It was 8:10 by the time we (Lokesh, Mallesh, Liyan and me) reached Soriana at the junction of Alfonso Reyes and Garza Sada. I was worried if we were late but somehow Mexicans are close cousins to Indians when it comes to punctuality. Only 2 of team members, Octavio and Alex, had arrived. After few minutes people started pouring in...Apram, Adria, Celeste, Bere, Izkalli, Myriam, Oscar, Paco, Paco and Paco (Pacos are extremely popular names in Mexico, but Joses beat them hands down).
We reached Parque la Estanzuela by 9:15 and waited another 30 minutes until Jaime arrived. The trek finally started at 15 to 10. The trek consists of a kilometer long pavement followed by steep climb, but since many voted for the water path...I guided them off the pavement and we started a sort of easy canyoneering. We had to keep passing through the rocks, some were slippery, some were shaking, some were dangerous, some were steep. The idea behind the trek was to build a team morale among the members and it indeed helped us. Some of the members needed a hand while hopping the rocks and crossing the streams, everybody cooperated well, lending their hand whenever needed. At the end of the river hike, there was a vertical rock which was to be climbed with the help of rope and support of a couple of wooden branches. This was the most difficult part of the journey, which I had not told to the team when we started. But we did quite well there. Lokesh was the bottom, Oscar at the intermediate stage and myself on the top pulling the people up. That was an epitome of what is called a "Team activity".
After a small break, we continued the journey further with yet another rope-supported climb but an easy one. There was a dangerous rocky ridge that had to be crossed with the support of rope, after which the journey was smooth. We reached our destination "El Cielo" (The Heaven) which had a waterfall with disappointing levels of water. Bere was too exhausted to make it to El Cielo, she was waiting for us a few meters below where there was a pool. Myriam, who is normally cheerful and loud was very feeble. We rested there for a while munching on fruits and filling our water bottles with fresh water from the spring. Jaime and myself took a dip in the ice-cold pool. Liyan was busy shooting the tiny butterflies. We had a group photo at the pool and started the return journey.
During return journey, we took the normal path for faster movement. We all stopped at El Mirador (the viewpoint) for a few clicks and continued our journey ahead. We saw few ladies, whom we presumed to be tourists, on the way back who were dressed in skirts and sandals!!! The descent on the pavement is a very slopy one and most of us started runnying down such a slope. It's fun but dangerous, for the momentum gain would be very high and by chance you slip, you're in trouble. We finished the trek in separate groups...Mallesh, Myriam and Bere were the last three who joined us at the entrance gate at 2:30PM. We broke into many groups during return journey and we were a bit mean for not having awaited for the rest of the group.
It was a great trek and it surely would do a lot good for the team, but the disappointing part was the fact that only half the team turned up. Nevertheless it was a well-spent Saturday in the mountains than lazing at home with beers in hand.
Photographs courtesy: Myriam, Octavio and Apram