Batopilas (Barrance Del Cobre parte cuatro)…

September 3, 2010

There certainly is a “stuck in time” feel to the town of Batopilas.  Stretched out narrowly along the riverside, the town is an array of big stucco buildings, an impressive and popular el centro and many hotels and guest homes.  Being that it was the off-season, we did not get the regular tourist vibe that I am sure emanates through the streets during other times.  Interestingly enough, after Mexico City Batopilas was the next city to receive electricity in Mexico.

Besides us gringos, there were the very colorful and present Tarahumara, Raramuri and cowboys pacing the streets.  We arrived late in the day, and after inquiring about homestay prices, decided to ride back out of town a bit and camp at an abandoned hacienda we had seen on the way in.  It may have been the best spot in town too, because the porch we set up on looked down right onto the river.  As always, there was some curious onlookers who came to visit us in the morning and we learned the hacienda was still in slow process of being built.  It was hard to tell that from all of the broken glass and shattered wood furniture inside, but whenever the family does start to move in, they are going to have the best spot in town.

Welfare checks were handed out that day and the lines for the Tienda Communitaria (Government subsidized grocery stores, different from the regular tiendas, supers, mini supers, or abborotes) and the lines were out the door, with people picking up the food necessities, as well as new sandals, Tupperware and I saw one man with a brand new calculator.

We spent most of the day on the search for the cheapest food we could find.  Without a bank in town and with no one accepting any form of credit, we had 200 pesos to our names.  Unsure of how long it would take us to get back out of the canyon again and to a town sizeable enough for a bank, we stocked up on the usual staples of rice, pancakes, beans, pasta, potatoes and my new favorite mood brightener…peanuts.  We leisurely left after hanging out in the plaza for a while, watching another impending thunderstorm and guessing its direction.

Our priceless accommodations. Why pay to stay when there are always abandoned places just waiting for you to warm...

A bit of the riverside sprawl...

Homes on the main street...

How mechanics do it on the banks of Batopilas...

The Tarahumara women on line to pick up their subsidies...

Inside the walls of the fortified and very official,though crumbling, Hacienda. This was quite the spot back in its day...

...but now it's just beautifully overgrown and haunting...

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