Location: Mansión Tarahumara Hotel, Arepo, Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, Mexico
HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2008!
7AM - RV Park de El Fuerte.
We are inside RV Park de El Fuerte. It is very quiet. Two RVs are here, MsTioga and one small trailer. Little Mavicito, Ms. GQ and Jorge would like to go on our Copper Canyon tour this morning. First we must make contact with Bill Trimble, owner of the campground.
If we are able to go on the El Chepe train this morning on our Copper Canyon adventure, we plan to post on our blog by using WiFi access or internet cafe. If these things are not found, we will post everything on our return in a few days.
8:30AM - Train to Copper Canyon.
A bunch of people waited for El Chepe, the train to Copper Canyon to arrive. There are actually two trains, a 1st & 2nd class. Everybody waits alongside the tracks. Then the train arrives, and we are escorted into a car, and seated there.
When the train is traveling, it goes maybe 30 miles per hour. And it rocks side-to-side a great deal. Once when I was walking to buy a bag of chips in the lounge car, I fell on a lady sitting down when a big "rock" thru me over!
We traveled thru tunnels and across bridges which went over gently running streams and a large lake. Every once in awhile, our train pulled to the side to let a fright train go by.
2PM - Station Posada Barrancas.
My tour destination is at the train station of Posada Barrancas. That is where Bill Trimble, owner of RV de El Fuerte has booked me. When the train arrived at Station Posada Barrancas, there was a sign that read, "300 meters to Mansión Tarahumara Hotel." It is also called, El Castillo [The Castle]. There were lots of taxis waiting, but 300 meters was not too far for walking.
The hotel is in the Pueblo of Arepo. Up on a hill above the railroad tracks, I could see Mansión Tarahumara. Little Mavicito was taking pics like crazy!! When we checked into the hotel, we were soooooo happy to learn that Bill Trimble had phoned here. We had not met Bill as he was not at his campground when we arrived there. We only left a note on MsTioga explaining our situation. But it has all worked out.
4PM - Jorge is starving!
I was sooooo excited with the train ride, that I did not eat anything during the trip. By this time in the afternoon, I was starving. The owner of the hotel is Maria Barriga. When I explained to Maria that I had not eaten breakfast or lunch today, and was very hungry, Maria showed me into her dining room where she asked the people in the kitchen to fix me a meal. Isn't this the greatest thing?
First I had a bowl of wonderful bean soup. Then came a course with two grilled white fish, white rice and sauteed squash. Man-O-Man! Of course I will eat at the regular supper meal which is served at 7PM.
7PM - Supper time!
About 20 minutes before supper was scheduled, a man knocked on my door. "Come to supper", he said in English. When I went to the dining room, I was shown to a table, but declined saying, "I want to eat with others."
A guest of the hotel heard me, and invited me to eat with his family. Wow! I am sooooooo lucky to meet this family. They are the Uranga Family from the City of Chihuahhua. We are the largest group at one table in the restaurant.
What a grand time I had sharing supper with them. We exchanged email addresses, and promised to write each other.