Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Distances: from the intersection of the paved Gran Vision highway and the gravel road to Batopilas, it is 82 km (51 miles) to Guachochi.
From Creel to the Batopilas turn-off, it is 75 km (47 miles). From the paved highway to Batopilas: 65 km (40 miles).
Gasoline: There is now a large Pemex station just before you reach the turn-off to Batopilas.
Hiking: Batopilas to Urique via the most direct trail is 48 km (30 miles).
Humira is the beautiful valley with magnificent rock formations on the way from Creel to Batopilas turn-off. Could this be the "Valle de las Iglesias?" mentioned in the book, The Silver Magnet by Grant Shepherd?
Batopilas elevation is 462 m (1516 feet).
Francisco "Pancho" Bustillos and his wife Rosa operate El Puente Colgante, "The Swinging Bridge".
Reyna's: a hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the river, on a small side street across from the now shuttered Riverside Lodge hotel. We had a decent meal there for 40p each.
If you need a trustworthy guide, just ask for Arturo. Everyone knows him. If Arturo can't guide you, he'll find someone who can.
There is now Suburban or truck passenger service from Batopilas to San Ignacio: 0700 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; returning from San Ignacio at 14:00 the same day. The trip was highly recommended by Samuel, the owner of the town's telephone service. But... San Ignacio had a rough reputation when Lorena and I worked in Batopilas in the mid-90's, so if you go there, mind your "p's and q's".
Bus to Creel: 0500 departure from in front of the Batopilas church on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A suburban goes to Creel (and presumably on to Chihuahua) on alternating days. A schedule is posted at Monse's shop.
Hotel Los Pinos in Creel: the owner apparently runs a Suburban to Batopilas.
Hotel Real de Minas: A very beautiful, seven room colonial-era hotel owned by Martin Alcaraz Gastélum. His niece, Tonya, is the manager. "El Guero", Oscar Loya in Creel, is a friend of Martin Alcaraz. Oscar runs a small bus or Suburban to Batopilas.
Mica True, better known in Batopilas as "Caballo Blanco", is a serious trail runner and good friend to many Tarahumara runners. Mica offers his services as a guide. He now has a website: www.coppercanyoncaballoblanco.com
Juan Portillo Vega braids beautiful traditional leather lariats and sells them for 500 - 600p. He and his wife live upstream, just beyond the ruins of the Shepherd Hospital, on the left side of the trail beside the river. (The Shepherd Hospital is upstream of the big bridge into Batopilas, on the same side as the main street of town.)
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Copyright 1972 - 2002 by Carl Franz and Lorena Havens. Published
by Carl Franz on 4/5/02 using version 1.0.1b2
of Tinderbox for Macintosh.