Today is what we tourists call a travel day.
And a travel day it was.
Up at 3:30 AM to catch a chartered ETN bus (one of Mexico's premier services) in Melaque. A five hour drive to Guadalajara where we caught a one and a half hour flight to Culiacan. And then onto a tourist-style bus for a three hour drive to Los Mochis.
The Los Mochis stop was for lunch. At 4 PM. And we were then off for another hour or two bus ride to El Fuerte.
The adventurous traveler should enjoy journeys no matter how mundane. But I must have missed the merit badge for that skill. The day was merely something to be endured. As a Catholic friend on the trip said: “Endured as we must endure life as a Christian.”
I read something similar about the local Tarahumara Indians. Their religion teaches that good deeds are a moral end in themselves. To improve life on earth without regard to an afterlife. Funny. I thought that was also Christ's teaching.
But I am wandering. We are now in our 5-star hotel (Posada del Hidalgo) in El Fuerte. A few of us walked around the town this evening and rehashed a bit of Mexican history -- in this farming country that is now experiencing its ninth year of drought. With no Joseph on the horizon.
Tomorrow, we will board the train that will take us up Copper Canyon.
The railroad we will travel still bears some of the historical burden that often weighs down Mexican progress. Railroad men in The United States and Mexico planned an intricate web of rail lines that would carry goods between the Pacific and Gulf coasts.
The Copper Canyon rail line was part of that web. Construction began in the 1860s. But internal wars and other Mexican priorities slowed construction until it stopped in 1906 -- partly due to the opening of the Panama Canal. Construction eventually resumed in 1949 and the line was completed in 1961.
It had a short-lived career, like much of Mexican rail, until it was relegated to the task of hauling tourists trough one of the Mexico’s most spectacular sights.
A ride I am looking forward to -- tomorrow.