We met "Antonio" or "Romido", pick one, he told us he had 2 names gave them both and told us to call him Antonio. That night while we talking to Bob and Lynn, I haven't introduced her yet. She's about 60 and lives alone, full time, in Batopilas for about the last 7-8 years, has a small Jewelry store and sells some of the local Tarahumara crafts and I believe was from MI. They didn't know anyone named Antonio. We told Bob "the guy we were talking to ffor the last 2 hours at the cantina", he says "His name is Romido". We knew they knew one another as Romido's mother is who had taken in Bob when he was stranded and they had told us about it at the El Zaguan. I guess Romido thought we could remember Antonio better.
Jimmy is on the left, or Himmy now, then me, then Romido in the yellow shirt, Dan, Romido's best friend Carlos and I have forgotten the other guys name.
Romido's father built the stone water tower you see in the pictures and Romido is a mason as well. He had been learning English and we were all practicing with one another. What a great experience.
We went to dinner at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant that evening.
Here is Lynn, Himmy and Dan. The food was fantastic. We all had the same, vegetarian plate, and it was great. The rice had a lime flavor to it with a peice of fresh cilantro on it. The guacamole was fresh and tasty.
We also met Suzanna and her brother Nachito. Their father, Nacho, owned the restaurant and was a friend of Bob, Roberto as the local called him, and Lynn's.
If you showed them their picture on the screen after you took it they got a huge kick out of it and wanted to see more. Too fun!
The local police came in around 8:00 and ran all the local off. New law from the new Mayor. The visitors didn't have to leave till 10:00. Lynn and I hung out for a minute and I had to walk back to the Hotel Batopilas by myself.
This was on the plaza and a couple of kids were playing Soccer there as well.
We had decided to stay 2 nights in Batopilas, we had only planned on 1 originally but knew after we had been there no more than an hour that we had to stay at least 2.
Thanks Rider. I've seen other ride reports that I really got a kick out of so I figure I should try and return the favor.
Originally Posted by riderR1150GSAdv
I got a huge amount of info from Adventure rider. In particular from threads by gaspipe and lasvegasrider. Lasvegasrider talked to me on the phone about various things. Great guy.
Quick question for everyone. My wife says I tend to get a little excessive.
Should I try to trim it back some?
2 Stories, Concunos and El Stinkay! El Stinkay!
Romido is the first one.
I introduced Lt Dan on the first page as "My sister in laws husband" Here is why -
I told you we were practicing our respective new languages. I told Romido that Dan & I are brother in laws, that "Mi esposa y Dan's esposa es hermanas". He told me that we weren't and that in Espanol we were "concunos" (should have tilde over n) I think a loose translation is "with in laws", not "cunados" (should have tilde over n), "brother in laws". We discussed it for about 1/2 and hour and he drew graphs on the table with his Sharpie (if your ever there look for the word written on a table) to illustrate. He was right and we don't really have an English word, that I know of anyway, that correctly describes being married to in laws. My wife is his in law and his wife is my in law. The way I see the concunos is a pretty good describtion.
The best part to me, of the story, was that we were able to learn from each other and everyone appreciated the others eagerness to communicate in the others native tongue. I'll never forget concunos and I will think about Batopilas everytime I introduce someone to my sister in laws husband.
El Stinkay! El Stinkay!
Our room was on the street and there is no glass in the windows. Just screen and wood shutters to shut from the inside. We had 3 beds and Himmy and Lt Dans beds were up against the street side wall, under the windows. I was woke up from just dropping off with the sound of a truck pulling up right in front of the Hotel Batopilas and parking and leaving the engine running. The fumes were coming in Dan's window. He gets up and yells outside in English a few times and got no response. Finally he starts yelling at them, "El Stinkay! El Stinkay!" They pulled around the block after a few minutes of Dan yelling at them to "Turn it Off! El Sinkay" and come back and park there again and leave it running. Same scenario, El Stinkay, El Stinkay!
The yelling probably woke me more than anything and I started laughing at Dan.
I tell him, "I don't think they understand "El Stinkay". Its not a word in Espanol"
"Well its stinks and its coming right in my window. They won't cut it off"
"El Stinkay! El Stinkay!"
I was giggling like a kid. Laughing my head off yelling back "El Stinkay! El Stinkay!"
They finally shut it down and get a room at the Hotel Batopilas.
Dan gets back in the bed laughing his butt off too and says "I guess that guy doesn't speak English or Spanish, but he's sure got a fine looking woman."
We both went back to sleep laughing like little school girls. I can't remember if Himmy ever woke up.
This is getting long but the best parts coming.
Fast Forward to Wednesday morning and we are packing up to head out along with the couple that is in the truck. I never saw them on Tuesday but saw the truck. We talked a little in the courtyard around the bikes and turns out the guy is German and works for BMW autos in Berlin. He goes out to start the truck, same one that was under the window. It ran on propane and was rather hard to start so once it finally started he didn't want to shut it off.
We stood out on the sidewalk and talked with them for a few more minutes and he starts to shut the door and pull away. We tell them "Adios" and he pulls away yelling "El Stinkay! El Stinkay"
We all cracked up all over again.
Oh, and he did have fine looking woman. Lt Dan can't speak much Espanol but he can spot a fine looking woman.
Last edited by Kev95GS; 01-29-2006 at 03:49 PM.
Both nights we went to sleep in Batopilas we were laughing. It was good.
There was always some type of background noice. In the moutains you would stop and there would be goats roaming around on the hillsides above you, below you. In the cities people, autos, chickens.
In batopilas we heard roosters all night, livestock walking on the cobblestone streets outside our windows. The garbage can was suspended on a pivot, outside Himmies window, and some sort of animal would get in it at night, screech, and when it would move away the pivot would screech again then clange against something. The roosters would start at one end of the canyon and make a rooster chain to the other end. One would crow, then the next, finally it was close to you and move on north till you couldn't hear then start at the south again.
We were on complete and total sensory overload.
All our senses were assaulted by all the new things and experiences. Not the normal everyday similarity that we grow used to. New language, people, customs, food, surrounding, sounds, smells....
Today Bob was going to take us around to see some of the area. But first we wander around town and get some desayuno and cafe.
This is the gazebo that I had passed last night, nice either way.
We start north heading out with Bob and Mary to take our tour.
On the way we watched "Caballo Blanca", The White Horse. I had read about this guy on Gaspipes ride report on Adv Rider. His name is Micah True(sp) and is an American. He runs, alot. He was running here in sandals. Bob knows him and stopped to tell him something. They say he has run from Batopilas to Urique in 10 hours. It's takes normal people 2 days on the rocky trail into the other canyon.
The plants are beautiful.
Did I mention the mines of Batopilas?
The aqueduct runs to just below this mine entrance where it used to turn electric generators. The aqueduct starts 3 miles up the canyon. Batopilas was the second city in Mexico to receive electricity because of the mines and the need for the aqueduct.
This is above the aqueduct.
The bridge is the one we came into town on and we are going across it and to the south to see the old San Miguel Hacienda ruins.
Last edited by Kev95GS; 01-29-2006 at 04:40 AM.
I'll show you one of the Poinsettia(sp) "trees".
I'll show you the ruins tomorrow. I gotta crash.
We are headed to the mine ruins. The Batopilas area had been mined for silver for a very long time but 1880 Alexander Sheppard purchased the mines for around $600,000 and moved his rather large family and entourage to Batopilas from Washington DC. They mined more than 20 million ounces on silver from the mines before closing them down. Most of the buildings in the area, the aqueduct, electricity, etc where a direct result of his building up the mines and area. The employed as many as 1500 people and had a company store, medical facility that the workers did not have to pay for and numerous other advances for the day.
There is a book written by the second to youngest son, Grant Sheppard, called the Silver Magnet. It was written in 1938 and is no longer in print. Usless you happen to know someone who had re prints done. We did. I purchased a copy from Lynn and would recommend the read to anyone either interested in Batopilas, life in Mexico from the 1880's through the 1920's, and especially if you have been there. The description in the book come to life once you've seen where he is describing. Check your local library or go buy one from Lynn in Batopilas, the later would be my suggestion.
This was the main offices for the mines.
the photo was taken from the east side of the building with the mountain side going up behind us.
Going around the right side you went down some stairs and could look up from the bottom floor. There were 3 all together.
This was between the building and the river. The west side of the building.
Behind us, from the original front shot, there was a building that used to be guest quarters and it butted up to the retaining wall were the moutainside was cut back to make some flat area. The first photo is kinda blurry but it will give some perspective. Notice the rooster.
Then this is looking up from the same position. The guest quarters back wall is on the left.
They tried to make every convenience available.
It was a four holer and had a nice ventilation stack in the middle. Bob told us that the main house had water flowing under the toilets and so would auto flush, right down to the river. Good thing the EPA didn't find out.
These pits were for part of the process to liberate the silver from its residence in the stone. They apparently used arsenic in the process and there is still some there. They didn't want you to get around it.
I had to take a picture of the old machine shop. It just needs a roof, some benches and few motorcycles in there and we would all feel right at home.
There was some building going on in the area where we were. I didn't take any pictures and was torn as to whether I thought it was a good thing or not (as if my opinion mattered anyway). It looked like there was going to be some hotel rooms there, close to the old Hacienda, actually using one of the old buildings.
There is talk of paving the road and there is obviously more and more tourism there. My fear is that by making it easier to get there and less adventurous that it will become more commercialized and will lose some of its appeal, however, the locals could probably use the boost. Whatever is best for them.
We walk back to town and find a nice restaurant old the Plaza Chica called Carolinas. It was muy bien. Himmy on the left, Lt Dan in the middle and me.
It's still customary to have a siesta in early afternoon so "when in Mexico". We hung low for a while and even took a little nap. After our siesta Dan & I did some laundry with the locals.
We washed em' in the river and laid em' on big rocks to dry. There were several local women with their families doing the same and the cows just watched.
We met Martin and his father. They were some more friends of Roberto's.
After having a siesta, doing the wash and just hangin' out for a while we went back to El Zaguan before heading to dinner with Bob and Mary. Romido wasn't there but a few of the locals were playing cards. I didn't watch to see what they were playing but there was money on the table.
Bob had stopped in a small tienda on our way to the ruins earlier in the day and made arrangements for dinner. The restaurant was on the back porch of Dona Clarita's home and the menu is whatever she is having that day.
This is the back porch where we set and the there was a balcony that overlooked the river off of this. WOW, what an experience.
The balcony is to the right in this picture.
The little girl stayed with us most through most of dinner. Of course I took some pictures and she wanted to see them. I asked her name and she told me Anna. Then her mother said her name was Jeniffer. Later I asked her again and she told me "Anna"
Oh man, what a meal. Everything was fresh, fresh, fresh. First we had vegtable soup that was in a chicken stock with fresh carrots, potatoes, onion and large chunks of fresh goat cheese. Then two enchiladas. Again with fresh goat cheese and little small fresh chives cut up on top, just the right size and so tender. I got a pictures of one before is was devoured.
!Muy Sabroso! !Muy, muy Sabroso! Very Tasty!
Our hostess is sitted next to Bob in the top left. Dona (should have tilde on n) Clarita. She was probably 70's and was a very fine cook and lady. When Bob introduced us to her we all stood and took off our hats. She got a huge smile on her face but was quite humble and almost blushing at the same time.
Bob wouldn't let us pay, he wouldn't even tell us how much to leave as a "propina", tip. We left her about 100 pesos which was too much but none of us could have had that experience, for that much, back home.
We left with full bellies and we're still experiencing...
Total sensory overload and total emersion.
Himmy commented that the meal and experience was "Killa". Another source of laughter for the evening.
Last edited by Kev95GS; 01-31-2006 at 04:41 PM.
After reflecting back on our experiences in Batopilas I think about the book I mentioned earlier "The Silver Magnet". In it a phase is repeated several times. "Dios es grande", God is Great. It was used in cases were people may have survived something that should have been disastrous or in cases where indeed just "Dios es grande".
That is the feeling that I have when I reflect back.
God had indeed smiled on us in our adventure. We would probably not have experienced many on the things we did in Batopilas if it had not been for Bob. Mary certainly had a wonderful guide for her first experience in the area as well. She was staying about 2 weeks before taking the train to Los Mochis on the Sea of Cortez, then a ferry to Baja and a bus ride back to the states. Bob said he would stay until it was time to go.
My bike got a new name at the dinner. "La Chica Vieja (b-a-ha)", "The Old Girl", I had been thinking about for a few days and it was made official this night.
It was our last night in Batopilas and as I mentioned before we went to bed giggling like little school girls with the sounds of the night all around us.
We got up the next morning and walked down for breakfast. I had Huevos Rancheros and again "Muy Sabroso". I think Himmy had Hot Cakes and I believe Lt Dan had Huevos con Salchicha, bologna. We walked around for a little and talked with Temo, our bar tender at El Zaguan.
The plan is to head south down the river, through town, and go to Satevo. This village is home to the "Lost Mission". It was apparently built sometime in the 1600's as theree is a bell in the tower with a 1600's date on it. I didn't climb it to verify and you will see why in a minute.
Our way down the canyon to Satevo.
A nice view of the Mission.
What a sight in the middle of this remote place. We were told that the Tarahumara were enslaved to build this and that they were none to happy about. So much so that after if was constructed that they killed 6 or 7 Jesuit priests and they had no other history of killing or warring with others. (not sure as to the validity but take it for what its worth). None the less it is quite impressive.
from the opposite corner
from the alter looking to the entrance
& out the front door to the view. !Dios es grande!
We took the key back to the nice lady who lived behind the mission and headed back up the canyon to Batopilas and the climb back up the canyon.
WE WILL RETURN TO BATOPILAS ONE DAY!
We waved and honked as we went through town and with expectations of new sights and adventures, but fully willing to stay longer in Batopilas, we departed.
Watch out for these guys...
We stopped in La Bufa and talked with some guys on 4 wheelers. They were doing a story for Quad magazine. When I took a picture of the slag I must have hit the button by mistake and took this photo. But it looked like a good fairwell to where we had been. It was completely unintentional.
Adios mi amigos.
Back across the river.
We made our way back up the canyon and back to Creel for the night.
Last edited by Kev95GS; 01-31-2006 at 04:43 PM.
We had told Dona Tina, the owner of Hotel Batopilas, that she was "muy amable", very amiable, hospitible, and she said the same of us and told us to stay with Margaritas in Creel. We believe the owners are related in some way.
When we get to the plaza in Creel another young man runs up to help us out. "Donde esta Margarita's". He indicates that he will show us and takes off in run across the plaza. Gotta keep up. When we get there we realize that it is Raul again. The young man who showed us around the first night. Margaritas is where he wanted us to go the first time, so we obliged this time.
Our friend Raul. I asked him how old he is, 14. "Are you a "chico" or "hombre". "no chico, hombre". Not a boy, a man.
We asked about his bike. It has a flat.
Raul in front of Margaritas
Margarita's was a nice place. It was 550 pesos for a room with 2 beds and bath, but included dinner and breakfast for each of us. Himmy slept on the floor with the air mattress.
Lt Dan and I had a few cold beers in the cantina and were entertained by Pepito and his guitar. His voice filled the room and Himmy said that he could hear him in the room.
Dinner that night was only average as compared to what we had been enjoying so far. It seemed to be a little more "homogenized", maybe since there are more tourists here. Creel is a stop on the train. As we came in we saw flat bed rail cars with many large RV's and automobiles on them. They would put them on the train and travel either from Los Mochis north or from Chihuahua south.
We met several other guests that night. A couple from Montana, I believe, and he was an Iron Butter. He had seen our plates and commented that he had done his Iron Butt aroundd 85.
We also met an English lady, with a quite proper English accent, who was traveling alone and was enjoying her travels.
The next morning we had frost on the bikes and had to move them into the sun to get them started.
The bikes wouldn't start in the morning when we stayed in Creel the first night as well. We think it is a combination of the altitude, cold and gas. They would finally start after Himmy would thumb the starter. Then and only then would they start. It was pretty weird. We laughed but Himmy would get his started first then Lt Dan would have him hit his starter, vaarrrroom, then I would have him hit mine, vaarrroom. Good thing we had Himmy, there was no BMW dealer around. Lt Dan's was always the hardest to start, even though it is a 1200. Go figure.
I had seen this little girl on our first stop here. She was selling baskets and I didn't buy one then. This time I did.
The plan today is to go El Divisadero, basically a train stop with a fantastic view of 3 of the Canyons, a very nice Hotel and some vendors. Then on to Basaseachi and the falls.
We were southwest of Creel and we went a little further south to see if we could find another vantage point. We didn't but we were on the road to Urique. With hindsight we kinda wished we had continued on down into that canyon to Urique, but alas we went back to Creel and on to Basaseachi.
As you come north from Creel you come out of the mountains and pine trees to more pasture area.
We went back through San Juanito and turned west. We traveled through the valley and started back into the mountains again.
I've showed this one before but now it is in context as to where we were.
A little booty shot.
The road to Basaseachi after this picture is AWESOME! Unfortunately it was so awesome I didn't get any pictures. I guess you'll have to go for yourself.
It was just a squiggly mass of curves, climbs, descents, switch backs.
It was getting dark we we reached Basaseachi and we camped for the first time in Mexico. It was very nice, in the pine trees. We set up camp, 50 pesos a man and 25 pesos for an overflowing wheelbarrow of wood for our fire. We needed the fire. Especially in the morning.
It was about 50 or so when we went to bed. I woke up more than once in then night getting cold. Before is was over with I had on 2 pairs of long johns, 2 pairs of socks and was inside 2 sleeping bags. I finally got up at around 5am, got the fire going and hung by bare feet in front of it.
IT WAS 17 FREAKIN DEGREES! FAHRENHEIT!
The hex head just didn't want to start till it got warmed up and Himmy hit the starter.
We met Molly and Max here. They were traveling in their home. They were from New Jersey. Molly, mother, Max, son. Father left and wasn't sure where he wanted to live. So they sold the home, bought a small camper van and had been traveling for about a year while the "dad" made up his mind.
We had breakfast with what we had and Molly and Max shared what they had, for us sharing the fire, and we head off for the falls. We decided we needed to go to another spot to see them because we where on the top side of the falls and wanted to see the away version.
On the way over we went through a Military Checkpoint. We had gone through one on our first day and it wasn't a real big deal. The first one they did want to see through some of our stuff. I my guy wanted to see inside my Kermit chair bag to make sure it wasn't a gun. After they were done they wanted to know if we had cigarettes. I did and gave them a pack.
At the checkpoint this morning they only wanted to know about the bikes. We talked for a while and then...
Oh, they wanted to know if we had cigarettes. I gave them my last 2 American Marlboro Lights and we went on to the falls. We came back through a little later and they just waived us through.
Basaseachi Falls is the 2nd highest in Mexico, it has a free fall of 246 meters. It was quite spectacular even though it was the dry season. I could only imagine it in the wet season.
The lead up..
Tonight would be our last night in Mexico and we head out of the falls and back toward Cuauhtemoc and Chihuahua.