I’m here! In the amazing mountains of the west coast, at San Ignacio. And I’ve found an internet café!!!
First let me tell you, the free 15, from Culiacan to Mazatlan, is a great road. I’m bummed now that I didn’t take this road to La Cruz and then Ceuta last week.
It is beautiful, gracefully curving through the mountains, some wooded, some open plains. There are no huge pot holes, no hard curves or mountain passes, no overly distressed pavement. And hardly any traffic on this Sunday morning.
And NO TOPES!!!! Thank the goddesses!
No police, military, federales visible to me at least. Small ‘towns’, one or two businesses here and there. Just a beautiful path through thick vegetations, amazing cactus growing in between brush and trees.
Leaving 15 to head east into the mountains, the road again was near perfect, better then my expectations for a country mountain road.
It has been recently resurfaced in most places. And the short stretches that haven’t been resurfaced are okay also. I drove in Mexico years ago and there were some really, really bad roads back then.
But all the roads I’ve been on, even the dirt roads, have been more than passable. The only challenging thing is the lack of a shoulder, which just means you have to be on higher alert for both on-coming traffic and those bus drivers that want to pass you.
When I see an on-coming vehicle, I drive with my wheels on the middle line until they are close – to ensure they move over to their side of the road. I don’t recommend it for everyone, but I have a big truck. People tend to give me a lot of space anyway.
The road to San Ignacio is also not difficult. There are more curves and it is a smaller road, but it smoothly slips through the country side.
There are a couple of small towns with many topes as you pass thru the town!!! So watch out! There is evidence of more people living there then are visible as there are gates, fences, and sudden dirt roads appearing on either side of the paved road.
I look for evidence of violence and I see none. I peer at the few people I pass and to me, they look like they are passing thru their normal lives: watering their gardens, setting up their wares, riding horses, burning fires, cooking things that smell REALLY good!
And I wonder if violence has touched their lives recently. Certainly the rumors of violence have.
I see an owl sitting on a telephone wire; and a charcoal blue bird with the longest tail, maybe longer than her body even!
I see chickens, horses, goats, and cows. I see small farmers raising reasonable amounts of food in the sunny places in between the trees and hills.
Everything seems so peaceful, green, rich brown, and idyllic.
Finally I reach San Ignacio. There is a huge doorway over the road, welcoming me to San Ignacio. And a tall bridge over the river. The town is high above, or the river is far below the town. And even this river in the mountains seems drained. Evidence of a former much bigger river is prominent.
After crossing the bridge, the town begins with a hotel, and a truck of soldiers sitting there. I pass them and take the first right curve that appears to be the main road through the main part of town.
The road is narrow, bumpy, topes-filled, high sidewalks line either side with wall-to-wall homes and businesses. People are out and about, walking around on this sunny Sunday morning.
I drive as far as I can and then find the road back, to return to the first plaza I passed. I count three plazas in this town. I park next to the plaza, eat my rice and sweet potatoes, papaya, as I am starved.
I walk around town, shyly greeting people, looking for the hieroglyphics I read were here. I head back and walk over the bridge now that I drove over coming into town. I’m trying to see a solitary place to park by the river. And a way to get down there. It is very far down.
I see boys easily leading horses across the river. It is wide, running at a good clip, very clear, but the water never reaches their knees. I see a road down to the river from the town so I go back and walk down to the river. There is lots of small rocks, most likely wider than the river herself.
I walk along the road until it ends, pass a couple of dump sites – where it looks like people have tossed garbage off the top of the cliff and it has tumbled down the steep slope to the bottom. The road never gets close to the river or to the edge of the cliff where trees are growing.
Not a potential parking spot. I return to the truck and decide to see if there’s wireless in this town. I didn’t see a ciber business.
Now I see there are 3 or 4 secured wireless locations. One says “aromabuencafe” – sounds like coffee to me! I’m pleasantly surprised.
I ask the womon who is setting up a cooking station, tables and chairs on the sidewalk surrounding the plaza. She is about to make food for sale. She points me in one direction, a block away.
I see a little café that is not aromabuen but the womyn there direct me two more blocks away! And there it is! Yeah!