Panama to Alaska 2008 travel blog

On the train

The view from the train window

Would you like to buy anything?

At a viewpoint overlooking the canyon

Vultures on a cactus

Coffee stop with the Patchetts


4th and 5th June Copper Canyon

The cars have let the train take the strain for two days. We caught the famous train from El Fuerte to Dividasero where copper was once mined. The scenery is spectacular and we enjoyed the series of canyons, which rival those in Arizona, by going for a walk with a small boy as a guide. His presence gave us the confidence to stray much further than we would have done alone with the confidence that we would find our way back to the hotel. Roger Carey accompanied us.

In the evening we stood on the balcony of our room and marvelled at the stars that can be seen when there is no light pollution and, as it happened, no moon. In the morning we got up very early and watched a glorious sunrise.

The Chihuahua – Pacific railroad dazzled us with statistics: the canyon system is 4 times the size of the Grand Canyon and is the deepest one in N. America. The railway also had its own way of dealing with the heat: the Hampsons had an unplanned shower on the train where they were sitting below a leaky air conditioning vent in the bar.

6th June El Fuerte to Hermosillo

Our last complete day of driving in Mexico. We will NOT miss the sleeping policemen but we have had a very happy time here.

At the start of the day the scenery was what we have come to consider typical of Mexico – flat plans with hills poking up here and there and with mountains in the distance which, of course, we have to cross from time to time. This part of Mexico has plenty of cultivation so as well as the forests of cacti (well, only a slight exaggeration) there are fields of maize and even the odd vineyard. We see real cowboys with hats on riding horses and even herding cows from time to time, but not today.

Late morning we stopped for coffee at a roadside cafe with the Patchetts and small children cleaned some of the insects off the windscreens for a small consideration and a picture of the car. Our entry to Hermosillo was not entirely correct but it made very little difference as there was a grid system of roads and we arrived at the hotel at 12.30 to find that the swimming pool was having a clean up and was not available. Robin replaced the fuse that had blown in the radio when I turned up the volume on ‘West Side Story’ too high and I cleaned the inside which was VERY dusty.

In the evening we took a taxi into town with the Woodheads. We peeped into the cathedral and the town hall (modern and fine) before going to a seafood restaurant which served us a good meal. There wasn’t much charm but the welcome and the food were good. There aren’t many foreigners in this last major town before the American border!

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