Los Mochis and Around
After Luis’ seasickness adventure on the La Paz-Topolobampo ferry we stayed in the first hotel we could find, had a good night’s sleep and woke up to drive to Los Mochis. We were scheduled to meet Edmundo Fuentes in Los Mochis… but let’s take a few steps back and introduce Edmundo.
Luis met Edmundo through an internet forum that has been pivotal in much of our trip planning so we should take a moment to plug said forum: Expedition Portal or ExPo. In this forum, like minded vehicle dependent travelers from all over the world share their tips and thoughts about just about any topic most importantly vehicle dependent travel. In any case Edmundo is an active ExPo member, a Los Mochis native, and he is pretty much an expert on the Copper Canyon (in fact he has a website dedicated to the canyon Copper Canyon Gate); one of our dream destinations. Sounds like a match made in heaven? It gets better, he offered us a free place to stay and one of the first things we found out is that he also shares our love of food and our epicurean curiosity.
So our culinary tour with Edmundo in Los Mochis began, he took us to some of the best places in town to sample the local fare. Due to the large amount of extremely good food we ate I will limit the posting to a few of our favorites, please excuse the less than acceptable photography until we figur out how to take photos of food. The first pics are of our favorite place, it is called Mariscos del Pacifico a street seafood joint. First and foremost, the place is immaculately clean and the owner/cook is a very dapper gentleman who does most of the prep work in front of his clientele. This man makes the best ceviche I have ever had and he can cook octopus so that the resulting product is a perfect morsel from heaven.
Los Mochis has an interesting and colorful history, as it turns out the town was founded in 1893 by a group of utopian socialist U.S. citizens led by Albert Kimsey Owen. Owen, an American civil engineer who came to the area to do feasibility studies for the railroad industry, fell in love with the area and imagined a city where railways and shipping lines converged to ship throughout the entire world. Hence his utopian socialist “commune”, but it seems like he gave up after some years… The city was not incorporated until a few years later when another American man named Benjamin Johnston came to make a fortune in the sugar industry. The grounds of the former house of Johnston have been turned into the Parque Sinoloa, with ongoing efforts to restore and maintain many of the species of plants that were originally here. Edmundo took us for a walk through the park and it was pretty obvious that Johnston spared no expense in building his house and grounds, as the park is quite large even though it currently doesn’t encompass all of Johntson’s original land. There is also a nice rose garden that is being restored and a beautiful cactus garden to stroll through.
As we mentioned Edmundo was gracious enough to let us camp on a property he owns just outside of Los Mochis. As it turns what he called a “modest property” turned out to be a beautifully landscaped parcel overlooking the Rio Fuerte, complete with palapas to hang out under and some caged cougars next door that became Luis’ best friends. We really enjoyed our stay here, and are indebted to Edmundo for his wonderful hospitality.
Since we had a great free place to stay and Edmundo offered to show us around, we also took care of some of the minor mechanical and technical (packing) issues that had been plaguing us. One day when we weren’t busy getting mechanical work done, we took a drive up to the town of El Fuerte, about 100 km east of Los Mochis. The town is fairly old (founded in 1563) and is one of the many Pueblo Magicos we have been visiting in Mexico. El Fuerte (The Fort) was for almost 300 years, the most important commercial and agricultural center in the northwestern region of Mexico, serving all the silver and gold mines from the nearby Barranco de Cobre. It is a charming town, with a really nice plaza and some nice hotels to check out -did we mention we like to go into hotels that are 1000 times over our budget, just to admire how the other half lives. One of the nicest hotels we have seen in Mexico is here, the beautiful Posada del Hidalgo. It is a sprawling (one story) property, probably covering at least a whole block and several houses, and has lot’s of different halls leading to small nicely landscaped courtyards through out the whole place. One of the houses within the hotel is the supposed childhood home of the famous El Zorro, the masked alter ego of Don Diego de la Vega. On a hill above the hotel is the old fort which gives the town it’s name, and is now a museum. We walked up and checked the fort museum out, there wasn’t anything really interesting to see in the museum, but the views from the top of the fort were worth the money to get in.
The following photos are a sampling from our drive to and around El Fuerte, they include a very hardworking brick making yard that we found fascinating.