The alpine style village of Creel (2400 meters) [44] is about halfway between El Fuerte and Chihuahua and a pleasant place for our day off. It was founded in 1907 as a railroad depot on the Chihuahua-Pacific line.


Julio from 3 Amigos picked us up early to see the strange rock formations near Creel before heading down to Batopilas [45], a Rarámuri term meaning “alongside the river”. It was a full day; crossing the Basihuare and Copper Canyons and stopping for a picnic lunch before the nail biting 2000 metre descent down a steep winding dirt road to the lovely colonial mining village straddling the river at the bottom of the Batopilas Canyon. Today the town has a population of 1700, but in its mining heyday it supported 10,000. An aqueduct brought water from the river to generate electricity, making Batopilas the second electrified town in México. Next day we walked a couple of hours along the old mule path that leads to Chihuahua 13 days away.


Back up the road and across the canyons and we were at Cusarare (2200 metres) [46] which means “where the eagles fly” in the Rarámuri language. We spent the night at Sierra Lodge, nestled against the side of a small pine covered valley way off the beaten track – no electricity, no telephones, no TV’s, no radios, no Internet.


The following day Julio transferred us to Chihuahua [47] 4 hours away at 1400 meters.  Chihuahua means “dry sandy place”. Founded in 1709, it played a significant role in both the México independence movement and the Mexican revolution. We had guided tour of the city to see the sights and hear the history.


Next morning we were off to the airport for our flight home via Los Angeles and Fiji.  After 2 years travelling, it is time to go home and we are happy to say we managed to travel safely throughout Latin America, from Antarctica to northern México, enjoying the experiences immensely. This will be our last blog!


Waiting for the train in Creel

A Rarámuri couple come into Creel

The effect of erosion ...

... in the Valley of the Mushrooms

Valley of the Frogs

Rarámuri log cabin

Jesuit Mission Church at San Ignacio (1754)

Overgrown Mission cemetery

Little Rarámuri girl selling handicrafts

The Valley of the Monks

In the Valley of the Monks

Lake Araraka

A perfect picnic

Looking down into the Batopilas Canyon ...

... before descending 2000 meters down a dirt road

Wedding Cake Mountain

The Rarámuri like to live on isolated mountain farms

Batopilas Church

The old general store in Batopilas

Pretty cast iron benches around the plaza

Ruins of Hacienda San Miguel (the old silver mine main office)

The aqueduct bought water to run the hydro electric plant for the mine

There is still a rock crushing mill powered by water from the aqueduct

It took 13 days along this old mule path to reach Chihuahua - used up until 1977

Real de Minas Hotel courtyard

The lost Cathedral of Satevo, Jesuit 18th century, built entirely of bricks - unique in this region

S bend in the Copper Canyon River

Rarámuri means he who walks well

The Jesuits built the first church in Cusarare in 1741

In 1973 the church was restored and the interior was decorated in Rarámuri designs

Reflections in the Cusarare River near the Sierra Lodge

Cusarare Falls, about an hour walk from the Lodge

A French style mansion from the silver mining days in Chihuahua

One last Cathedral - Chihuahua