Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Chipinque , The beginning of my hiking in Monterrey

Getting in..
It was July 1st , one week after i came to Monterrey. As i Landed on a Friday i.e on 23rd of June and had nothing else to do than sleeping that weekend, wanted to see if i could go somewhere in the next weekend. But my room mate had seen almost all places near by and was not sure about the interests of others over there and wanted to explore some place which was pretty much safe. After spending so much of time in google reading the reviews, multiple blogs , forums and asking the local colleagues , decided to go for a place near by and that was Chipinque.

Entering the Park: 
Did enough research to know that park has an entry fee of 20 pesos per head and we can reach till the gate till Uber. So, had the morning breakfast and reached Chipinque casually around 10:30 AM with 2 liters of water and 2 slices of bread to eat somewhere if i would get hungry. With the little English the driver knew he tried to tell me that he can take me till the top of the park if i pay him 1.5 times the Uber. As i wanted to explore the park myself, i refused and asked him to stop the uber at the gate itself till where i have booked it. He was bit surprised and was asking me on how would i go inside with signals now. I signaled him that i would go walking and he gave an admiring look and terminated the Uber. My Saga in Chipinque started from there.
Chipinque Entry Fee for Hikers

The Land of Butterflies and flowers: 
I was  bird spotter , Butterfly lover and interested in varieties of Flowers and animals. So, i had all reasons to visit Chipinque as i have seen 4-5 different species of butterflies, around same species of birds,animals and so many varieties of flowers on the first day.

My day started grandly with spotting so many colorful flowers and butterflies at the entrance of the park

An Unknown flower and butterfly spotted near the entrance to Chipinque

Vereda 1,2,3: 
When you continue further on the road, you would get the above board which marks the distance to Meseta as 2.2 Kms.

Above one is Vereda 1. You need to walk 500-600 meters in that to get Vereda 2 which would lead you to Another place by name Canoas on the way to meseta
Entrance to Vereda 2

Vereda 2: 
It is one of the great place to hike as you have high chance of spotting few Coatis and other birds here.
Way in Vereda 2
My First spotting of Coati in Chipinque 

One more Coati

In between, you get a point from where you might think that trekking has ended as steps end there and fresh set of steps start ! I thought the same and thought of returning. But wanted to continue anyhow and took the steps shown below. There is a water station just before this point. So, in case you did not bring sufficient water or did not bring any water, you can refill here. 
2nd set of steps in Vereda 2

You would also get path to reach Brecha Del Chile which is another path to reach the peak "El Pinar" (as seen in other post ) and La Floria which is another popular hiking trail in chipinque

Is one more place where Yoga Sessions are held every Sunday and many people come to do some exercise or start their trek. There is a path to Go to El Pinar from here as well .

From here the Vereda 1 takes you down and Vereda 3 takes you up to Meseta.

I found one more water station at this place with some mini gym instruments and places to sit and relax. It is above Canoas and written as Paraje Canoas which can mean Place Canoas.

you can take Brecha Del Chile , Vereda deslavada, coati , Don tono, Moras from here . Moras is the one which Me and Aman did in next trip to Chipinque

I decided to take Vereda 3 instead to reach Meseta

You would find further interesting flowers and insects on the way as the below one

After hiking for some more distance, got into this place where families can sit together and have some lunch or snacks. It also has places for kids to play/exercise. It is the starting point for many treks as well and has one more route to El Pinar !

If you go further above, you would find the last point known as Meseta which has car parking , chipinque administration office and a restaurant. I Was lucky enough to spot many birds here that day

Also found a squirrel by name Allen's squirrel which is native to Mexico

We also have an Insect/butterfly musuem here with free entrance and has information about various butterflies found here

The sliders near by attract almost all kids coming here and also the adults :-)

You would start spotting butterflies here as well

It has some place to rest with canopies

and of course, some pics as well
A Selfie at Meseta
There is a viewpoint by name Mirador La Penita near by and you can enjoy the views from there as well

Views from the View point

Towards El Pinar: 
I had one of the breads and a banana i brought and came back to Explanada from where i could catch vereda 3 to go back .

But i saw the other board of Pinar which was at 6 KM from there and thought of going there as i had plenty of sunshine left for that day.
View of Mountains on the way to El Pinar
 El Empalme: 
There is a view point by name "El Empalme" where you can enjoy the views of surrounding and also do some birding

Mexican Jay found at El Empalme

ParaJe Delicias: 
After walking for 1.5 KM, you would get a place by name Delicias which has a house or store kind of thing which is no longer open. 

Casa Del General Alhazan/ General's house: 
From delicias , i took right and walked for 800 meters to reach the Casa Del General or General's house.

It is not a great place But you can cover it on the way towards other hikes as it is just 800 meters from main road.
Casa De General

One you come back and continue in the route, it divides again. 1 route which goes to the left and downhill which is known as San Agustin. Other one is Mesa Del Epazote towards right and uphill. Third one is towards El Pinar which divides into a short cut for walkers and longer path for cyclists known as "Del Aire"

El Pinar: 
 When you are walking towards El Pinar, you get another trail by name "Vereda De Cabras" which is 900 meters. There is one more path for cyclits which is 2.4 KM. But this 900 meters is kind of steep and needs more energy than you might think normally.  There is a water station before this as well to refill yourself. So ,i was OK to start hiking from this again

Way towards El Pinar
El Pinar
Me at El pinar
With set of other trekkers i met on the way to El Pinar
Views from El Pinar

Mesa Del Epazote: 
I ate the second slice of bread and the banana i had bought and had some water to continue my journey. Although legs were getting tired after this much of walking, i was eager to see Epazote which i did not see before and decided to see on my return. So, hurried my steps down and saw the board which i have seen before which lead to Epazote.

It was marked as 2.4 KMs. But based on my experience with walking since morning, the distance in the boards don't match with the fatigue you feel in mountains. So, i have set a hard target that i would walk till 3:30 PM and if i don't find the Epazote, i am going to come back without it and venture it some other time.

I was walking for 20 minutes or so and did not find it and found route to Las Aguilas instead which was 3.5 KM ahead. but i was neither having energy nor time to visit this and decided to visit it some other time. Which i did in next year as i explained in other blog post.

As this was kind of diversion, i thought of continuing further towards Epazote. I found some people who were walking here and they mentioned that it would take 10-15 minutes more to reach Epazote from that point which acted as energy booster.

Finally i reached Epazote around 3:25 as per the target i had set earlier.
Views from Epazote
A Selfie at Epazote
 After relaxing my legs for a while and enjoying the views of mountains from there, i started back from Epazote . I could not stay there longer as i supposed the park would close by 5 and i had to walk more than 10 KMs to reach the bottom(1.4 of return from Epazote  + 4.5 of the rest of the path from Pinar to Explanada+ 2.9 in AL C.A.V + 2.4 in Vereda 1,2,3).

It was around 4 PM when i reached the San Agustin point and as i was running out of energy to descend around 1 KM and ascend the same path  back, i did not wanted to go there and continued further. There was a Brecha El Empalme of 3.6 KM as well which i did not take due to lack of time

There was a sigh of relief when i reached Explanada which is at an altitude of 1,250 meters as there was tar road after that and i could somehow walk from there even if it gets late.

But I did not wanted to rest there itself and reach the bottom instead. So, continued further and reached the bottom completing my trip.
Hotel Chipinque
Butterfly icon near hotel chipinque

 Could have taken something in hotel chipinque and buy some souvenirs. But they were closing by the time i came down and i wanted to get home as well after the first trip in Monterrey, Mexico. So, booked Uber and started waiting for its 20 minutes of its waiting time in Chipinque :-)