Day one Matzatlan
|the blue bus|
|7am and waiting|
Up at 5am - we need all the time we can get and not knowing if taxis would be ready we were leaving early. Locking up unit #2 we felt safe leaving our second home. The taxi was there and we arrived at the pickup point earlier than planned - 7am. Finally the big blue bus arrived and Noel, our guide, jumped out and asked if
|relaxing after the bus ride|
|Noel - the Guide|
|looking for illegals|
Noel has explained that we would not be doing the City Tour today; it was Carnivale time. So a couple of hours spent downtown, not seeing much because the instructions were wrong and we were at the wrong end of the Parade. What we did see was colourful and enjoyable.
Day 2 El Fuerte
|Posada del Hidalgo|
After a couple of hours we encountered another problem – the air conditioning packed up. One of the passengers told of a trick to stop slipping belts (engine belts) – drop antifreeze on the belt – it worked for about thirty minutes. So the rest of the trip was spent hunting fresh air. But we did get to buy beer at the truck stop!
|Inside the Posada|
|A view of the Town|
|Zorro and his band|
Day 3 the train
The journey really begins. At the train station by 8am we climbed aboard at 8.20. Found our seats, after initial confusion as the guide was struggling to organise the luggage and have us seated in our numbered seats. Settling down to a four hour ride it was ‘miller time’ again; another expensive libation but worth it.
|The train on a bridge|
|The Hotel garden|
|A misty morning|
|I went walking these folks|
drank coffee in front of the fire
|The Town Gaol?|
Back to the hotel for a large Mexican breakfast and then the official walkabout. Saw the Church, local grocery store and the Square. Next stop the railway station after another trip down the new construction and one lane road. Since the problems with the missing bags ( a couple of bags had not been transferred from the last train and were found at the end of the line) everybody was herding their bags much more carefully today. This train ride was only ninety minutes – hardly time to down an expensive beer.
|Charles and his mother's |
|The cliff houses|
Apparently these dwellings have been against the cliff for about fifty years proving some people will build where they can and now are part of the local tourist trade. All we know is that the climb consisted of two hundred and fifty steps both ways.
Entertainment at six consisted of one man on a guitar and a good looking women dressed as a cowgirl. Singing a mixture of Mexican and American songs his one hour medley was the lead in to Dinner. With no internet or TV the conversation at dinner was long and lively – twenty eight people had blended well. The highlight of the day was the discovery at the Barrancas rail station that a member of the group was still on the train. Noel the trusty guide hustled to the next train station, he described the driver as a maniac (hard to imagine since all Mexicans normally drive like maniacs) and they pulled into the next station just as the train pulled in. Hauling the miscreant off the train to rejoin the group, the tour resumed.
|Hotel Mirador, |
on the mountain
|Sunrise in the Canyon|
|Ready to go|
|One of two footbridges|
|The double zip with the addition of the 'catcher'|
On to zip five – eleven hundred meters long, it was the longest of the runs. Because the lines were not tensioned really tight the weight of the line made it sag considerably. Consequently to make the weight needed to be able to get to the other side two zippers had to join together. One would be in front of the other assuming the normal zipping position the other would be hanging close and wrap their legs around the body of the front one. In theory it was good. I was paired with a sturdy Mexican lady and all should have been well. But we ended up ten metres short. Not able to perform the usual drill – swivel one-eighty and then hand over hand, I wondered what was to happen as we hung there. I attempted to hand over hand from the back but found it difficult. Help was at hand; the catcher had zipped to our position and hooked his roller to ours and he was able to hand over hand us back to the stand.
Finishing the remaining stages without mishap we arrived at the cable car location and were soon in the entertainment complex. Back to the hotel and then the station to catch the train back to El Fuerte, connect with the bus and on to a new hotel – The Santa Anita hotel in Los Michos. The last free dinner – a seafood plate, a little dry and warm but we were supposed to be here two hours earlier!
Day 6 Back to Matzatlan
Leaving dead on eight we left the City of Los Michos, founded by an American who built the railroad now an industrial City set in the marshes of the delta, for five hours on the highway back to Matzatlan. The A/C has been fixed and now we are in comfort but the A/C only has two positions high and off so wait for the complaints. Fifty minutes into the trip the complaints have started; too cold, now too hot. We can report that after the first pee stop two hours in, the heat came up and we needed the max A/C then we heard no more complaints.
|The fields South of Matzatlan|
Other pics of the area
These pics didn't fit the narrative but I liked them
|Acres of greenhouses|
On the bus by eight and no stops until the refuelling two hours in. Next a lunch in Las Valas, totally Mexican, the mesaritas certainly did not speak English, but we made it through with the help of Noel. The last two hours passed quickly as we recognised locations from earlier trips or the way up last week. The last act of kindness was the dropoff at the condo location – sparing us a taxi ride.
Thanks to SuperiorTours of Puerto Vallarta