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Today was to be a rest day to take in some of the local cultural scene. I did not feel particularly rested as I had bit of chest and sinus congestion that kept interrupting my sleep. This was compounded by being greeted by many zealous roosters long before dawn actually arrived. It was quite cold out but I bundled up and hung out on the hillside above the lodge to watch sunrise break into the valley. That morning we had an excellent breakfast and the most incredible cup of coffee I have had in a really long time, made cowboy style. We were really in no rush today at all so we leisurely set out from the lodge some time after 9AM.
Our first stop was at a Tarahumara Village a short walk north of the lodge. The village was a handful of adobe cabins spread around a small valley where in one glance you could see goats, burros, and bulls, as well as a few kids playing. The Tarahumara are often very shy around gringos, so as we passed by their homes they would usually go inside.
At the northeast end of the valley there was an old area that had some Tarahumara wall paintings on them. I don't know how old these were, but they looked like they may have had a little maintenance done them in the not so distant past. Either way they were pretty cool.
We had been told that there were some old caves used by the Tarahumara at the top of the tall ridge north of the Valley. Kevin and I decided to explore a few trails and make our way up the ridge. On the way up we found a few small caves but nothing too exciting until we reached the top of the ridge and found a set of very impressive caves. "Caves" is used loosely as the stone naturally erodes in a manner than creates large overhangs in the rock that make caves with very large openings. Often times the Tarahumara would wall up these overhangs to make a mini-stone cabin. While the shelter may be meager, the views from the "front yard" were exceptional as we were at least 1,000 feet above the valley we were in earlier in the day. The wind was calm while we were on the ridge and we could clearly hear the sounds of kids playing and clank of the goat bells as they grazed in the valley far below.
After lunch and a siesta, Blair, Richard, Kevin and I rode the single track along the creek that we came into Cusarara on back upstream for a couple of miles before peeling off to go to the Cusarara waterfall. This is large waterfall and quite pretty. We hung out at the waterfall for an hour or so while Richard took a trail down to the bottom and kicked back for a while. We left shortly after the evening sun left the bottom of the canyon as it quickly started to cool off.
That night we had we had an amazing vegetable stuffed chicken dinner that was to die for. It was by far the best chicken I have ever had in my life. Once again I was full and happy and I did not make it more than a couple of hours after dinner before I was fast asleep.