Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

  • My Bike Rides

  • Pandora Archive

  • My Location Map

  • Blog Stats

    • 377,788 hits
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 371 other subscribers

Day 300– 4th October 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 4, 2009

Sunday – Batopilas, Mexico

Fiesta Day in Batopilas

The morning dawned for me but for some it was still party time, the band was still going and had been all night long, poor chaps. A lot of drunk revellers still having a good time. We went up for a breakfast but Carolina’s was closed so we headed back and I grabbed some muesli bars from my bike instead, we could have a big lunch later. I went for a wander to check out the river, it had been in full flow last night so I decided to try and get an ‘after’ shot, I already had a before shot. There were a lot of people around still, some still coming in by the looks of it.

It was a bit wiffy crossing the river, a lot of people seemed to have used the entrance way as a pisser, but I got across for some photos and it was up quite high as you can see from these two photos.

Now, Ivan had told us the reason he was in town was to ride a burro in a re-enactment of an event that is part of this town’s history. A chap called Sheppard owned a silver mine here and they used to take a team of burros ( mountain donkey) with the silver bars on board up the canyon to Chihuahua. Back in them days it was a 7 day journey and was tough going, a few years ago some locals spent a long time tracking the trail down and then last year they had the first organised ride. This is the 2nd year and is being used to promote international tourism into the area and they even had an American lady doing the ride this year. The gathering of the mules and riders was happening around the time I was there and it looked quite festive 🙂

They were still deciding whether they would actually go because the amount of rain yesterday would make the trail very unstable with mudslides etc, but that decision would come later. I looked around a bit more and this was when the free food was given out, so a lot of the local tribes people were in town to get some help as times have been hard out there. They were a very colourful people and live very simply, but since the marijuana crops have been destroyed(yeah right!!) and the market shut down(yeah right!!) they have had a tough time adapting.

I met up with Ivan again and he said the journey has been changed due to the trail conditions, the event will take place at 11am as normal, but they will only go as far as just outside town then come back in and the real journey will start tomorrow, to give the trail time to dry out. The only setback at this time is the fact the band has been kidnapped by the local drug lords!!!! Basically they wanted them to keep on playing for them, but they are needed to lead the parade out of town, there are negotiations in progress amongst the authorities and the bosses. This is Ivan on the left who has just registered his name on the official list of attendees with La Conducta, the trail boss who leads the whole train. Ivan is doing the photography of the event but is still riding as well and then yours truly chatting with another of the riders 🙂

So, the negotiations had some effect and the band was finally released and they were probably happy about that as well. They mounted up behind the beauty queen in a few trucks and headed out of town only a few minutes late, with a very high degree of security, which is pretty useless as no one wants to shoot, but if they all have big guns, maybe no one will 😕

And just because I can, here is a small video of the event as it heads off, the horses are more excitable than mules 🙂

So, after the parade headed out we decided to get some lunch, so it was back up to Carolina’s but she was closed, no worries, Mika is open and I soon had some enchiladas in front of me, great tucker 🙂

Now, we noticed a local chap having a camp, he had most likely partied till beyond dawn and did not seem to notice the drop and slept through it and all the dogs and loud voices around him, been there, done that!!

We decided to go see about the internet, yesterday due to rain it was a waste of time as the satellite connection was blocked by the rain clouds, on the way we passed one of the old mates from the past few days, he is still on the piss and is chatting with a local tribesman, the one in all the colour, our old mate wanted me to take a photo, so I obliged, a bit different from the other night when it was a no no 🙂

Well, the internet man was closed, I expect it being a Sunday and Fiesta day had something to do with it 😉 We saw quite a large array of big dishes down here, so they are not totally out of the real world.

We headed back to the motel. Past all the drunks and those still partying, I grabbed some snacks and drinks from the shop across from the motel, there was a cheeky little Chihuahua on the counter busy chewing on the reams of paper in yellow behind him, but he came over for a bit of fun 🙂

This is our protector, she sits outside for most of the day and looks after and watches who goes into the vehicle storage area and also keeps an eye on the motel entrance. I was told by Ivan that over this weekend with all the revelry, she has only had a few broken hours sleep each day, constantly on guard, although I have no idea what she would do if a situation occurred, maybe got out a bazooka!!! She was nice and good on her for her efforts 🙂

We sat around during the afternoon in the motel courtyard, doing some blog stuff or reading, there seemed to have been a lot of gunshots over the past few hours, so we were a bit concerned, they seemed to be firing into the air as there was only sporadic gunfire, not concentrated like someone was firing back. Ivan came back a while later and we discussed a few things about it, his main reaction was ‘remember, there are NO laws here”. Well, that made things a lot clearer, NOT!! 😯 After a beer with Ivan who was also concerned about being outside and he is Mexican, I wandered up the road to get a six pack, we were not that interested in going and drinking anymore in the bars as some of the patrons had been under the weather the past few days and things seemed to be getting out of hand. I bought a six pack and was hassled by a smiling chap who took two of them for him and his mate, I managed to get one back off his mate but this chap would not let go 😦 I started to walk away as it was not worth losing my life over a cheap beer worth about 60cAU when the barman told the chap off and gave me the beer back, it was a fast track back to the motel for me, only about 50m but far enough 🙂

I had some beer, V did not and after a bit of concern about the lack of information about tomorrows bike transport, as I was now committed to not riding out, we headed up to Mika’s for our last meal in Batopilas for now, we hoped anyway 🙂

After that it was a quick dash back to the motel during a moment of no gunfire and firecrackers(very easy to tell the difference) and a quiet evening writing my blog for days in advance and reading a book with a few beers. We had been told to be ready to load the bikes around 9am, so we figured an 8am breakfast and then wait for a few hours or so.

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 38,612 miles and 62,140 km



Go to top of page

4 Responses to “Day 300– 4th October 09”

  1. Christine said

    Hey, let me know if you want me to post u a bullet proof vest 🙂
    … and a good quote is “live dangerously & you live right”

  2. ybg said

    Fantastic shots Rich. And the commentary is well done too.

    It is always good to experience how the other half lives.

    ça roule


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: