In January it was our fourth aniversary (well, actually we have been together longer, but we use as our aniversary the day I moved to Mexico four years ago). We celebrated it with a good dinner and a day trip to Nevado de Toluca, an extinct volcano near quite near here.
We left home early, because we thought we woudn't be the only ones to visit the national park on a sunny Sunday. All seemed to go well until about 40 km before the volcano. The signs for the park are quite badly placed, but we managed to find the right way anyway and thought we would arrive early. Well, we were wrong. The road to Nevado was in bad shape and there was a huuuuuge line of cars. The last 30 something kilometres took us no less than two hours! Some idiots had decided to park their cars on the road that already was very narrow, so at some points only one car could pass. The scenenary was pretty, though.
The national park has a parking lot that was full of people already when we finally got there. Even though lots of people visit the place, the parking lot is really badly organized. There are no maps of the walking routes, for example, and no one to ask for either. We wanted to climb to the crater, because I had heard there's a lovely lake in there. Because there were no signs, we just started to follow a path lots of people seemed to use. I'm not quite sure how high the parking lot is (the highest point of the volcano is about 4600 metres, so I guess the parking place must be at over 3000 metres), but after a while, the thin air made me feel bad. My lungs hurt and I started to feel dizzy. Luckily, after resting a while and drinking water I was good to go again. It was strange though, because when we climbed more, I didn't feel the altitude dizziness anymore.
The path passes though a lovely pine forest to the mountain meadows.
I was so happy with the snow! I've missed it. There were also these strange dry flowers.
The shortest way to the crater - climb right up, right?
And so we climbed...
And climbed... At some point my feet just came out on a strike and just wouldn't move. It was not so much that they felt tired or anything, they just refused to take a step even I was telling them to. One step at a time... There's only a little left...
Or so we thought. When we got to the top, we (and everyone who got there) just screamed "Oh noooo!" Because instead of the seeing the crater and the lake in front of our eyes, we saw this:
We probably could have gotten to the crater too, but by the time we were up, it was already almost 4 o'clock and the park closes at 5. There was no way we could have reached the crater and got back to our car in time. So we just ate our lunch, watched the lovely scenes and when we got cold - it was really windy up there, even the sun was shining so hot - we just decided to go back.
Later we heard that if we had walked the old road instead of climbing the paths, we would have probably reached the crater in time. But well, I think the trip was worth it anyway. I loved being in the nature, smelling the fresh air and exercising. We were really tired when we got home, but it was such a lovely day! And a perfect day to go, because there were no clouds at all (guess who got sunburned...).
The only thing we didn't like was the organization of the park. It sucks. The roads are bad (it also took hours to get away from the park, because of the traffic jams caused by non existent organization). The services in the park are really bad too. It's a shame, because it's such a beautiful place and with a bit of work, the locals could get some extra income and the national park could be better protected. But it seems that the state's governor is more interested in glueing his government propanganda everywhere telling what they supposedly have done, instead of actually doing anything.