Mexico April
April Adventures...
Leaving Mexico was both exciting and a tad bit sad. We are really excited to see our children, grand kids', family and friends, but had a tough time leaving sunny, beautiful, peaceful and the fun loving people of Ajijic. Surprisingly, we got most everything we brought down back in the Jeep along with all the stuff we bought for our condo and presents for our kids. It took 20 days from the time this picture was taken (the morning we left on March 26th) to the time we drove into Boise just in time to sign our tax forms. These pictures are an attempt to do justice to all the beauty and wonders of our travels. Please click on the thumbnail pictures to enlarge.

Keep in touch by clicking here Larry and Glorine.

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Mexico Mexico April
Our first day of travels took us to Mazatlan, a resort city along the Pacific Ocean. We took advantage of the sun and surf. Click to watch a short video clip. Watching the sun set was a great way to enjoy our first night on the road.
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Day two took us to the city of El Fuerte, which was the beginning of our Copper Canyon tour. Here we stayed at a hotel built in 1890 and former home to the legendary Zorro. The El Fuerte River flows next to the hotel. Its water comes from several rivers that flow through the six canyons that make up Copper Canyon.
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From El Fuerte, we took one of the most magnificent train rides in the world on the Chihuahua al Pacífico railroad, nicknamed Chepe. Our trip took us from El Fuerte to Creel. The train runs 400 miles traversing the Canyon, which passes over 37 bridges and through 86 tunnels and rises from 700 feet to as high as 7,200 feet above sea level. To make it to these heights, the train makes several switch backs and at one point makes a 360 loop, where the train tracks cross over the tracks below. The concept of the railroad started in 1880 but after decades of financial and engineering challenges it was completed in 1961. Copper Canyon or Barranca del Cobre is a group of six distinct canyons in the Sierra Tarahumara which is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the US. Although the Grand Canyon is larger than any of the individual canyons. This train was solely a passenger train with first class dining and oversized seating to allow for great views. As we went through tunnels and over bridges, we took in spectacular views of mountains, ravines, rivers and the next tunnels or bridges.
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Copper Canyon is home to the Tarahumara Indians who are indigenous to this area of Mexico and to whom this area is known--the Sierra Tarahumara. The current population of the Tarahumara Indians is between 50,000 and 70,000 people. Most still practice a traditional lifestyle, inhabiting natural shelters such as caves or cliff overhangs, as well as small cabins of wood or stone. Along with the women weaving baskets from pine needles, the men herd their cattle, sheep, and goats throughout the area for grazing and water. Another thing the young men are known for is their distance running, some running up to 100 miles in a day. While very shy, we were able to capture a few pictures of them. Upon arrival at Divisadora, we went for a two-hour trail ride to catch a glimpse of the Canyon, both high and low. Our 70+ year old tour guide took us through one small Indian village and over rugged terrain to get to some of these fantastic views. Along the trail, we saw a few small cabins, with no signs of electricity nor means of transportation other than walking or riding horses. The lower right picture is a panoramic video clip of the Canyon.
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Our hotel in Divisadora was the Hotel Mirador, which means "overlook." The hotel sits at the edge of the bluff with every room having its own patio and a view of the Canyon. The hotel is also home to over ten different species of hummingbirds who felt at home feeding on the terrace of the hotel. On our second day, we went hiking along the edge of the Canyon and took hundreds of pictures. Here are just a few. Our train trip back to El Fuerte was as spectacular as the ride up the mountain. It was a splendid excretion and another beautiful part of a county that most people in the world have never seen. We stayed one more night in El Fuerte, crossed the border and spent a couple of days with our friends Dennis and Nancy near Tucson.
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Shortly after arriving at Dennis and Nancy's hobby farm, Glorine decided to try her hand at a little art project. Dennis oversaw the project and taught her both safety and tricks of the trade. After a couple of hours, both Glorine and Dennis proudly showed off their work. Click to display Glorine welding. From there we spend some time with Glorine's sister Maureen and her husband Howard. We hiked (nearly) to the top of Camel Back Mountain, enjoyed a late lunch near Maureen's job, and played cards to the wee hours of the morning.
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We also spent time walking through Arizona's Botanical Desert Garden in Phoenix. We never thought there could be that many varieties of cactus and other desert plants. The garden also has a wonderful display of butterflies. From there we went lounging at a local pub and another fun night of playing cards. Maureen and Howard really enjoyed their trip to Ajijic and we spent hours fantasizing about future visits. From there we drove to the western part of Arizona and spend a couple of days with Larry's sister, Claudia and husband Lou. Here they are proudly displaying their own cactus flower. Swimming and hot tubbing was a daily activity, along with soaking up the sun's rays. We took a trip to Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge and took a cruise up the lake to a casino on the California side of the Lake. Black Jack treated Larry better than the slot machines did for everyone else. Each of our evenings ended with playing cards and/or dice and reminiscing about our time together in Ajijic.
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We ended our six month trip where it began--with little Sierra Rose and her family. It is hard to believe how much she and her sister Dakota Rose have grown. In fact, they have grown so much that they are getting a new home. Carmen and Mike sold their two-bedroom condo and bought a beautiful home about a mile west of their condo. They are planning on moving the middle of May and we will be heading back to California in June to help out anyway we can. Other than touring their (new to them) home and garden, we spent most of our time hanging out at the condo and playing with Dakota and Sierra. Grandparenting is a lot of fun, but more fun when we are with them.
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From Sierra Rose to the Sierra Mountains! We made it home in two days. We could have made it back in one, but needed a casino fix--which we didn't need. It was exciting to drive into Boise and see the foothills filled with snow. Here is a picture by our driveway with the trees in blossom and mountains in the background. Our stay in Boise will be short lived as we are planning for our next adventure in mid-May--a six month RV trip through the midwest and parts of Canada.

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April's web page includes March 26th through April 14th, 2008.