Little Green Boat

Spruce visited Japan and Alaska in 2018 after time spent in the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and Asia.

04 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
04 January 2020
04 January 2020
02 January 2020 | Batopilas - Chihuahua - Mexico
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
01 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
01 January 2020
01 January 2020
30 December 2019 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
30 December 2019
30 December 2019
29 December 2019 | Topolobampo - Sinaloa - Mexico
29 December 2019
29 December 2019
20 December 2019 | San Evaristo - Baja California - Mexico
17 December 2019 | Santa Rosalia - Baja California - Mexico
17 December 2019

Giddy Up - Mexican Style

04 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
Sue & Andy Warman
The superb scenery around these canyons somehow seemed more appropriate and much more spectacular when seen from horseback; perhaps a result of all those Westerns that were screened during our childhoods; we just associate this backdrop with horses. A six hour tour was about right to give enough time to get out into the “Big Country” and just about the maximum saddle battering that can be suffered in one stint by those with soft and unaccustomed bottoms.
Sue used to ride a lot as a youngster, but that was many moons ago. Our last time aboard a horse was six-years past. This was great fun, though. The terrain ridden was varied and not at all like the bridleways that crisscross the UK countryside. We were a little apprehensive at first as to how well a shooed hoof might grip on solid rock, surprisingly much better than we initially feared. Our steeds “Tomate” and “Revolver” fared well in this their home territory.

04 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
Our guide, Luis, checked us out early in the day by breaking into a rapid canter on softer going. Had we been unseated perhaps a different route would have been followed for the day out. Luis looked after us well during the day's excursion. Although he spoke almost no English, our limited Spanish and sign language served us well.
The horses breathed heavily as we headed uphill, their flanks became sticky with sweat. Trails meandered along the sides of steep slopes, slowly we gained altitude as we rose out of the valley. With increased height the views opened out, rock-faces soared skywards, green pine needles positively glowed in intense sunshine, viewed against a vivid blue high altitude sky.

04 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
A deep canyon lay before us, a hazy horizon dissolved into the distant yonder. A steep downward trail had us laying back hard in saddles, stirrups kicked forwards and outwards to retain balance as our steeds picked their way downwards, occasionally scrabbling to maintain a grip with all hooves. We descended into a river. Horses took a breather and a long drink of water. This crossing, safely upstream from the waterfall that fell into the abyss of the canyon downstream.
A long upward slope extended the other side. Evidently this was a gushing torrent in the wet season. Our mounts strode assuredly along the smoothed granite steam bed, bounding over large steps in the rock that presented now and again. Eventually we came onto the edge of the canyon, this time opposite where we stopped earlier. Dead trees stood or lay, agave plants and an assortment of pine, juniper and succulents clung to timorous holding.
On the downward return, some along a north facing slope the trail became icy and treacherous, hooves slipped and scrabbled for grip. We dismounted. Horses led across the most slippery sections and we quickly comprehended the challenge of walking the surface. Remounted and safely on the valley floor, we made our way to the stables after a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable day in the saddle. The next excursion must not wait another six years.
Next we travel aboard El Chepe again, a return to Spruce in Topolobampo. On Monday we will depart to sail 220-miles south-east to Mazatlan. South of the Tropic of Cancer once more into tropical waters where we shall remain for several months after our temperate sojourn in northern waters.

Road Trip to Silver Central

02 January 2020 | Batopilas - Chihuahua - Mexico
Sue & Andy Warman
The fame of Batopilas harks back to the days of Silver Mining and Mule Trains that brought rich plunder out of the mountains. Each mule carried six ingots of bullion reputedly weighing 70-pounds each.
Batopilas is an interesting small town. There is a cluster of Spanish colonial style buildings and ruined mine structures from a wealthier hey-day. The conurbation is situated along the banks of a river that is prone to flash flooding and rapid rise of water level in the event of rainfall in the mountains upstream. Along one side a partially cleared mound of stones and boulders from the last flash-flood. Within the mass, the mangled wreckage of what looked like a relatively new shiny blue pick-up tuck , evidently swept away from farther up the valley and come to rest here, along with a mixture of other debris. Sections of the road within the town pass alongside the river below the level of previous inundations. A precarious existence if not abreast of weather conditions upstream.

02 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
The tortuous road from Creel transits three canyons, each quite different in appearance. Changing flora engendered by the individual mico-climates, in turn affected by varying altitudes and rainfall. The road was until relatively recently only a gravel surface. The 130-kilometre trip used to take typically 7-hours. Progress was often affected by rock falls, erosion and landslides. Although much improved by a tarmac road surface and work done to stabilise rock-faces...

02 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
...many of the same problems face today's traveller. This photo shows one of the detours to bypass a rock-fall that swept away a section of road and badly battered the drainage pipes buried below the surface. Several other zones were encountered where channels have been cleared through rock-falls and temporary buttressing erected to replace areas where roadway had slipped into the gorge alongside.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the Noorth pacific Rim. In 2019 we aim to cruise BC and then head south to Mexico.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/littlegreenboat
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Spruce's Photos - Embera Drua River Trip
Photos 1 to 70 of 70 | Main
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Andy tucks into breakfast provided on the trip.
Martin, the trip organiser gives us some history.
Our helm, sporting the traditional decorated clothing and tattoos.
Our transport awaits.
The group dons life jackets and piles into the canoes.
One of the 3 canoes catches us up.
Such good balance!
Cara, her parents posing in the background, from the boat Serendipity.
An Embera village
Andy holds on to the seat in between bailing out!
Connie and Wolfgang who we last met in Curacao.
We are put ashore so that the villagers can  check to see if it is safe to continue up the river.
At this point it is touch and go as to if we can visit the village as the waters are so high and fast flowing.
A pit stop is made to check the engine.
The first view of the village.
The bow man gives directions, plenty of logs flying down the  river.
Sue still smiling, or is it just fear?
Two beautifully decorated Embera women come to welcome the group to the village.
The tame otter gets in the way!
The Medicine man awaits the safe arrival of the last canoe.
The women prepare the lunch.
The so.und of traditional music greets us
The group is led up to the village.
Picking leaves to keep the food fresh.
The Medicine man gets a tattoo.
Fish and chips Embera style.
One of the women tells us in detail how the palm material is dyed using a range of different methods, including burying it in mud for 3 days.
Ivan shows the group the traditional cloth worn by the Embera, it is made out of tree bark and is very scratchy.
Painting a tattoo.
A Toucan Mask
A monkey mask.
The cooking fire in the main meeting hut.
The Tattoos are only temporary, the dye is made from a plant and has the added side effect that it keeps away the mosquitos!
The Flautist of the village plays us a tune on his bamboo flute, he lets Sue have a go too.
Some of the beautiful baskets for sale made by the women of the village.
Andy chats with one of the villagers, his son who is five finds a comfortable seat.
The children play with anything.
An array of animal mask all woven.
The house in the village are all built on stilts.
Martin tries on a Tucan mask.
Traditional dancing led by a drum to keep the beat.
Colourful washing.
One of the beautiful baskets being woven.
Andy makes his way down to the beach for yet an other exciting Canoe trip in the fast flowing waters of the Chagres.
Traditional Embera music.
One of the villagers leads the otter away from the propellers of the canoes.
A tame Otter that lives with the villagers.
A long canoe beaches ready to take on passengers. In the dry season the river is a beautiful blue.
 
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