Grand, grander and grandest canyons!
There was no station at Posada – just a lean to shelter and a solitary Tarahumara girl selling her handcrafts. With no idea where we were going to stay and only a scattering of houses, it was fortunate that a friendly tour guide pointed us in the direction of Alberto, from the Family Diaz Cabanas. He loaded our bags in the bus and drove us a short distance to his family’s charming establishment, where we had our choice of rooms.
After a brief siesta, Roger and I made the long climb to the rim through the Hotel Mansion Tarahumara “El Castillo”. Hot and sweaty, our troubles quickly evapourated when we reached the top. The sheer splendour of the vista is, simply, breathtaking. Apparently 4 times larger than the Grand Canyon, the Copper Canyon is made up of 6 canyons - Urique, Oteros, Cobre, Tararecua, Batopilas and Sinforosa. As our eyes swept the far distant horizon, we spotted the cablecars – also, someone running the zipline accompanied by hardly audible screams – hardly surprising given the height and distance they were hurtling across the canyon – and not a safety net in site!
This is the true Mexico – rustic simplicity, squeaky clean and authentic home cooking. I’ve never tasted tortillas to equal these – both flour and corn, made fresh on the wood range and served hot with our delicious soup. Chile rellenos accompanied by frijoles, rice and tomato and green pepper salad were next on the menu and to finish it all off there was a beautifully moist apricot sponge cake – the food was the best Mexican I’ve ever had and prepared by 3 generations of gracious and friendly Mexican women. We got to chatting and were joined by one of the sons and the father, who very kindly phoned their friends in Urique and arranged a tour and accommodation for our last night in the Copper Canyon. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble.
Next morning was a 5.30 start again – but not to catch the train – this time it was the sun as it rose over the Barrancas del Cobre. Armando took us back almost as far as Divisadero to a wonderful view site with a walkway around the rim and we arrived with the sky turning crimson, backlit with liquid gold. We had the whole place completely to ourselves – absolute heaven!
Back to a farmhouse breakfast, Mexican style, with avena (sweet oats), eggs, beans and chips, with coffee, toast and tortillas – just what we needed after the long walk back.
Here is a word of caution to any fellow travellers:- when you ask in advance what it costs for the night, make sure it includes meals. We got a nasty surprise when our bill was double what we expected because we had assumed it was all inclusive like the other places.