Thursday, February 3, 2011

Port 4: Topolobampo

When we stepped off the ship, a vast swath of asphalt spread before us. A giant billboard of taxi fares stood upon it. We decided to take our chances and walk.

The tiny, tiny town of Topolobampo (population 250?) was a mile or two away. We strolled the streets and encountered a decidedly untouristy village.

An extensive market was set up, with piles of vegetables, slabs of fresh meat (with the occasional cow head), and a little family of chickens, among other things.

When we were satisfied with our Topolobampo experience, we sought out a bus that would take us to Los Mochis, a larger city about forty-five minutes away. The tour guide we read beforehand had warned of the desolation between the two towns, including thirteen-foot crocodiles that apparently made it uninhabitable. We didn't see any of those rush by on our bus ride, but we did see the lonely expanses.

We were quite proud of the paltry 16 pesos we paid for our bus fare, about $1.20 and far below the $20+ a taxi would have been.

Los Mochis was a full-fledged city. We located a Best Western and put the laptop we had lugged along to good use in the hotel lobby. Living without internet access on this trip was rough; we spent a good hour and a half there catching up. We then traipsed about the city, wandering through shops and grabbing some fish tacos from a street vendor.

I don't know why this place was called El Debate, but it was ripe for a debate pose from Daniel.

We located the cathedral and peeked inside.

We successfully navigated the streets and found our bus stop again for our return trip. Those are bins of herbs and spices behind us, each labeled with the ailments and diseases it promised to cure.

Back in Topolobampo, I was ready to tromp back to the ship. But Daniel had seen a church on the top of a hill, and he insisted it would take fewer than ten minutes for us to reach it. I didn't believe him, but lo and behold, he was right.

We made our way past all manner of houses, and we enjoyed the view at the top.

If you click on this picture, you might be able to make out the white cross at the top of the hill, marking the church. This is a view of the hill on our way back to the ship.

A fiesta was waiting for us on that asphalt expanse. We watched a group of children, herded by nuns, as they had their way with the piƱata.

And we returned, exhausted but well-traveled. We walked a good four hours, which probably puts us around ten miles on foot. It was a good day.

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