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going for a walk

Jeff and I decide to walk from Urique to Batopilas for New Year’s Eve. This means walking out of the deepest canyon in North America over the mountain tops and down into the second deepest canyon in North America on a network of unmarked footpaths that have been used by local people for hundreds of years. We don’t have a map and information is pretty hard to come by.

We tell Keith of our plans but it isn’t until we are packed and about to leave that he informs me that he actually possesses a topographical map of the area. Keith is reluctant to hand over his map but he does allow us to photograph it. He also casually recommends we avoid the route where a local bandit has robbed a number of travellers in recent months.

When Keith realised that we were serious about walking from Urique to Batopilas he let slip that he did actually have a map that might help us.

When Keith realised that we were serious about walking from Urique to Batopilas he let slip that he did actually have a map that might help us.

Armed with our photo map, a few place names and loads of fresh food from the garden, we set off, as the sun is setting, into a rainy, but warmish, evening. We walk about seven kilometres on the road down the river before setting up camp.

The morning brings better weather, as the clouds slowly lift up out of the canyon.

Misty mountains - Urique Canyon.

Misty mountains - Urique Canyon.

Flowering trees line the road.

Flowering trees line the road.

Setting off along the road in the morning.

Setting off along the road in the morning. Photo: Jeff Volk.

Soon the road ends and we have to choose our way from the network of footpaths available. Our way takes us further along the river before climbing over the mountain tops.

Jeff questioning, Alberto, one of the people we meet about the correct way to proceed.

Jeff questioning Alberto - one of the people we meet en route - about the correct way to proceed.

The first day we don

The first day we don't get far - we are reluctant to leave the river behind us.

The water is cold - but irresistable.

The water is cold - but irresistible. Photo: Jeff Volk.

Jeff taking the plunge.

Jeff taking the plunge.

We camp by the river for a second night.

Dawn on the river.

Dawn on the river.

Clouds lifting at dawn.

Clouds lifting at dawn.

Cactii and sunshine - a different world from the mountain tops.

Cactii and sunshine - a different world from the mountain tops.

I love cactii.

I love cactii.

Eventually we start to climb and leave the river below.

Finally we leave the river below start to climb.

Finally we leave the river below start to climb... Photo: Jeff Volk.

...through cactus forests.

...through cactus forests.

Higher and higher.

Higher and higher.

The third night sees us camping in a cave on the mountain tops.

Sunset from the cave.

Sunset from the cave...

...and dawn.

...and dawn.

Cave views.

More cave views. Photo: Jeff Volk.

Camp in the cave. Jeff reading in the morning.

Camp in the cave. Jeff reading in the morning.

We wake in the morning and start the descent into the Batopilas canyon on New Year’s Eve.

A man carrying a sack heading up the mountain we have just started to descend.

A man carrying a sack heading up the mountain we have just started to descend.

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