Grutas de Garcia & Downtown exploration
What turned out to be just a calm and relaxing Sunday, became a day full of events and adventure.
Every single Sunday in San Pedro, Monterrey, the roads outside of my hotel (Calzada San Pedro & Calzada de Valle) are closed and opened to the public for running, cycling and walking their dogs. Since I went to Guadalajara last weekend, I didn't want to miss my chance to run on the runner-friendly city. I bumped into SJ (Sangjeong) and my friend Aaron, and we decided to run together!
On the roads, you can even rent the bikes for free! On the side walk, there are also mini-markets where locals sell merchandise, drinks and food.
After a satisfying run, Aaron decided to give SJ and I a treat to his favourite restaurant for Tacos. Apparently, this place is deemed by Aaron "the best tacos restaurant in the world". After listening to what he said, I certainly have raised my bar and have high expectation from this place.
This place is actually quite far - even further and more south than Santiago. At the end, we arrived at this place called "El Pariente".
At the restaurant, Aaron ordered the trio tacos - quesadillas, tostadas and gorditas. Quesadillas in the north means tacos with cheese. It makes sense since "queso" means cheese. However, according to Aaron, quesadillas in the capital Mexico City are tacos without cheese. The inconsistency on the definition of quesadillas causes confusion over Mexico. Tostadas are basically baked tortillas with stuff on top. Here's a picture:
After spending the afternoon and morning with SJ, she had to go back to work :(
Aaron and I decided to continue our adventure and met up with Mamta, Fatima and Parco to visit a famous attraction in Monterrey - Grutas de Garcia, which means Cave of Garcia.
Grutas de Garcia is about a good 45 min to 1 hour away from the city centre. On our way to the cave, we see beautiful scenery: rocks, mountains, half-desserts. Some of the landscapes resemble the stereotypes that Hollywood has portrayed of Mexico.
At the cave, we purchased a package to visit the cave and the museum. However, after visiting the cave, the museum closed. Unfortunately, there's no refund.
Since we arrived at the cave around 4:30pm, there wasn't a long line-up even on a weekend. This means we had more time looking around the cave without the pressure of being pushed from behind.
The cave itself is very spectacular. Some of the rock formations look like waterfalls. When I touch them, I can assure you that they are hard as a rock. Also, the Mexicans love naming the rocks with any kind of associations with the Catholic Church. For example, some rocks are named hell, heaven, deadman's finger, the Cross, the coffin etc.
At night, Aaron graciouslly offered us to visit downtown Monterrey. We first went to the only large public park of Monterrey - Fundidora parc, and then we hopped on to a canal and go along the Santa Lucia riverwalk. The canal is very similar to the one in Venice and the one in Dubai. A very lovely canal.
At the end, we witnessed the sunset fell upon downtown Monterrey, with the Mexican flag standing strong and waving along the wind.