After waking up in the mainland of Mexico, we hit the road and decided to make a day trip up to a small town near an old silver mine called Alamos. It took about 3 hours to get there and we had to pass a few tolls and even cross the state border from Sinaloa to Sanora. When we finally did get to Alamos, it was a beautiful little old town with very little new architectural development. It had a beautiful town square with a nice mission, similar to the ones we had seen previously in Baja, and a communal gazebo. It seems to be a trend in Mexico to have a big elaborate gazebo in the town center. All of the mini streets in town were cobble stone thin alley-like roads and the town just seemed like it was untouched by time. There were still some conveniences such as a bank, Pemex, and some cell phone stores, but instead of building up new gaudy buildings they utilized what was already there which didn’t take away from the charm too much.
One of the main things we came here to do was to see an old cemetery in town which was touted in our guide book as being something worth seeing. It definitely was very interesting. It was this very elaborate cemetery jam packed with all sized tombs, old mausoleums, and everything between brightly colored children’s crosses to old crumbling and cracked moss grown burial sites. It was near impossible to find a single path through the cemetery it was so packed with tombs. Apparently during a time of disease the cemetery filled up so much that they were unable to bury all of the victims of the sickness that struck the area…I wonder where they ended up.
After seeing the cemetery we went back toward the town center and found a tiny little side street with a restaurant at the end where we had an amazingly cheap and delicious lunch. We couldn’t even eat it all so we took it with us to go and headed back south for 3 hours toward the town of El Fuerte to get a hostel for the night and get ready to go see Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon.) When we got there we met a wonderful Englishman named Richard who we shared rum and cokes with that night and shared travel tales. He has traveled all over the world and helped us plan a loose travel itinerary for the rest of Mexico, Central, and South America. He pointed out some better places to see and routes to take.
The following day we ended up not getting the Chepe train to Copper Canyon because the economica cars didn’t run that day so we stuck around and waited until Friday to get the train with Richard as he was there to see the Copper Canyon as well. So Steve and I took a walk around El Fuerte and it was a wonderful little town, a little like Alamos, but much more loud and modernized in a social way. There were still many old buildings and such. We took a walk around town and ended up finding a movie set there. A film was being shot called “Ciudana Buelna” which was about Raphael Buelna who was one of the generals in the revolution. We didn’t actually see anything but a few important looking people moving vans and carrying filming equipment, but it was still interesting to see.
ElFuerte also had a large gazebo in the town center, but unfortunately it was blocked off for the film crew even though they weren’t using it at that particular moment. We headed off toward the Rio Fuerte which was a beautiful river just behind the town center. We walked along the river for a while and even saw some people swimming across it. It looked like the river had a decent current otherwise it woulda been cool to try ourselves!
After checking out the river we headed back to the hostel and got all the details to take the train up to the city of Creel near Copper Canyon. The only problem was the car. There were no roads that went from El Fuerte to Creel, only from Chihuahua which was on the opposite side of the canyon. We talked to the owner of the hostel about parking our car out front on the street within eye shot of the inside of the hostel hallway and she said it would be fine there for a few days. I’ve got my fingers crossed and alarm/kill switch engaged. So we made sure everything was ready to go and then headed off to bed to wake up early to catch a bus to the train station a few kilometers outside of El Fuerte.