|water oozing out from Rocks giving the name MetaCanes|
Rebirth of Desire:
Trips to Metacanes were opened this year on April and my trekking friend Sudhee completed it. His stories inspired me so much that i thought of going there before i go back to India. He mentioned that there would be guides who would tell how to and how not to jump, neoprene suits which provides some protection against water as we would be in water whole day and also life jackets which would make sure that you won't sink in water. As i have learnt swimming by then i was confident of not drowning in water and above facts boosted my confidence and made me register for that event with a group by name Alpek Adventures with whom i had been to different trips already like Pico Pyramides and Pico Perico in Cerro de las Mitras and Copete de las Aguilas in Chipinque.
Where is this Metacanes and what exactly is this ?
You might have seen normal waterfalls and water flowing through caves. You might have also seens underground ponds known as "Cenotes" in Mexico where no sunlight reaches. But have you heard of water oozing out from the rocks ?
|One of the streams which gives Metacanes , its name. Had to make special request for the guide to take this pic :-)|
It is Located at a distance of approximate 2 hours from Colla De Caballo Cascada/waterfalls in Portero Redondo, Santiago, Neo Leon, Mexico.
Journey to Colla De Caballo:
We started around 7 PM from our place and reached the Colla De Caballo hotel around 08:30.
Journey from Monterrey to this hotel gets very difficult in evening because of the fog. We could hardly see 20 meters ahead of our vehicle !
|Foggy road towards Colla de Caballo from monterrey in night|
From there we transferred to the mountain jeep and started towards Metacanes by 09:30.
Journey Towards the Center of Jungle:
It's a unique experience when you are travelling in a forest in a small muddy road full of curves and there is no light except the headlight of your vehicle !
|widest part of the road towards Metacanes !|
There were lots of Mountain bikers and the party guys driving there 4 wheelers for mountain with load music entertaining us with their sound for some distance. But once we cross them, roads used to be dark, quite as they were before and journey continued.. We reached our destination around midnight.
|Mountain vehicles enjoying night life in road from Metacanes to Colla De caballo|
We had to walk a bit in rain to reach our place to rest for couple of hours and it was a wooden house with few rooms. Each room consisting of few double beds and could provide space for a total of 8-10 people.
|Inside of our room.|
Trip guys told us that they would give us some food in night and food till next day evening. So, i did not bring any food and was feeling hungry by then . But there was no signs of food and people started eating their own food which they brought and getting to bed. Without any option, i entered my bed and was not getting sleep. I Thought of exploring out and enjoy the fireplace which was kept outside.
|Fellow trekkers at the fireplace|
When i reached the fireplace and was warming myself against the cold and rain, guides started opening the food boxes. Bingo ! They started giving Tortillas with Chicken/Pork and being the sole vegetarian of the trip, i had a tough time. When some of my friends from previous trips like Daniel and Luis and others were asking me on why i was not eating it, i had to explain that "NO comida carne. Yo comida solo vegetariano/I Don't eat meat. I eat only vegetarian food" . Gi Gi had asked me on how do i like Mexican food earlier in the jeep and my explanation regarding that earlier had helped me now :-) She saw me and provided a separate package wrapped in different cover which had Vegan Tortillas. Thanks to our Guide and Organizer Israel who had prepared a Tortilla roll with Potato and Tomatoes only for me as i have mentioned him earlier that i don't eat any meat, fish or Egg :-) After the dinner, we headed back to our rooms and tried to sleep for a while.
Somehow i did not get sleep whole night , probably because of the excitement of the next day or because of new place or the bed or what so ever reasons. All 42 of us had to get freshened up in single toilet available there which was a challenge and somehow we managed it :-) After having the breakfast of 2 bananas and some milk, we got ready for the hike with our neoprene suits, helmets and life jackets. If you are not aware of what is a neoprene suit, i need a mention a bit about it. Its a suit which covers you from your toe till neck and provides lot of protection against water when you have to be in water for long durations. But it also blocks your normal movement initially as you would not be used to walk around with it and makes your arm get tired early if you are not used to swim with this suit earlier. But its a must for places like Metacanes with of lot of jumping , swimming and sliding exercises.
|Me at the door of our woodhouse . You can see the beautiful cloudy mountains at the backdrop|
|One more look of our woodhouse and Israel climbing the ladders to collect some signatures :-)|
|Our Metacanes Gang|
Hiking through the forest:
We walked for almost 90 minutes in forest routes and enjoyed the nature.
|our group at various points|
Around 9 AM we reached the point where we had to start our water sports. Some of this distance can be covered by jeeps and heard that some other groups bring people by jeep till those points to make the overall experience easier. Some even start in early morning to avoid overnight stay problems. But The overnight stay in a wooden house of a forest was definitely worth of loosing some comforts :-)
when we had to start jumping into water, our guides Christian, Nestor and Ricky came forward and gave instructions and demo on how to jump into water. They were showing on how to jump straight into water . Although i could not get all instructions point to point, i could get the context and the signs made by guides while explanations helped me :-) Some of the other trekkers like Ismail, Victor,Jorge, Alex helped in some translations as well. As I have jumped into water from 14 feet in cancun which was 10 feet deep, i was confident that i can do it here as well . But somehow, that was in last year and needed to see some guys here to get the confidence back. First Dive went well although i could not get the angel right and landing slightly on my chest instead of landing on on my feet at 90 degrees to water.
Rappelling across the waterfalls:
|View from the top of first waterfall|
|Our Team before the start of rapelling|
There were couple of other groups along with Alpek that day for Metacanes and all guides took extreme care to make sure that the belts, equipment are proper, tied correctly against the persons and explained people on how to descend down .
|My first rappel in Metacanes|
We spent time at the bottom of the waterfalls until the majority of the group completed their descent and enjoyed the views of the falls
|Me infront of the falls|
Wrong Plunges can be dangerous ! :
I saw people doing summersaults while they jump and falling into water with their backs landing in water. So, i thought that if i jump as if a swimmer dives into the pool, it might be easy to land in water.
|People trying various summersaults during their jump to water|
|Incorrect jumping technique which makes you land on your face or chest|
Nature at its best:
Apart from enjoying the crystal clear blue waters, one more reason to come to Metacanes is its nature. The green foliage and fauna providing a soothing effect as long as you are here
|Group pic at a resting point in Metacanes|
Swimming through a black hole !
After the second Rappel , we landed in a cave of Metacanes.
|Me descending the 2nd rappel across the waterfall into the cave|
|Me Under a tiny stream of water oozing out from rocks in Metacanes|
|One more goup pic at the cave|
Initially i thought we need to hike from there to next plunge. But the end of the cave was pitch dark and guide was showing his battery to us to slide ahead. Believed the guide and got some sunshine after a while. Swimming continued for a while and we reached one more dark spot and it was not clear on where to go. We could just see that water was moving out of it to somewhere and guide was indicating us to swim through there. But to where ? what if that water jumps as some waterfall ? ! Although i have swimmed in Cenotes and dark caves in cancun, those are meant for that and you knew the length of those places by markings. but here here are no such things and you have to blindly believe the guide !
|Place somewhere inside a cave in metacanes. Lighting is not natural and caused by torch|
12 meter Jump:
|2 sides of the 12 meter jump point|
|one of the guy completing 12 meter jump|
|Fellow trekkers at 12 meter jump point shore|
Dumm.. I fell into water and went straight into it as a bullet going through its target. Came out in a second in same force and there was no control to my joy ! I was alive and unaffected after a plunge into water from over 12 meters ! It was the highest jump in my life so far and probably the prefect jump i could ask for and i should remember for a long time. Later got to know that Israel's cam battery had ran out and he could not capture the picture. However the scene of 40+ cheering for me and being courageous enough to fight my own fears and take a plunge from 12+ meters still comes infront of me and gives immense pleasure as if it just happend few seconds back.
There was a food stop around 1 or 1:30 where all of us were very tired and hungry.
|Jump during which i injured my lips and had lunch after that|
After the 12 meter jump which is the highest in Metacanes, we had some other small jumps which did not bother us much. The things which started bothering now are the long stretch of water where we had to swim as our hands and legs started getting tired. So, started to swim with backflips as that was pretty much easy with the life jackets :-)
|A reverse Slide !|
|under a waterstream|
|more swims and slides|
|Easy to swim in a group|
Our jumps, slides, swimming, hiking continued for next 1.5 hours before Ricky finally announced that we can remove the life jackets now as there is no more swimming !
That was a great relief for the hands as they were dead tired although it was not a great news for legs as they had to take up the next journey.
|Hiking through the jungles|
The thought of reaching the end point soon gave some energy to legs and they started pushing their way. We walked for 2 hours or so before reaching our destination around 6:15 which was the city point in Cumbres De Monterrey Natural Park.
There were places to change our clothes and restaurant as well. But we were not in a mood or energy to explore further. It was a great relief to change to warmer clothes after wearing the neoprene suit for whole day. Gi Gi was waiting with some sandwitches and Jamaica(Mexican drink made from Hibiscus flowers) and Coke. Thanks to Gi Gi for making a Vegetarian sandwitch for me and keeping it aside which was delicious with Avacado, Chilli and Cabbage. After everyone assembled there and the guides packed their instruments, we started from there back to Colla De Caballo by 07:45.
We enjoyed the views again and taking group pics on the way
I had been to Cumbres de Monterrey Natural park during my Santiago to Colla De Caballo 23KM trail running event. It was organized by Runners de Monterrey guys and was damm tiring as well. I could recall those boards, mountain ranges when our vehicle was taking the return trip through them
Back to Track:
We reached Santiago around 9 and reached back to Monterrey around 10. It was 10:45 by the time i reached home and was a damm tired , wonderful day. I should admit that it was my toughest one day trip so far which required so much of mental and physical energy and courage. Would cherish the memories of time i Spent with superb friends like Jorge, Daniel, Luis and his 2 other friends, Ismaiel and his gang, Ariana and one more Luis Fransisco, Victor, Alex, Nestor , 5 Guides(Israel, Ge Ge, Ricky, Christian, Nestor) and so many wonderful people whom i met across the trip. It is the Trip Ultimatum in Mexico so far and looking forward for some more such memories to come. Hope to see you again with some nice memories/adventures next time. Till then.. Take care and let me know how you felt about my blog which is open again after a slumber of months.
|Superb views of the Metacanes somewhere towards the end|