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.
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.