Cock-a-doodle-dooooo, Cock-a-doodle-dooooo, Cock-a-doodle-dooooo!!!!
This all started at 4:20am and proceeded every 20 minutes until we could not handle it any more and packed up from Cuesta Colorado
to adventure to Batopilas
We said our goodbye's and expressed our gratitude to Victor and off we go!!!
Another hill climb, but much better than the day before.
Yet challenging, after 2 hours we could see Batopilas. The downhill was tight, twisty, and much more stable than the day before!!!
We did cross paths with a burned up car and a earlier Dodge Durango abandoned and conveniently had bullet ridin holes in the windshield that we assumed was used for better air flow in the vehicle.
The views of the canyon's were beautiful with the sun climbing over the mountains and the brisk morning quickly began to heat up.
Batopilas was a small town at the bottom of the canyon.
Upon our arrival the kids in the town greeted us with high five's as we drove through. Armed guards sat in front of the local restaurant that we found out later they were guarding one of the cartel leaders. We learned this from 2 tourists from Spain and France who sat next to the cartel at breakfast that morning. We were able to find the only gas station that was a couple of locals with a small pump and very expensive gas.
We had a power bar and moved on. As we pulled out of town the extremely wide gravel road along the river turned into asphalt. That did not last too long since we came across a major road block about a mile into it with boulders the size of a garage covered the road when they fell from above. The road was perfect but the planning of the unstable terrain was not.
Eventually, 17 miles out of town it was impassable!!! This put a HUGE kink in our schedule for the day. They had about a mile of road on an extremely steep terrain that was completely destroyed.
We ended up talking the contractor, named Ian,
rebuilding the road and he said it would not be passable until 6pm! He offered us food and beer at his house in the town below. The town, La Bufa, was 5 buildings that were their homes and their workplace. They fed us steak, beans, French fries, and allowed us to access their satellite internet while we waited the 6 hours for them to build a road. They would not accept money for the food, but did allow us to leave them a tip. I know we have mentioned this several times in this blog, but the people are amazingly nice in this country. They are so giving!
Alan takes a bath in the cold river,
and then restlessness absorbs us while we wait. The feeling of unproductiveness sat uneasy with us as we felt trapped in the canyon walls waiting.
Finally, at about 4pm we decided to wait as close to the road workers as possible. We were eager to be the 1st ones to ride the newly built section of road and made our way up.
We get there to find 2 sections still needed to be cleared and after 2 hours, they had it ready. It was amazing watching them with track hoe excavator's and bulldozers move this rocky mountainside on what looks to be about a 70 degree angle of terrain. They pushed the rock over the edge and we filmed the crashing of the rocks down the hillside and exploding into the river over 1,000 feet below.
We have the approval to move forward, about 20 feet in as Justin passes, the soil from above began to slide. Mark dumped his bike, Alan helped him up, and told him to GAS IT and DON'T STOP!!! You could feel the nervousness of everyone around wondering if the hillside is coming down while they are on it. We passed that section and then were stopped because the next section had part of the terrain above slide back onto the road. By this time it was completely dark out and the only lights seen were from the bulldozer pushing the rock over the edge and hearing it crash into the river below.
Cars, trucks, semi's, and other Adventure Riders from above were coming down the mountain as soon as it opened and were able to pass. One Adventure rider had crashed and could not take it anymore and had to have someone come get her bike while she walked down. She was crying and a little banged up and asked "Why is this road so rough?". Alan gave her some advice to tough it out for the next 1/2 mile and then is get's much easier to Batopilas. BUT, when you get to Batopilas, if you think this road is rough, turn back around and go back to Creel (where we were heading) and don't try to continue past Batopilas. It get's worse the more west you go!!
We moved quickly up the hill, faster than we have ever seen Mark and Pat ride. We climbed to 7,800 feet where the cold quickly set in. The temperatures dropped to 35 degrees and even though we were freezing, we did not want to stop and get warmer gear on. Just keep moving the 75 miles to Creel, in the dark, in the cold, and on a road that we only saw 2 cars on. At one point, Alan and Pat felt pebbles from the Cliffside above hit the tops of their helmets and shoulders, wondering if a large boulder was coming next. When in doubt, GAS IT!!!
Creel could not come soon enough. We stayed at the Cabins of a Best Western and quickly found ourselves in the Hot Tub!! Dinner had a great hot sauce that was the tastiest so far. A local challenged Al and Justin in pool and even though he was good, they still beat him the 1st game. He refused to let them quit so they played again and he was able to take a win!! He wanted to play more, but they decided they better get to bed and prepare for the long day tomorrow and crossing the border back in the U.S.A!!