Urique (Barranca Del Cobre parte dos)…

September 2, 2010

Knuckling down with hands full of brakes, we descended the 14k down into Urique, dropping 2000 ft in one swift motion.  My hands cramped from braking so much as I realized the canyon was going to make even descending hard work.  When I reached the bottom, Kurt was already being put to work helping some local kids fix their bmx bike, a task that proved way more trouble than it was worth.  More on that later…

We found our way to Entres Amigos, an eco-friendly hostal of sorts, which offers both private rooms and dorm style rooms, as well as camping.  We chose the latter of the three naturally and paid the 90 pesos, a pretty steep price for camping (normally free to us).  It does however come with the privilege of picking anything from the grounds we felt fit to eat, as well as use of the big communal kitchen on site.  And let me tell you…the grounds we’re ripe in all sorts of ways….so many mangoes were falling off the trees you could listen to them drop onto the corrugated tin roofs every few minutes.  In addition to the mangoes, there were limes, lemons, grapefruit, an abundance or basil, some random kale and an assortment of various things I had never seen before but continuously asked the grounds keeper Tomas “what is this for?” and “can I eat this?”  We spent the afternoon exploring downtown, drinking some highly anticipated cold cervezas and plundering the local market for things to create our highly thought out dinner.  Then we went to town in the kitchen, hand chopping a great big bowl of salsa, making pesto for pasta, baking a great big chocolate cake and squeezing fresh grapefruit juice, all intermixed with sporadic swims in the very slimy but very refreshing swimming pool.  It was agreeably, if not over, 100 degrees in Urique and even sitting completely still would find you drenched in sweat.  It felt like a few back to back Bikram yoga classes.  We spent a good amount of time with Luis too, the summer caretaker, who normally resides in Batopilas where he runs an art studio and sells his paintings in various forms.

Urique, like many of the canyon towns, is mostly known for its fairly thriving marijuana cultivation.  Unfortunately for the local growers, the government has taken more and more of an interest in the budding area and the daily presence of helicopters overhead made for some wary town folk.  There was definitely a semi nervous energy in the air.

With our bellies full and a day of rested legs, we cobbled together our plans of how to get to Batopilas.  After talking with quite a few people and scouring the internet for information (they do have WiFi there), we consulted a local as to if there really was a road that went directly from Urique to Batopilas, as it indicated on our 2010 Guia Roji map.  It was confirmed that indeed there was a road that went all the way through, just 3 kilometers were not finished yet, but Tomas assured us we would be fine on our bikes.  With this information and a hand drawn map listing some key towns to ask for along the way we set off late in the afternoon heading for Batopilas.

The dizzying, squiggly worm of a descent down to Urique (Photo: Kurt)...

Hello desert cacti and warmer temperatures...

Up around the canyon bend...

This bmx was in need of some serious work and Kurt graciously offered up all the help he could on the spot...

The entrance for Entre Amigos, a beautifully crafted and cared for eco grounds...

These flowers are everywhere in the canyon and remind me of popsicles we used to eat as kids...

With ample space, sun, care and love, things down here grow overwhelmingly ripe...

The cake! Double layered chocolate with an inventive icing of granulate sugar, butter and... ground-up cereal. No powdered sugar could be found so some cereal was the best thing I could come up with to tone it down a bit. It was super sweet to say the least, but went great as a slice in a bowl of milk...

Laborious as it is, a glass of fresh squeezed juice can not be beat...

The Urique police station. We regret to post that the kids we helped with the bike came by later and swiped a few articles of Kurt's, things they had been completely enthralled with upon first laying eyes on. All of the important things were found and returned after a loooooong morning of some interrogating and searching. Unfortunately, some not as important items are quite possibly still floating down the Urique river...

Historic center of Urique. The town has been in existence since the 1600's, though the road to it was only built in the 1970's...

The local tortilleria...

Boiling some grapefruit seeds in hopes of extracting some oil to gulp down. One of the most longed after of the stolen articles is a bottle of GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) we had, the cure-all Kurt and I were using to kill any bad bacteria that started fiestas in our stomachs. This process did the trick, but we are continuously on the hunt to find a replacement bottle in Mexico...

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