travel

A Rainy Day In Paradise

Or rather, a rainy weekend! Credits to Rom for the title ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Last weekend, Rom, Laura and I went on yet another Hang Out trip to La Huasteca Potosina, a beautiful area full of waterfalls and nature about 8 hours north of Mexico City.

This was the longest trip we’d been on so far, leaving Thursday night (luckily I got Friday off work by putting in extra hours last Saturday), driving through the night in a minibus with the world’s smallest legroom (seriously give me Ryanair any day, I spent all weekend sitting sideways).

Our first stop was a gorgeous waterfall: El Puente de Dios. Little did we know at this point that waterfalls, and jumping off them, would become a recurring theme of this trip. So we proceeded to get changed into our swimwear, and some of us bought some water shoes – genuinely the best purchase I’ve ever made, pretty sure their grippy soles and warming insulation saved my life this weekend. After a breakfast of Mexico’s smallest quesadilla (#dissapointed), we headed down the hundreds of steps to the waterfall, took some photos, and jumped down into it! It was a 7m jump I think, and super fun despite the slippery rocks at the top! We just had to remember to grab the rope at the bottom to avoid being washed downstream by the gushing current!

Once everyone had jumped, we navigated along the rope into a cave, which was like something out of a movie! Above water, it was pitch black, but somehow the sunlight was breaching through under the water, lighting it up in a bright blow glow – just enough for us to be able to see the bats hanging from the ceiling! The bats made it pretty clear quite quickly that this was their territory, so we quickly ducked back out of the exit, AKA a teeny tiny crack (just big enough for half a face above water) and finally got out of the freezing water! I just about had enough blood left in my hand to navigate against the current and climb out using the rope (#JustRaynaudsThings). We jumped in again a few more times, because, y’no, #Yolo, then we explored the other areas around the river, before carrying on to our next stop: Las Cascadas de Tamasopo. 

This really reminded us of Las Estacas, it was kind of a natural water park, but because of the miserable weather we spent most of our time there enjoying hot chocolate and chicken in the restaurant! Luckily we were brave enough to give the rope swing a go, and to climb to the top of the waterfalls for more #views. Finally we headed back to the hotel for much needed showers, fresh clothes and then we got some yummy Mexican dinner: Gringas, Tacos and Nachos.

Unfortunately, the weather hadn’t miraculously improved by the next day (Saturday), so the mood of the bus was kind of like “why on earth are we doing this” as we headed in our bikinis (still damp from the day before) and our towels (also still damp) to the next activity of the trip: La Cascada de Tamul. You guessed it: yet another waterfall! This one we would reach by boat, so we marched through a muddy and pooey field to the river, and proceeded to paddle upstream to the waterfall. I must admit, our technique wasn’t exactly professional, but we like to think our shouting of “remen!!”(paddle!) every now and then helped. We reached the waterfall, took some pretty photos, then headed back. During the rapids on the way back we jumped out of the boat and let the current take us, which was another great adrenaline rush! We docked at the riverside, where there was another cool cave (also full of bats) which we could swim in, it was so huge and amazing, even if it was freezing! Afterwards we warmed up with some well-deserved Atole (sunflower seed flavoured, so delicious!), and got back into the boat, ready to paddle back to the start.

Our next stop was probably my favourite of the whole trip: El Castillo de Edward James: a surrealist Eden in the middle of nowhere, designed by the extremely wealthy yet troubled British man, Edward James. It was his personal escape from reality, and it was breathtaking.

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That night we taught the group some real British culture: Ring of Fire, and various other drinking games. Hopefully they enjoyed them!

Sunday was our last day of the trip, and perhaps the most exciting! We realised all the waterfalls we’d seen so far had been training for this one big event: today, we would be jumping of waterfalls. All day. From 2 metres to 8 metres in height, we’d need to be on top form, after all, once you jump into the river, there’s no going back. It really wasn’t as scary as we feared, I think I’ve truly conquered my fear of heights this weekend!


This isn’t me, but this was one of us jumping off the highest waterfall!

It was over before we knew it, so we headed on to our next set of waterfalls: Las minas viejas, where I saw the bluest water I’ve ever seen in my life. Since we were already cold, shivering, and damp, we thought fuck it and swam up to the rather aggressive waterfall, fighting the waves and the spray. We then carried on downstream to some more waterfalls to jump off, only about 2 metres this time (#boring). Finally, we put on the last of our dry clothes (so glad I overpacked) and warmed up with some gorditas for dinner: very greasy, but we needed the energy!

 

Then we got back on the MINIbus, and drove back through the night to the city. I got home at about 4am, got some sleep before having to get up for work at 8am on Monday morning.

This next weekend will be a rest weekend for me, even if it is a bank holiday on Monday. Besides, I really need stop messing about in waterfalls and crack down on this YARP stuff at some point! โœŒ

 

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[Not all pictures/videos are mine, thanks to others for taking photos! ๐Ÿ˜Š ]

 

 

 

 

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