November 22nd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The farm where we stayed

In order to catch the train, leaving at 7, we had to be at a nearby hotel to catch a bus at 6.15.  Being clockless, this caused a problem, + each of us had to venture downstairs at an unearthly hour in order to discover the time.  Despite this, we managed to be late, + had to run for the bus.  I was already very weak, + very nearly called the whole thing off…  But I didn’t, + survived (despite being charged $50 each for the bus ride.)

After what we had read + heard about 2nd class train travel, the train was a pleasant surprise, being really not very much worse than shabby British.  And immediately the hawkers starting plying their wares – books + parrots to a variety of foods + drinks.  We cheerfully refused them all.  The train stopped many times, + every stop brought a new collection of salespersons, mostly kids.  We passed some fabulous scenery – mountains, bridges, tunnels.  Eventually we reached the Continental Divide – the Divisadero – where everyone could get out + take a look.  And impressive it certainly was.

The Copper Canyon

And then on to Creel, arriving there at about 5, still with a little daylight.  Looked around for others of our ilk to consult as to a place to camp.  When that failed, we tried some locals… again, no  success, so we just walked out of town, intending to find a patch of scrub.  However, Val was nervous of going too far out, so I suggested we ask at a nearby farm – tho’ that is rather a grand term.  The farmer was very nice, + made it clear we were welcome to camp in his field… which we discovered also held a pig.  We set up, + then went to town (2 senses) for dinner.  A small restaurant, a fine meal – soup (onion for  Val, a superb asparagus for me) + tacos.  Met an Austrian called Gerhardt, + arranged to see him tomorrow.  Then home.

Lit a fire with wood supplied by our host, then, while it burned, Val penny-whistled + I sang.

I seem to recall we had acquired a clock of some sort to help us get up for apple-picking, but clearly we don’t have that any more, nor even a watch (a thing I can’t live without nowadays)

We stopped off in Creel, a small village on the route, because we could, at no extra cost, and because we decided that, in our pell-mell rush south, we weren;t really taking the time to see anything. so decided that Creel would give us that opportunity. Sheer chutzpah helped us find somewhere cheap… free… to stay however.

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