the first of the five canyons. I've never seen something so massive. It really is breathtaking. My hotel room was a bit of a walk -- including having to cross a bridge, which isn't the best when you're carrying a 25kg backpack plus tote with laptop and travel documents -- from the main hotel lobby but it was worth every step. My room was located in a two storey block of rooms on top of one of the mountains and looking over the balcony it's a sheer drop. I'm actually typing this on said balcony looking at the most glorious view.

At 4pm I went on a complimentary hike to see some caves. We learnt that Divisadero isn't actually a town, it's just the train station and the hotel, but is a microcommunity of Mexican Indians, their Mexican name is "Tarahumara" and their Mexican Indian name is "Raramuri". They live in caves and stonebrick houses with no electricity or running water and use a natural spring for their water supplies. They chose their location in the caves because of how it faces the sun. It was amazing how at the hotel there was a chill in the air but a few metres away at the caves it was boiling hot. I noticed a lot of stray pups, tinier than you'd find at the pet store. They were so cute but I kept thinking "rabies, rabies" and even though I've had my rabies shots, I didn't want to tempt fate so I didn't pick them up.

Tomorrow I'm booked in for the 6am sunrise tour where the guide will take us to the top of one of the mountains to watch the sunrise. I'm not a morning person but it sounded too good to miss. Then it's breakfast at 8am followed by a two hour hike to another mountain, lunch at 12pm and board the train for Creel at 3pm.


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