After a big breakfast at the hotel, we gathered into 2 vans for our day long trip to the bottom of the canyon. Cesar will be our guide for the next 3 or 4 days. He sat in the front of one van and explained some things to us while talking into a CB for the other van. On the way back, he will sit in the other van and talk via CB to the first one. I sat in the back row of the van and couldn’t hear or understand some of what he was saying, so I cannot relate too much. I understand the 2nd van couldn't hear him through the CB radio either!
The ride was 80 miles, about 50 of it paved. The paved road was quite narrow sometimes, but the dirt road was very challenging indeed! Many people who come to see the Copper Canyon don’t get to go to the bottom and stay at the hotel we are going to stay in! The views were fantastic and the ride was jolting, but it was a fun day. Two brothers own a farm about 1.5 hours away from our destination and they always invite the group from Fantasy Tours to have lunch at their place. Cesar and the van drivers brought the food and prepared it while we got out early to do some walking to kill time. But we had to kill more time, so we hung out at the road, then wandered through their orchard. They grow oranges, tangerines, avocadoes, kumquats, papaya, corn, and other vegetables. They irrigate the fields and have plenty of water because their supply comes from a nearby spring that they save because of a cement pool of sorts. They have goats and cattle and at least one dog, also. All look to be well cared for. Lunch was a cheese quesadilla, avocado salad, and a meat mixture of hamburger, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, peppers, and onions! For dessert, we were all given a tangerine just picked from the farm! There was plenty of food and it was all very good! Our driver picked up a young man who needed a ride, so he helped prepare the food, and in return got fed a big meal that he doesn’t usually see!
Because the men had to clean up after the meal, most of us started walking down the road to get some exercise after a few days of food and no activity. It was quite pleasant. There was another hour of driving to go before getting to the hotel but we did get there before it got really dark. The Hacienda del Rio Hotel used to be a hacienda owned by the son of a rich and famous guy who mined and processed silver in Batopilas. I have to take pictures in the morning!
About 4 hours after that big lunch, it was dinnertime! The cooks and wait staff came from our hotel in Creel and we found out that they work here at this hotel when tours come through, but live and work in Creel at other times. Cesar hires them to cook for Fantasy Tours at the hotel there because the regular cooks for the hotel don’t serve good meals! Most of us couldn’t eat very much and apologized. They nodded that they understood, but it was a shame to not be able to eat all the squash soup, carrots, macaroni salad, and chicken legs in mole sauce, with apple pie without the crust for dessert!