After a day sauntering in Queretaro, it was off for a day of rock climbing in nearby Bernal, a weekend destination for residents of Queretaro. There are two bus companies that serve this route, both in second class: Flecha Azul and Flecha Amarillo. There isn’t really much difference between the two besides the color of the bus. The cost of the ticket is amazingly cheap, about 40 pesos or $2 US. The journey takes about an hour.
Upon arrival to Bernal, the sight was graced my eyes was immediate, stunning, and spectacular: Peña de Bernal, the third highest monolith in the world. The bus driver let people off as soon as we entered the town, but I probably could have stayed on the bus longer as I noted many others did not get off so early. They probably got off closer to the base. I ended up taking a three wheeler to the base for a few pesos.
From here, it was a tough but doable climb to the top, about 45 minutes. There are sharp steps along the way, definitely not an easy climb. That being said, the locals were flying up as I slowly made my way. This showed their experience but also how out of shape I am at this point in my life.
Finally I made it to nearly the top, and frankly the view is spectacular. Every person here had a smile on their face. The horizon is a wonderful view and a reward for making it to the top. There is another steep section to go a bit higher, but I gave up after realizing climbing up rocks with shoes with little traction wasn’t a bright idea.
From here it was back down, which was easier but harder on the knees. It didn’t seem to take as much time, maybe half or 2/3 of the time to go up. Once I reached the base, this is where the confusion started. The village has no formal bus station, it just picks up on roads along the way. Since I walked down instead of taking a 3 wheeler and couldn’t find exactly where the bus let me off. Instead I meandered through the tiny but charming center, and along various other alley ways and streets based on the suggestions of several locals until hitting the main road. Here, I was about to give up and sit and eat but then a local pointed to a Flecha Azul bus that was coming right in front of us. I hopped on the road and waved to the driver and got on. This was one of those situations that was frustrating at the time but laughable looking back.
From here it was another hour back to the Queretaro bus station. This bus driver was flying and there was a shaking door handle at the front, but it was strong enough to stay on. At the Queretaro bus station, the taxi line was moving very slowly, it took about half an hour to get one. It seems the drivers were more interested in dropping people off than picking them up, probably to avoid the headache of dealing with vouchers which have to be later cashed in.
After reaching the town again, it was time for dinner. I decided to eat at a casual place called Los Antojitos, and had the entamotadas, basically red enchiladas. These had some kick to them unlike the food I had the night before. Since it was around 4 pm by now this was essentially my dinner. After this I walked around the various alleyways of the center before heading back to the hotel to sleep, as my flight back was at 515 AM. Overall, this was a pleasant 2 day trip and I’m happy I was able to visit after 8 years of wondering.