Pictures: Day 4

Day 4 / Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Start: Creel, Chihuahua, 11:00 am
End: Batopilas, Chihuahua, 5:30 pm
Mileage: 92

The courtyard of Hotel Margaritas.

An awesome turn on Hwy 127 heading to the Batopilas turn off.

Rock formations from Hwy 127.

Rock formations from Hwy 127. Can you see a face on the rocks in the middle? Enchanted.

Awesome twisties. Note the beautiful road surface. Looks like it was recently paved.

Rock formations from Hwy 127.

The winding, twisting road of Hwy 127.

Hwy 127

The turn off from Hwy 127 to the town of Batopilas deep down in Copper Canyon. I would be dropping about 6000 ft over 40 miles of crazy dirt road with hair pins and no guard rails. This road to Batopilas is famed in the adventure riding community and here I was about to embark on it. I was super excited.

But first thing I see are construction signs. I hoped this wouldn't block the road or delay the journey.

I missed a detour sign and went a couple miles towards the town of Guguachique over some really challenging terrain for me and was worried I wouldn’t make it to Batopilas before sundown if it was this difficult the whole way. Luckily a local pointed me in the right direction and here I find myself on the right road with some tough road conditions where this truck got stuck. Not too bad for a bike though.

Arrrgh, a water crossing up ahead. Just kidding, this was the extent of the water crossings on this road, just big puddles. The other road to Guguachique has some more significant water crossings, bigger streams.

Enjoying the flat smooth road while it lasted because I knew it would get very challenging up ahead. There was no real spot for lunch, so granola bars it was with Gatorade.

Amazing that he was using crutches on a dirt road, where one misplaced footing and he would fall. He stopped to watch me as I ate my granola bar, so I offered him one and he accepted.

Copper Canyon! The view from the little rest stop before plunging down into the canyon. The little dirt roads on the bottom of the picture is where I'm heading.

I've seen this picture before from previous ride reports.

auDRey taking a break and cooling down before the set of hair pins up ahead.

The rest stop ledge at the top of the canyon.

I was super thrilled to have made it this far with no issues and my confidence in dirt riding was growing by the minute. Prior to this, I had only ridden a few dirt roads in Mississippi and some in New Mexico.

That down there is the famed Batopilas bridge where the tough part of this road is done with.

The awesomely scary (to me) hair pins. One slip and I would've found a short cut to the bottom. It wasn't that bad, but my pulse was racing.

What makes this ride more demanding is all this stunning scenery, plus stopping to take photos of it all. I think this rock formation is called the Seven Steps.

My view. What was challenging was having to pay attention to every rock (some were small boulders) on the road and choosing the path to take that would upset the bike the least. I was also recording all this with my helmet camera.

Admiring the work it took to make this road.

Was thinking that if I had a big dune buggy, it'd be easier to just go straight down the mountain…

Making my way towards the bridge after surviving the hair-pins.

The Bridge. I was now more than half-way to Batopilas on this road. Still around a further 14 miles to go. The question is whether to ride the parallel beams or the middle part. I thought the middle part would be less sturdy for some reason, so rode the parallel beams, which ended up moving my front tire along the cracks.

auDRey at the Bridge.

auDRey at the Bridge.

Took a little break and climbed down to the river to check it out.

Nice little river falls and it was a little cooler down here.

A random shack at La Buffa scenic overlook.

Don't know what was so special about La Buffa scenic overlook. I found more dramatic views elsewhere…

La Buffa

Note the road winding off into the distance along the canyon walls. What a spectacular ride. I was very impressed with the views and the thrill from the road.

auDRrey heading to Batopilas.

There were a few pull-outs to stop and enjoy the scenery, but not many. Or maybe they're actually used for letting opposing traffic pass.

auDRrey heading to Batopilas.

What a road…

It looks like the Mama rock is looking down on baby rock… (I was not hallucinating; don't they look similar?)

Heading towards Batopilas in the late afternoon isn't ideal as the difference between being in the light and being in the shade was quite dramatic, especially with a tinted shield. But the road now was generally more flat and less challenging.

A foot bridge across the river.

Looks like he had massive understeer or brake failure. I'm surprised they've just left the truck there, maybe as a lesson to slow down.

A little shrine to honor lost ones due to road accidents. These were all over the road, especially in dangerous corners. Seems like lots of people have lost their life on this road. And there were quite a few paintings on rocks with "Vivo Christo" (Christ Lives). I guess traveling on this road makes believers out of people.

The road near to Batopilas, which is more flat and easier to ride. Was even up to 3rd gear after hobbling in 1st and 2nd the whole afternoon.

One last awesome rock outcrop before heading into Batopilas.

Heading towards the main square in Batopilas.

The town square, Zocolo in Spanish.

The main street near the town square.

My hotel, Casa Real de Minas, run by a real nice guy, Martin who has welcomed many previous adventure motorcyclists.

He even provided some secure parking for my bike.

The courtyard of Casa Real de Minas. Very classic setting.

My nicely decorated room for $35, which came with A/C but no TV (which wasn't missed).

Clean bathrooms.

After a quick shower, I took a walk around the town. The local chapel.

Indigenous people of this region, the Tarahamura. They are generally very shy and it's recommended that you ask before taking a photo, which I did.

Walking towards the edge of town…

I noticed this girl who was cautiously crossing the river. The bridge was about a 10 min walk away. I think this river is mainly fed by rain fall and its height probably changes throughout the year, allowing for river crossings as the level drops.

A mural on the school's playground showing a Tarahamura child playing, studying and being cultured with regular Mexican kids. That's the local dress of the Tarahamura men. I think they face some of the assimilation issues the Native Americans endured in the US or any other indigenous people face in other countries.

Kids playing soccer. Gooooooooal!

My dinner at Dona Micas, which is basically the front porch of their house with a few tables.

I'm sitting in their porch and that's the kitchen right there. Talk about a home cooked meal.

I asked what was for dinner and she said Carne something (steak), which sounded good and tasted awesome. My Spanish is very limited, but I managed with my phrase book. Dinner was about $5. And note all the business cards under the table cover of all previous patrons. Lots of various rider organizations had been there, various BMW dealers and tour operators from around Mexico and Central America. I duly left my card there too.

Just a picture of a little supermarket where you give your list of items to the store keeper and they get the items for you, just like back in the day or in any less developed part of the world. Higher efficiency brought about the modern super markets where the customers get their own items.

The town square at night. People were sitting along the benches and just taking it easy.

The ornate benches lined around the town square.

Not sure what this place is but looks like it was decorated for the recent Independence Day celebrations of Mexico (Sept 16).

La Valencia, which was the only place to get a cold beer (cerveza fria) and relish that I had made it down to Batopilas successfully. Now for the ride back up tomorrow morning…

Next: Day 5, Riding up from Batopilas and on to Hidalgo del Parral

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