Voyage Journal 7818 Day 8

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Day 8 - October 7, 2008 - Moored Up Alongside In Topolobampo Harbour, Sea Of Cortés

By Toby Musgrave

Position:Alongside in Topolobampo
Sunny with clear skies and very hot.

Arriving in harbour at 07.00 the Captain moored alongside in the commerical port of Topolobampo, which like so many of its ilk around the world is none-too-attractive.After a leisurely breakfast, those taking the say trip embarked their coach at 09.45, leaving some companions aboard to simply take it easy for the day.

The planned trip took us through the salt marshes inland form the port (a haven for birds) through the American-established town of Los Mochis, arranged on the familiar grid system.

Then...one, two, three...as our informative guide Adrian would preface it, we continued on across an expanse of extremely flat but rich agricultural land.We had two stops along the way, a regular pit stop and a more unusual but highly informative stop at a stall selling local medicines.The runny honey did look tasty, but I am sure did not give as strong a punch on the taste buds as the small but fiercely hot chili pepper I tried.And as for the dried snake that Adrian ate and which he told us was very, very, very, very, very, very much more potent than Viagra.Let us just draw a veil over that!

So on to the small village of Tehuecos.Here we were welcomed by a band of three musicians who provided the accompaniment for three traditionally-clad dancers who gave a delightful rendition of a number of Mayos Indian dances.I for one found it fascinating to watch, and heartening to know that such an emotive and ancient art form was being conserved for future generations.

One, two, three hundred yards up the road and we dropped in to visit Adrian’s ‘grandma’ who provides us with a lesson in flour tortilla making in her back garden.Following the crash-course, and despite not listening to the instructions, Jarda undertook to make a most impressive tortilla.Served with butter, onion and oregano, these tasty, warm snacks were just the thing to tide us over until lunchtime. Which was just a quarter of an hour up the road and hosted in the Posada del Hidalgo Hotel in the town of El Fuerte.After a much needed and delicious buffet lunch, it was off on a stiflingly hot and mercifully brief tour around the delightful town, which full of colonial architecture, felt in many ways as if we were strolling about a film set for Butch Cassedy and the Sundance Kid.Back to the hotle for a much needed sit in the air conditioned dance hall, and marguerita in hand to enjoy a display of more contemporary Mexican dance, and to be enthralled by the legendary Zoro (the legend arose in the town), who span several ladies about the dance floor with consummate grace, but was wholly incapable of inserting his sword into its scabbard!

Four, five, six..and it was back to the ship - a journey most of us spent in a somniferous state.Arriving back at 17.15, the recap and briefing was followed by dinner and after welcoming back those guest who had ventured to Copper Canyon the Captain set sail at 21.45.

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