18 August – Day 27
On closer inspection, there’s not all that much to do in Creel. There’s one main street with shops (mainly tourist shops selling tshirts, hats and Tarahumara handicrafts) extending for about 100m… and that’s it!
After a leisurely morning that included breakfast at our hotel (where we were able to identify and name two out of the three things on our plate), we jumped on the bike and headed to the Copper Canyons. The Copper Canyons (or Barranca del Cobre) consist of six distinct canyons which, overall, are bigger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the US. So – it’s pretty impressive!
The trip up to the main lookout point over the Canyons also resulted in the most noticeable old and run down vs new and deluxe juxtaposition for the trip so far: the road up to the main lookout is potholed and in some parts, just plain old dirt that is so rough, they don’t let all cars go through there – there’s a free shuttle train like the one that does the rounds at Darling Harbour from a carpark to the lookout. There’s an entrance station with a boom gate at the start of the road – with several windows broken, cement chipping off the outside wall – and the boom stuck in the open position. Then there’s a brand spanking new ampitheatre, a shiny cable car, a mini golf course, bungy trampolines for kids and more – all super deluxe, no expense spared type productions. And yet neither the mini golf nor the trampolines were staffed (or looked like they’d ever been used). It was bizarre.
The view, however, was amazing – it’s just so vast. Much greener than the Grand Canyon, with a few Tarahumara houses and small corn fields dotted around.
We had to move hotels for tonight, as the hotel we initially stayed in had a tour group coming in. So we ended up just down the road – and in a room next to an Aussie couple from Adelaide who are travelling from South America up to Canada two up on a bike. So we had dinner with them, which was great – it was nice to share tips about what’s ahead, given that they’ve been where we’re going and vice versa. Although we were only at the restaurant/pub until about 10pm, we were the last people to leave – and had to get security to let us out of the premises; they’d locked the gate! That’s a first for the trip – getting locked in to a restaurant…!