Creel, the gateway to Las Barrancas des Cobre [Copper Canyons], has the reputation to be rather touristy. However, I don't see a single western tourist [a plus] and it appears fairly run-down [a surprise]. I spend a rest day here for one reason only which is to figure out an interinary through the canyons.
Ever since I've read the book Born to Run I was hooked. I needed to visit this place so badly. Why? It's home of the world's greatest long distance runners, the Tarahumara. They easily do 100s of miles, non-stop on rocky mountain paths with nothing than a rubber sole tied to their feed. Pretty impressive! They also belong to one of the very few indigenous tribes globally that have never been defeated by a foreign invador as they were able to hide in the vast network of canyons. To give you an idea, the canyons here are deeper and 4 times larger than the Grand Canyon in the US. Thus, they still live quite traditional. [Alright, fact dropping off, from here I can let you off to the Internet where you can learn more if you wish].
Oh yeah, and maybe I should say there is some incredibly adventurous bike riding out here. It has been on my mind for years. A few people have done it. However, the resources for research and advice are extremely limited [especially since I don't go in the depth of travel forums or such]. With some people getting terribly lost in the canyons [not lost in the sense that they never appeared again, though], I really want to do my homework a bit this time.
Turns out that nobody was in the tourist office. At least I got a paper map which I thought would be handy to ask for directions along the ride. I ask some locals which routes they deem rideable and get security advice. I also stock up on food which is again a bit of an issue, especially in terms of protein [if you don't fancy eating 3 cans of beans a day]. Another factor now is that I can't buy foods anymore that need to be refrigirated. Despite the size of Creel, the supermarkets are not very well stocked. [Hello from future me. After almost 3 month in Mexico, I really learned to enjoy the often simple and limited offering in the small towns. So much less to think about! Just took me a bit to find my new diet.]
Homework done! Excited, nervous, tentative...