And we took another drive out of Mazatlan this time up the Durango highway a ways to the little village of Copala. There really isnít much to the town. But itís a pretty drive. We were there last year too.
The picturesque town is nestled in the hills and almost invisible from the highway. A sharp right turn from the highway and you are on a steep cobblestone lane leading down to the village. Follow the road around past the Panteon #3 [cemetery - donít know why #3] then past a couple of the red tile roofed houses. And the one-room school house with the big satellite dish on the roof. Continuing up the narrow street rounding several more corners, hoping no one else is coming the other way and you're in the center of town. There is the plaza and the Church and much to our disappointment the beautiful big rose colored bougainvillea that was in front of the church was GONE! We asked and were told that it was causing damage to the foundation of the church so it was cut down. What a shame.
The church is very pretty. It was built in 1765. It has some interesting features: The weeds that are growing on the top of the bell tower. Itís almost a meadow up there now. The statue of Jesus standing on the corner of the roof looking out over the village. And the ďcivilian manĒ who pokes straight out from the front of the church just above the choir window. No idea what that is about.
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The young man who makes the wood carvings from the bark of a tree was still there. Again we bought a couple of the carvings. He uses very make shift tools to do his work - a small stone sharpened regular screwdriver and a piece of a broken automobile antenna are a couple of tools he uses. It is amazing what he can do. He told us that this has been a bad year for tourists and when they do come they donít buy anything.
After visiting with him for a while we went again to look at the leather masks the guy here makes. Talked to him too. Found out he not only uses cow and pig skin he also uses skins from different kinds of fish in his masks. Interesting. Couldnít take any pictures of his masks - has a BIG sign up NO PHOTOS!!!! Took some last year though. There is another big shop in the plaza area it sells items from all over Mexico. Pottery, dolls, ceramic tiles and clothing.
Back down the streets to Danielís restaurant where we had lunch. It is a neat place; sits on top of a hill so good views and very pretty inside. Lots of ambiance. Both of us had chicken fajitas with salad and of course beans (ugh) and the meal comes with a slice of banana cream pie (delicious.) Danielís is famous for itís banana cream pies - they are even sold in Mazatlan. The owner built the restaurant to give work to the people of Copala.
When we left we drove a little further up the road to Durango. It has heavy truck traffic - I wouldnít like to do that as there is at least one curve every 150 feet. The road is called ďThe backbone of the Devil.Ē
While going uphill we rounded a corner to find a pig in the road. He ambled off onto the shoulder when he saw us. First time for everything I guess. Turned around right after that and headed back to Mazatlan.