Day 6 |
Sep 22, 2008

Topolobampo, Mexico

By Claudia Roedel

Position 25° 35.4' N 109° 03.4' W

At 09:30 we departed on our excursion in a comfortable air-conditioned coach. As we drove through the town of Los Mochis, our guide explained to us the history of this town that was founded by an American, Benjamin Johnston, who started a sugar cane plantation and mill. He also started a botanical garden that, at the time, was the largest in the world. His wife, Agnes, is well remembered for her charity work; her last donation to the city was the building of a church.

At 11:30 we disembarked the coach and sat under the shade of tamarind trees outside the house of Mayo Indian family, and they graced us with a performance of folkloric dances. They wore white clothes, and have rows of rattles wrapped around their ankles. That is a very clever way of keeping tempo to the dance! Around the waist they wear a belt with bells. The first dancer danced to the sound of a fiddle and a guitar, instruments that are typical of the Spaniards, and amazed us all with his skill. The next dancers wore headdresses made of a deer head and had deer hooves hanging from their belt, and their movements simulated the animal’s movements.

After the performance we walked a short distance to another house. This was very typical structure built of Adobe with a veranda on the front where an old man sat on a rocking chair, and a veranda on the back where a fire was roaring and two women were busy making tortillas. They showed us the whole process. First the corn is boiled, and then the grains are mashed with a stone pestle. The dough can be shaped by hand, which requires lots of skill, or by a modern lever-operated tortilla maker. We all had the chance to taste the freshly baked tortillas served with butter and onions.

We drove to the town of El Fuerte where we had a delicious Mexican Buffet at the Casa del Hidalgo. Legend has it that this is the town where el Zorro lived. There is a statue of this legendary figure in the courtyard, and “Zorro” graced us with his presence after lunch. Four pair of dancers showed us some typical Mexican dances. The women wore full skirts that they twirled and twisted, and the men wore large rimmed sombreros and boots that they stomped in rhythm.

We took a stroll around the main square, which was fully decorated with green, white and red – the colors of the Mexican flag. They had recently celebrated Mexico’s Independence Day, and all around there was still an air of festivity.

We boarded our coach and drove back to the ship. As we arrived at the port, we had the chance to observe some Brown Pelicans feeding very close to the ship.