Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cerro de la Silla

No Mexican needs an introduction to Cerro de la Silla, the landmark mountain of Monterrey. Cerro de la Silla (1800m high) translates to Saddle mountain, for it resembles the horse saddle. Located in Guadalupe municipality, this mountain is crowded by hikers over weekends who take the 5Km trail to Pico Antena (Antenna peak). The hike is fairly difficult and tiring due to steep gradient and presence of stray rocks all over. A decent hiking shoes is highly recommended but I was shocked to see one lady with her fashionable shoes struggling to hike.

Around midway there is an abandoned building, the terrace of which is used by the hikers for relaxing, the view of the city is breathtaking from there, but nothing when compared to the view from top. This building supposedly housed the tramway, which had a tragic closure on the same day of it's inauguration. There are a vendors selling fruits, cookies, tostadas, juice and water at this point.

Most of them return back, after munching and relaxing for a while on the terrace, as a result the human traffic is greatly reduced ahead. There is a statue of Christ a few steps ahead of this house, after which it's all ruthless and rocky trail winding upwards. Colourful butterflies, moths and grasshoppers accompany you all along the journey and occasionally, if you get lucky, you happen to see snakes and other vivid reptiles. The trek becomes exceedingly tiring as you gain height, at some point of time, you feel like giving up. On the summit, you find a gigantic microwave tower, probably meant for meteorology or some research, into which entry is prohibited.

We walked along the fence of the premises and reached the other side of the mountain, we had a breathtaking view of the whole valley more like what you can see from the flight window. We were on top of clouds and we could see the magnificent Chipinque range and Cerro de las Mitras, popping out of the clouds. The valley eastwards of the mountain was veiled by fleecy white clouds. We maneuvered among the rocks to reach the cross, the places was crowded by the young French students of Tec de Monterrey. We saw a cute badger which was playing with the people there, it was hungry probably and people were feeding it with biscuits. It's a very timid animal, with sharp claws which it uses to snatch food and the snout resembles that of a pig.

We spent nearly 30 minutes, feeding the badger and photographing the landscape. The return journey is the most painful one, the knees start paining terribly and so does calf muscle. The descent somehow seems longer than ascent, you feel like running down with gravity but there are too many scattered rocks to do so. It takes around 40 minutes to descend with a decent pace, without any stops. We stopped at the forsaken house for some fruits and continued the descent.

With sore legs, fatigued body, drained energy we were still delighted about the whole hike. It's a good weekend dose of exercise and exhilaration. The best part of the hike is it's location within the city limits and free entrance.

P.S: All photos were shot using Canon SD1100IS.
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