Copper Canyon, Mexico, Our Way–Part 1–Chihuahua

We have wanted to take the train through Mexico’s Copper Canyon for many years now.  Despite the State Department’s warning on violence in the area, we finally decided to go!  Instead of just riding the train through the canyons, we designed a trip that would take us deep within them.  My next few reports will chronicle how we did this!

Our original flight had us flying from Atlanta to Chihuahua on United, with a connection in Houston.  Our first segment was cancelled due to tornadoes in Houston, and we were rebooked on a flight 9 hours later to Mexico City on Delta.  We spent that time in the new ATL United Lounge on the T concourse (no liquor license yet).  Our connection in MEX had us cooling our heels until our 6:00 am flight to Chihuahua.  We headed straight for the Centurion Lounge in Terminal 2, where we sucked down beers until they kicked us out at midnight.  We found an area where we could get horizontal and we waited for our early morning flight.

Our only consolation for this ordeal was that we requested and received Delta miles on our United award ticket.  When we arrived exhausted in Chihuahua, we took a cab to the Centro and got a room in the first hotel we saw, the Plaza.

Ay, Chihuahua! The town doesn’t have much of touristic interest, but we were impressed by how friendly everyone was.  We had a hard time getting pesos from ATM’s that first afternoon.  We had tried about 5 ATM’s and our cards weren’t working. We got a lot of advice from the locals about what we should do. (Nothing was working–apparently it was just a fluke, as we were able to get money later on that day, and had no trouble for the rest of our trip.)  We had several people stop us in the street to wish us Happy New Year, and to tell us that they were happy that we were there.

Late in the afternoon we walked to the Pancho Villa museum.  On the way we ran into an tour group with a couple of animated tour guides.  This was one tour that we would have liked to have been on!

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The Pancho Villa museum was filled with tourists and was interesting and fun.

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The next morning we had our first of many great Mexican breakfasts–Eggs Rancheros or Mexicanos, beans, and quesadillas.  We had so many fantastic meals on our trip and really miss them now that we’re back.

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The El Chepe train that runs through the Barrancas del Cobre has a terminus in Chihuahua, but leaves once a day at 6:00 am. We decided to take a bus to our first stop in Creel because a) we didn’t want to get up at 4:30 am, b) the scenery is not that great for several hours out of Chihuahua, and c) the bus is a lot cheaper than the train.

Next post:  Creel and Divisadero

 

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