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14/7-10/8 2003   INFO and DIARY 1  


 Map + Plan 

 Diary 1 2 3


 I've seen some of the world's rainforests, and thought it might be fun with a little change: Deserts. An exciting and not least versatile nature is found in Mexico, where some of my plants originates from. (I collect Caudiciforms). My girlfriend Rikke could be lured with pyramids, beaches, coral reefs, primeval forests and then some of her plants come from there too (Rikkes). My old travel companions Jesper and Morten don't have to be lured; it was enough to mention the date and the country, then they were turned on. They were slightly delayed by a holiday in Ireland, but they join us the last three weeks. It's actually just in the rainy season, where they get twice as much water as Denmark, but we bet it will be in shorter, more intense showers, not like the annoying Danish summer rain.

14.7 2003. We take the morning train to Kastrup, where the check-in presents some problems: We cannot sit next to each other on the short flight to Frankfurt. Problems continue in Frankfurt: The man at the check-in rejects us: Our boarding cards issued in Kastrup are invalid - next! It turns out that not only has the guy in Kastrup moved us to a later flight, we are also not going to sit next to each other to Mexico City! The German is piss arrogant, only speaks German quickly, and the whole essence of what he says is: It's not my problem, you just can't fly! The moral is: NEVER use Lufthansa!!!

 Eventually, we reach Mexico City, where some "person-transport" drives us to the Arrivals Hall. Huge, extra-wide bus-like trucks that, on two huge hydraulic pistons, lift themselves to door height on the aircraft. Pretty smart, haven't seen it before.

 We had planned to be in Mexico City before dark, and be picked up by the pre-booked hotel. Thanks to Lufthansa's "fantastic" service, we are forced to take the subway (taxis also discouraged) to downtown. Nice stations and carts. The ticket costs DKK 1.40, and you can use all ten lines all day, as long as you stay underground.

There is very dark, but a lot of activity in the centre. With the warnings we read, the mood is a bit depressing! We find the center's very large cathedral, which looks unusually beautiful (but also very murky) in the dark. It must be high season; we have a hard time finding a couple of beds. End up in a three-year-old hostel, on a six-person doom, in two very shabby bunk beds. Even after just over a day, sleeping properly will have trouble. We give 150 kroner, but then there is also breakfast. The first beers I see are Negre Modelo, which is very funny, as I have just put them on as "Beer of the Month" at Elmer's Pub while we are away.

 15. After a somewhat restless night, we roll out of the beds. In the room's sink stand a toilet bag which is substantially larger than my entire 2.5 kilo luggage. So I do not understand what people are dragging around, and not at all, that they bother! Of course, there is no more hot water, but you have to have a bath: Brrrrr!

The breakfast is a little tame, but it may not surprise. We talk to Christian, who is here to visit his Danish girlfriend. Outside, the streets are teaming with WV beetles. Most are taxis, but there are all sorts of variants from police cars to abbreviated, vans, convertibles and what do I know. They were made in Mexico until last Thursday! There are also many of the old VW transporters, such as taxis or minibuses.

As we take the subway back to the airport, the temperature rises from 25 to 30 degrees. The humidity stays at 75%. As we wait, we experience how locals use their many cell phones as walkies: talking, Apollo-beeping, and then holding the microphone to your ear! Besides, it makes it easier for others to keep up with the conversation, I don't know what it is good for. The one with the apollo beep may be because they only have one channel at a time, just like the walkies?

We get on board, taxis out, but end up on a siding. Waiting an hour or so, something fell off the plane, and the pilot would like to bring it along. The explanation is in Spanish, just like everything else, but the translation my sidekick gave was about that. After they have found the bit, gum and steel wire, we take off.

Two hours later, we land in San Jose del Cabo, on the southern tip of Baja California: the enormous peninsula that is parallel to the rest of Mexico. During the approach we pass huge plains, densely populated with column cacti. Stepping out of the plane is like stepping in front of a huge blow dryer, but the humidity is at least slightly lower than Mexico City. The clock should be set an hour back, but it will take a while before we find out!

There are no buses to the bus station from the airport. We have to take an expensive shuttle, give 100 kroner for the half hour trip. An American family of four gives 1000 kroner to drive for five minutes before, but then they get dropped off at the Sheraton too! We pass relatively poor neighbourhoods, but among the old wrecks, there are big, nice and not least new American cars. Almost only the Mexican-produced WVs are not American. Among the trucks, only new Volvo's are not American. Meet several road trains: Trucks like our big one, just with two trailers!

We have just half an hour for a toast before the bus runs north. The landscape is dry; we see iguanas, vultures, five to ten different cacti and yuccas. The driver puts on the music: It starts with a wailing horse, and then becomes pretty Herb Albert-like: trumpet, harmonica and a singer. The bus itself, like the others we ride, is quite delicious. High to the ceiling, really good leg-room, even when he is in front flip his seat all the way down (and it is far!) The air-conditioning keeps the temperature at comfortable 23-25 ​​degrees. One of the first countries I've been, where it should not go down to uncomfortable 18 degrees. Many buses show movies. Unfortunately, many are in sync, but they are new, American, and Rikke had not seen 75% of them!

We drive up the west coast, right out to the Pacific sometimes. Here is dry, very dry. Mainly huge columnar cactus with yellow flowers, up to 16 meters, opuntias, small trees and shrubs without leaves. It hasn't rained yet this year. There are not many animals; a red bird floats by, a woodpecker chopping in a cactus. An hour can go by without us passing a building.

The road is two narrow tracks that meander through wild hills and our driver holds it in the best rally style at 100 kilometres per hour. There is a toilet in the back of the bus, but the chance to reach it is low! After a few hours, we arrive at La Paz, the area's only major city. There are actually over 2000 kilometres to the nearest major! Close to 170,000 people live here. We find a hotel for 120 kroner, a price that is generally quite common throughout Mexico. It's the quality that fluctuates tremendously!

Find an internet cafe, so we can keep in touch with the brothers. The price for half an hour is from four to ten kroner. They write there is a hurricane on the way, which has already cleared up well in the southern United States. Rikke calls her mother home and tells her, we have managed the flights. The local museum should have a cactus garden. We find it, but what a disappointment. Towards the centre again. Many roads have been paved, but now roads and sidewalks are mainly stone and gravel - it is dusting!

We get some tacos, and find the "tourist area" along the water. Seeing some whites, but two streets inside the city, nobody can say a word of English. Here is a plethora of small shops with everything from clothes over enameled hardware to drugstores and restaurants. Darkness falls and we find our home. There is no TV in the room, so the entertainment after nine o'clock consists of laundry. We travel with extremely little luggage, so that needs to be washed regularly. The beds are not rickety here - they are made in brick-walls! Short but good. Unfortunately, in most places, American giant pillows are used, which just can't be knocked flat. We just notice a touch of the hurricane's outer arms, but nothing serious.

 16. We get up at half past seven. It's already 25 degrees and humidity is between 75 and 80%. We walk off the dusty streets, see a hummingbird, flame trees, huge euphorbia-like cacti, agaves and some tiny pigeons. The first eating place opens at eight o'clock, late in our stomachs! Rikke spend the wait by scratching her insect bites a bit.

We finally find toast bread, orange juice, water and seven bananas for 18 kroner. Around the corner is the first open cafe, and then there is coffee, freshly squeezed juice, burritos, bean mash and avocado salad for 40 kroner.
We see some furry and very cool dogs. In general, all Mexican dogs are very cuddly, and only a few places looked lean and lousy.

 We jump on a bus at nine, and drive through a slightly greener landscape, where the bushes have leaves on. There are small round tufts of epiphytes on the power lines, new fig and small column cacti. These are some sandstone mountains, we ride among, which very weathered. In between, the fantastic blue sea emerges, on the other hand, there are absolutely no buildings for hundreds of kilometres. Watching frigate birds, cormorants and pelicans in the bays.

We jump off the bus at three o'clock in Santa Roselina. Fortunately, the bus station is in the same building as the ferry office. It turns out that the ferry we would have booked for Thursday first sails Friday. Our schedule is very tight for the first nine days, until we meet the brothers. The man at the counter also tells us that we can only book it tomorrow, as we are far from here. Hmm, so to plan B: Ignore the problem and it will probably disappear. Plan C is a flight from somewhere on Baja to somewhere on the mainland.

We wait half an hour (and then just another hour), and then take the bus to San Ignacio. There are no seats available, but Rikke gets the guide seat and I step up to the aisle. A little scattered, small fields appear, with goats, donkeys and a few cows and horses. A military check takes everyone's luggage out of the cargo hold of the bus, and look through the bag / cardboard boxes. As usual, we only have hand luggage, and can stay in the comfortable temperature of the bus.

30 kilometres outside Santa Roselina, and again 68 kilometres before San Ignacio there are fantastic cacti, among other football-sized barrels and some "new". We are unfortunately with today's second (and last) bus, so it only turns into some feverish shots through the window. Here are six to seven feet high columns with up to fifteen side branches, each with a diameter of 25-30 centimetres. Others are thinner, maybe ten centimetres (organ?), Some are angular like star fruits. Various barrel cacti, some with yellow, others with red thorns. Then there are some one and a half meters high "cacti trees" with different variations of thorns. Others look like dark snakes. Then there are small columns with long thorns and opuntia with different variations of thorns. There are also some small agave-like growths, no more than half a meter high.

Jump off at a gas station and a few scattered restaurants. It turns out later, the city itself is a few miles down a side road. A large whale skeleton stands at a shoulder, and next to a few signs pointing towards some hotels. We head down there, and get to a cosy place. It is owned by two Canadians who moved here three years ago. They only have one available "room": Their "back-packer tent". In fact, they only have tents, ours is just the smallest.

Here is parquet flooring and ordinary furniture as well as a really good bed. Brand new and clean toilet / baths, which the only place in Mexico: Throw the paper in the toilet, and not in the bucket next door. A habit that is as difficult to learn as to get rid of! Their place is named: Ignacio jumps.

We have to pay 200 kroner, but then there is also breakfast and canoes. I ask, if I can change the canoe for a horse. That said, but they only have one right now. We go for a little walk, and then return to sail a little trip on the very wide river that forms the back-boundary of the camp. Considering we have only been running in almost golden landscapes all day, and that there is only less than half a meter of rain (the years that fall somewhat) here, I really wonder where all the fresh water comes from?

The darkness falls and we go back through the camp's palm and citrus groves. Small bats emerge, catching the many may bugs that swarm around the lamps. Down from the river, the very deep rumble is heard from large bull frogs.

We drink evening coffee with the Canadians and an American turtle rescuer. Here are some good reserves, and in addition to becoming a professor, she has a good sense of doing something good. We hear that planes go to the mainland every day. The ferry takes eleven hours, sails at night, and costs 500 for a seat and 1000 for a bed in a doom. The food comes on top. The plane takes 35 minutes and costs 750. It is quickly settled, then we just need to book the plane.

 17. After a death-like sleep, we get up at seven. Eggs, bacon and fresh fruit, and then Rikke is ready for a nap. I put on my shoes and go for a walk. 100 meters outside the camp, the first cacti show up. Taking some photos - well, yes: it turned into 70! Here is everything from huge columns to mini Mammillarias. Special slide show: Cacti. Watching small earthworms, lizards, hummingbirds, vultures morning-heating, woodpeckers, some shy cows and a snake skeleton. Here are some cactus flowers, but no seeds. After three hours, I wander into the camp. Ended with a walk up a large hill / small mountain.

Rikke has been with the wife inside the city to raise money for their restaurant. She just couldn't; the machine says the card is blocked. We sit in the camp for the cicadas' song, and have fun and read, until we can get a new lift into the city. My two cards are also blocked. "Maybe our bank panicked when suddenly large sums of money were drawn in a foreign country?" I think more is their machine that does not "speak Danish". Fortunately, we have US $ in back-up.

Gets a piza-slice, and head up and sees the church. It is built of lava stone and there are a few other nice houses in town. The grocer makes a deal in blue-enamelled cookware and dusty shoes. The city was supposed to be the centre for whale tourists, but unfortunately this is not the time of year. We are the only whites.

We walk home and spend a few hours in the shade. The temperature is 32C and the humidity is not below 80%. Some large ground squirrels play on an old rock, and a few woodpeckers look for lichens and other small animals in the palm trees. A bus should probably go back to Santa Rosalina at three o'clock, so we go up to the whale and wait. Asking at the grocer who was supposed to sell tickets. "No, it first at seven o'clock". It's a little late, and then it's dark before we're there. We are going with a plane (maybe) tomorrow morning, so we will spend the night in Santa Rosalina.

Ask a truck driver, who keeps siesta on the tank. He waits for load, and may not drive until eight. We sit in the heat, but in the shade under a concrete half-roof. The sun goes down and the shadow fades away. The heat does not. Suddenly, a truck starts next door. Same company, and he sat and talked in the other's truck, but it has to be tried: I just catch him in the start prayer. "Sure, we can drive to Santa Rosalina". We drive with a large load of frozen octopus and all 16 gears are needed and not least the engine brake. Once we stop so he can regulate the heated brakes. New prayer, and then we head on.

The surroundings looks better than yesterday. Much of the trip is through total gold desert, not even cacti. A few dead cows in the shoulder are completely mummified. We see almost no road-kills in Mexico. Of those we see, up to 90% are dogs, and there are actually plenty of them. In contrast, we generally see very few wild animals, neither in desert nor rainforest areas.

We arrive a little to six, on the main road outside the city. Asking for the way to "centoro" and walk up the mountain. A ravaged mini-city bus passes, and we jump on. It drove the right way and we jump off the main street. There are still some open shops here, but we try an ATM first. Both of our cards work - great! Coffee, Corona and a small snack.

Here are almost no other whites, but little street vendors try us. Like everywhere else in Mexico, they take a "no" in response or just a head shake. Really comfortable! The city lies at the bottom of a huge gorge, whose barren sides are almost crushed.

We find a motel where we get a cold but necessary bath. Dinner at a small but good local snack where we are probably the first white (/ red!). Net cafe for 6.50 kroner for an hour, and then home for laundry, despite the TV in the room. Like so many places around the world, TVs are loosening up in almost all Mexican cafes, restaurants, waiting rooms. Almost everywhere the reception is so poor that you can only glimpse, it is the same "star of an evening show" that runs everywhere.

 18. Wake up at seven, in a 30 degree warm room, with a humidity above 90%. Outside, there are four degrees cooler and a slight breeze. We stroll down the town, where people greet us and others nicely. After breakfast we head down through the city, towards the port office, where the airport company should have an office next door.

We are a little late, and after walking a few kilometrs, we take a taxi - around the corner; the last few hundred meters to the post office. Then there are just a few kilometres to go out to the airplane office it turns out.
Reach it on time, but they have moved us to the next flight. There were probably some that were more important and their bookings are comfortably written in pencil! Never mind, we're still only about an hour behind the plan we made from home!

Walking back to town and having a really good early lunch. Back to the office and into a fancy coffee restaurant. The plane leaves at twelve and we should be there half. Now we are getting use to the Mexican timetable, so it surprises us, as the minibus driving to the airport, stops in front of the restaurant and honks. Haven't figured out yet, how they knew we were sitting on their back patio watching the waves and pelicans?

We drive for half an hour and find the "airport" a few minutes to twelve. It's just a long strip of desert cleared for cacti! A small shed and three soldiers. The driver calls the plane, we get our little bags looked through, and then the little Cessna A02 lands. The plane is full, five in the cabin and one next to the captain. The luggage are stored in the nose and behind the engines in the wings.

We take off at twelve! Landing at Guayma Airport 35 minutes later. We share a minibus into town with two businessmen. They jump off before us and I have the feeling, we didn't split the bill! We are dropped off at the bus station, where there is room for two buses. Have just time for some food and drink. I'm impressed with so many Mexican buses having tire pressure regulation while driving. Have only seen it on the big Paris-Dakar teams cars. The clock must be reset!

We head southeast toward Alamos. Here is immensely dry! When we are close to the coast, you can see green mangroves. The temperature reaches 34 degrees, the humidity is about 75%. Inside the bus there is comfortable. Of course, there is a smoking ban. In fact, very few people smoke. There are no advertisements for tobacco here. I was expecting everyone to pulse from the age of twelve to fourteen.

New cacti are still emerging along the way. Large columns with several rows of thorns, fig cactus with huge yellow thorns, barrels up to one meter and some quirky thin, long branches with large thorns and tiny little leaves. Several times we pass bullfighting arenas, some are a circular fence on a gravel field, others closed stages.

The landscape flattens out, and we reach a huge valley where there are large puddles. Black clouds emerge and lightning strikes the sky. The first fields appear. We stop for a while in the great city of Ciudad Obregon, and then continue through lush, irrigated fields. Here's still the cacti; fig cactus with small leaves, some large at three meters and thin column / organ pipe cactus.

We spend half an hour in Navojoa before driving back a little off the main road and up towards Alamos in the same bus. We pass huge chicken breeds, pigs, cacti and a large brewery. Large green hills, covered with shrubs and small columnar cactus. Some winds are coming, it's rainy time.

Cute little mountain village but with amazing few hotels. Find a really nice one, right next to the square. Balcony, new but classic colonial style, hot water, toilet-table (rarity!) And good beds. We may be fined 300 kroner, but there are not many (if any) alternatives, and it is getting late. Many beautiful buildings, but still it surprises me that the whole city is protected. Almost all the buildings are very worn / dilapidated. Above us lies the high Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range.

People greet us nicely as we arrive. There is a man lying flat on the sidewalk. It turns out, he is outside a bar. It's Friday and it seems normal. Seeing more lying in alleys and along the river. In the middle of the large, tree-lined square, they are setting the stage for music. We get a couple of good hot dogs with Sangria sodas for 15 kroner - in total!

It starts to drip, it's almost dark, so we find our way back to the hotel. At Baja, it got dark at nine, here it is only eight. Just buy some canned nachos and salsa at a grocery store. In the part of Mexico we've been to so far, the food places open very late. Many times, only at eight in the evening. Later we come to a town where the last one closes at eight!

After the traditional laundry, I open the salsa can with the room key and a large wooden sculpture. Here, as in the vast majority of rooms we live in, there is a double and a single bed in the rooms. There are very few places we use the air-conditioner (if there is one), but we usually enjoy the fan in the ceiling.

 19. I sneak out at six o'clock, and walk through the almost empty city. In the local market, there are only a few open stands. I find a bottle of water, and see some fist-sized tubers. Is possibly a one-year vegetable, so they are allowed to keep them. I cross the river, and walk through humble huts with lush gardens, up a mountain road. Can't really find out to nature, but is finally allowed to walk through a garden.

A dense scrub covers the steep slope. Unfortunately, there are several acacias among the bushes, and their powerful, two centimetre-long thorns are hard on my delicate skin! In many places, I have to cross barbwire, and at one point, I suddenly encounter a nervous horse. I whine a little, in the best horse whisper style, and it relaxes. Here are not many cacti, just some thin columns and some thin "trees". Watching a couple of cardinal birds up close. They glow brightly in the green with their bright red plumage.

Have a little trouble finding down, without having to go through the acacia bush, but find a ravine. A new backyard and I'm back in civilization. Slightly torn, thoroughly dirty and excessively sweaty, I return to the square. Here I meet the city's (presumably) only English-speaking resident: The shoe polisher in the square. We talk a little about the Mexican spring beans, for which the valley is famous. It is the unique place in the world they live, and we are here at just the right time. Apart from that, the rain came a little late this year and the month they are found in, is postponed. Bummer, I was really looking forward to see them.

Mexican jumping beans are not really beans, they are the seeds / nuts of Sebastiana pavoniana, a member of the Euphorbiaceae family, on which a moth; Laspeyresia saltitans has laid an egg in the flower. When the seeds are ripe, the plant throws them as usually. If they get it too hot, the larva "clicks" inside the seed, to get it jumped into the shade. The seeds cannot germinate, they are completely hollow. After a month of jumping, the larva gnaws an area of ​​the seed completely thin, and crawl out here and pubbes. Next summer, just before Sebastiana pavoniana flowers, they come out of the pub, find a partner, and the ring is completed.

I get a much needed bath, and wash my clothes - again. As it dries, we sit on the balcony looking out over the square. Big green beetles are flying around, otherwise it is pretty quiet. After half an hour, the clothes are dry and we find breakfast - for 130 kroner! Almost ten times as expensive as dinner! Then we see the magnificent cathedral and an excellent museum. The city has fostered a well-known person, who was both a well-known doctor and show-man. Like most other museums we visit, everything is in Spanish only. Then there is a little about mining and a lot of old sewing machines from 1730 to 1910.

Walking through the city's paved streets, the most impressive are the up to one meter elevated sidewalks. There is a lot of water during the rainy season, and it has not just been created for fun. Some places in the middle of the city are tall, long walls, and when an opening finally arrives, a citrus field or similar is revealed - quirky.

At eleven o'clock, we take the bus back to Navojoa, and change bus from another bus station. There can be more than five bus stations in a smaller city. Each is located in a block, right in the centre. The office in the "business", the courtyard filled with buses. Pretty hard, until you get the idea. A Mexican suddenly asks me, in the middle of the waiting room, if I don't speak Danish. Not only that; he does it in fluent Danish! Has been an exchange student in 1999. After 20 minutes we continue towards Mochis.

It passes through lush cornfields and large areas completely covered by tangled fig cacti. Here are the first cows, similar to ordinary black and white dairy cows. We arrive half an hour ahead of the schedule from home. Finds out to the tourist office - which has holidays closed! Then we just find the botanical garden. It is bigger than the Common Park, but hardly as interesting! Looks like a single big black iguana.

The hotel we finally find, is not only expensive but also very used! The frame is almost gone by previous burglary, no air-conditioning or fan. You can miss it in a small enclosed room with 30 degrees and 100% humidity! The beds sheets were clean - when they were put on, sometime last year.

The city has been disappointing enough, so we are not high on dinner: KFC. They even have mini jalapenos and salsa packs along with the ketchup. Suddenly discovering the clock must be set an hour forward. We pass by some street vendors selling fruits and leaves from fig cacti.

We are actually here in town to get a ride with a special train, up the mountains. As we find the office, it is closed. It is located in a large and upscale (and not least; expensive) hotel. Tests at reception. Very good English speaking guy. Can't help us with the bus to the station, or booking, but we get the times and a hint that the hotel has a minibus for the station in the morning. We head home to our "hotel" through the first showers, and arrive before a tropical rainstorm breaks out. It takes the worst of the pressure, but the lightning knocking around the hotel for a long time, and setting up car alums.

 20. The clock beeps half past five! Tumbles over to the expensive hotel, and drive out to the train station outside the city. Quite a lot of people. Will finally get two tickets for 800 kroner at first class. The second-class train runs in an hour, but it runs slower, stops several times and is often delayed. We even get seats in the right side of the train. Runs in a ravine, mostly on the left side, so the right side gives the good view (yes, I have prepared some).

Very nice looking conductors; cap with large brass badge, vest and jacket and the right attitude. We drive slowly - real slow! Maybe only 30 kilometres per hour. Later, we may reach 50, but it's still slow! Maybe it is due to the poor quality of the tracks, maybe it is not to take the speed off the steep sections of the stretch. In any case, it provides ample opportunity to look at the poor cottages up the track. The gardens are flooded, the cottages just crashing, but they are inhabited. Their cars range from wrecks to big new ones.

Then we leave the settlement, and drive across some bare fields. Later it becomes green hills, covered with shrubs. They grow into mountains with cacti. We enter a narrow, but very deep gorge, with a large rushing river at the bottom. There is something Tyrol-like about it. Well, yes, until you look at fig cacti and agaves. Some fig cacti have leaves up to 30 centimetres, and there are at least four different agaves, some slender, others really fat.

As we reach the coniferous zone, we head to the bar cart for coffee. The train consists of a locomotive, a restaurant trolley followed by a bar trolley and three passenger cars. Like so many other places where tourists come, there are smiling, but also heavily armed policemen. Outside, one waterfall slides past another. Huge bridges bring us across side gorges, and rare times; over on the other side of the main gorge.

In El Divisaderio we cross the pass to an altitude of about 2400 meters. We stop to take photos of the huge gorge that reveals, and look at the myriad souvenir stalls and cafes that have sprung up. The gap itself is 1760 meters deep: Big hole!

We don't lose much height until we reach Creel after ten hours and 360 kilometres. A cosy little mountain town with 4600 inhabitants, 2338 meters above sea level. We had decided on a hostel, and a couple of little boys led us over to it. It costs 200 kroner, but then there are also two meals included.

We walk down through the city. It actually only consists of restaurants and souvenir shops, but besides a few whites at the hostel, we are the only ones. We get an ice cream and return to a hot shower. There is even a heater in the room, but it is also said; it can snow in the winter. I still have the feeling of driving, not very comfortable.
It will be time for dinner, which is not surprisingly vegetarian, and not very good. We get to sit next to a couple of Danes, who have roughly travelled the other way. Shares some experience and hears a little about the area.

Among other things, we are in town to see some rock formations called; Wally of Erect Penises. We actually saw them from the train and now it turns out, you can only get out there by riding or cycling for six hours. Plan B: We'll see Wally of Musrooms instead! Book a tour at the hostel for the next morning. Cool evening; the temperature is down to 22 degrees.

 21.  We are awakened by numerous cocks at seven o'clock. The trip we had booked has been merged with another one, which takes a little longer but also brings us a little more around. Eventually, around ten o'clock, we drive out to visit a village first. It consists of only eight log houses and a few caves. Very primitive, but they sell souvenirs and we are far from the only visitors of the day.

Then we see the Mushroom Valley, which, just like the Wally of Erect Penises, are some limestone formations. Really fascinating. Next stop is a large U-shaped lake, with clear mountain water. Many places we get, there are women dressed in folk costumes, who sit and weave. Here seems primitive, but in the positive way. Then we briefly stop at a dilapidated church. Like most other things we see today, there are endlessly long and improbably poorly kept dirt roads next to them. It will be quite bad as we are going out to the waterfall.

It is located among pine-wooded hills / mountains. On the upright rocks, among the pine trees grows a few small cacti. Here are also some tubers, perhaps of the night-shade family, and two kinds of houseleek. I'll walk a bit around by my self, before continuing on to the hostel.

We have just 15 minutes to check out, and then reach the afternoon bus. The city is now full of American tourists. Scenes have come to life! The local men, by the way (like so many other Mexicans) are wearing macho cowboy boots and giant buckle belts. Crocodile or ostrich in everything from black over green and red to yellow. On the head, many wear cream-colored cowboy hats. Practically everyone we meet here, and in the very warm and humid scents really pleases. No doubt we are the smelly ones! Here in town, like many other places, some wagons are drawn by horses or donkeys. The same as many places get excited in front of the plow.

We first drive through large mountains, then among huge large cultivated fields and colossal net-covered apple orchards. We arrive at Chihuahua at dusk and take a taxi to the hotel. Cheapest so far: 80 kroner, and then there is both hot water and TV. We check mail and after dark has fallen, we find the beautiful cathedral which is lit. Dinner becomes a burger, made in a small stand where the husband and wife cook, and there is no doubt about the Mexican influence.

On some power lines nearby, Rikke catches sight of some swallows - around 2000! Tightly packed on all four wires, 50 feet to each side of a corner.
We find a shoe store that has a great selection of cowboy boots. They cost from 450 to 600 kroner, and Rikke stands swaying. Finding home at the hotel and making a quick estimate of the economy: We spent well over 10,000 in the first week.
The experiences (and expenses) continue in Diary 2

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