lunes, enero 06, 2014

The Horseman -- El Jinete

One of my plans for this year is to travel more, and to seal this promise to myself I thought I needed to make a short trip this weekend. First I was thinking of Saltillo, a city in the state of Coahuila that's only 46 miles from home, but then I remembered the recent accidents in the road caused by dense fog and decided to make the trip on a sunnier day. Not that there are many things to do in Saltillo, but the idea was to get out of town.
Where to go? Unlike Distrito Federal, the city of Monterrey is not surrounded by beautiful places to visit at close distance. Our closest destinations that are worth (and safe) visiting are at least 3.5 hours away: Galeana, Ciudad Valles, Tamuín, Tampico, Cuatro Ciénegas, Zacatecas. The American cities of Laredo and McAllen are much closer, but they weren't an option because Rodolfo still doesn't have a passport and visa.
As a last resort, I decided to take Carretera Nacional and drive south at least a few miles from Monterrey metropolitan area and stop at a nice restaurant by the road. And off we went... We had a delicious northern-style breakfast at Merendero Tino, and then we admired the horses in the yards of the restaurant. We didn't really go very far, but it certainly felt like we were in quite another city.

The Carretera Nacional is a road that takes us to quiet, nice villages and small towns in southern Nuevo Leon,  Montemorelos, Allende, Linares. It's almost incredible how the landscapes dramatically change as soon as you hit the road. There are several small rivers in this area of the  state and this accounts for the plants and small trees that you can see on both sides of the road and also on the mountains.
If you continue driving south after you pass Linares, you'll soon enter the state of Tamaulipas and, a few hours later, Veracruz. But if you turn right, you'll enter a winding two-lane road that starts to go higher and higher at each turn. You have to drive very, very carefully or else you might end up down the cliffs hundreds of feet below. I used to get very nervous driving up this road, especially when I was about to take an ascending curve and saw a big 18-wheeler or a bus coming down in my direction and taking up a little more lane that their share.
Galeana is a place in the southmost part of the state, with a lot of beautiful attractions and the highest mountain in Nuevo Leon: Cerro del Potosí, whose top is right now covered with snow. This unusual event, though a disgrace for the poor inhabitants of the nearby villages, is attracting a lot of visitors from the city of Monterrey who have never seen snow in their lives.

I think I'll visit Galeana soon!


Uno de mis planes para este año es viajar más, así que para sellar este compromiso conmigo mismo pensé que era necesario hacer un viajecito este fin de semana. Al principio pensé en ir a Saltillo, que está a unos 80 kilómetros de aquí, pero al recordar los accidentes de la semana pasada y antepasada debido a la niebla decidí dejarlo para una mejor ocasión.
¿A dónde ir? Acá no es como en el DF, que tiene un montón de lugares bonitos para visitar a una distancia muy corta. Acá los lugares que vale la pena visitar están cuando menos a 3.5 horas de camino: Galeana, Ciudad Valles, Tamuín, Tampico, Cuatro Ciénegas, Zacatecas. La frontera con Estados Unidos queda mucho más cerca, pero no podíamos ir porque Rodolfo no tiene pasaporte ni visa.
Por último se me ocurrió tomar la Carretera Nacional, conducir un poco con rumbo sur y detenerme en algún buen restaurante a la orilla del camino. Así que eso hicimos y después de manejar un poco probamos un delicioso almuerzo norteño en Merendero Tino, y luego nos fuimos a admirar los caballos que tienen en el patio, los cuales uno puede montar por solamente $5.00 la vuelta. Estuvimos muy cerca de la ciudad, pero realmente parecía que estábamos en un lugar muy distinto.

La Carretera Nacional es el camino para llegar a bellos y tranquilos municipios del sur de Nuevo León, como Montemorelos, Allende, Linares. Parce increíble como tan pronto agarramos la carretera, el panorama cambia por completo, los cerros muy verdes y plantas y árboles a ambos lados del camino... esto se debe a que en esta parte del estado hay más agua, si bien se trata de pequeños ríos y lagunas.
Si uno continúa manejando hacia el sur después de pasar por Linares, pronto entrará al estado de Tamaulipas y, unas horas más adelante, el bello Veracruz. Pero si uno decide voltear a la derecha, ingresará a una sinuosa carretera de dos vías que empieza a subir y subir hacia la sierra. Hay que manejar con mucho cuidado, porque en un accidente puede uno terminar cientos de metros más abajo, en el precipicio.
Recuerdo que antes viajaba con cierta frecuencia para estos rumbos, y cómo me ponía nervioso esta carretera, especialmente al ir subiendo para llegar a una curva, y toparme en dirección contraria a un enorme tráiler o autobús que agarraban parte de mi carril.
Galeana es un municipio ubicado en la punta sur del estado, que tiene muchos atractivos y el cerro más alto de Nuevo León: Cerro del Potosí, el cual justamente ahora está cubierto de nieve. Este inusual evento, aunque ha significado una desgracia para los pobres pobladores de las rancherías cercanas, está atrayendo a mucha gente de Monterrey que nunca ha visto la nieve en su vida.
Creo que iré a visitar Galeana de nuevo, y muy pronto...

4 comentarios:

  1. Do you ever go hiking in the mountains around Monterrey? It looks like there could be some interesting spots there.

    I used to have a horse as a kid, but I haven't ridden in years. But it's like bike-riding; you never forget.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    San Francisco, CA
    Where we are just kind of hanging out our last day. Tomorrow we go back to Boston.

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    1. Sure I've gone hiking! A few years ago I went to Cerro de la Silla (saddle mountain), which, as you probably know, is the symbol of the city of Monterrey. There is another mountain called Chipinque, where many people gather every Sunday to bike, hike, jog... there is a restaurant on top. The view from both Cerro de la Silla and Chipinque is beautiful. I've been to Galeana several times, but I'm very sorry I missed a chance to hike Cerro del Potosí, which is the highest mountain in Nuevo Leon. Speaking about horses, I've ridden a horse only once, when I was a young man and had a ranchero boyfriend in Tamaulipas. This time I got on the horse only for the pictures -- I had had a very heavy breakfast and I didn't feel ok to ride. You have a very nice trip back to Boston.

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  2. Tinisimo te otorgo un premio Liebster viene desde Tigreton

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    1. guauuuuuu muchas gracias... voy a revisar de qué se trata... saludos!!!!!

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