Feb 29, 2020
We woke up at a reasonable time and rushed ahead to the waterfall right in front of the first tour groups that showed up promptly at 9. The path to the waterfall was really pretty and ran along the side of a mountain before going along a lovely stream with several small waterfalls. We reached the main waterfall and it was quite nice but blocked off from swimming and besides the water was cold. We spent a few minutes taking pictures before the tour groups started showing up and then we headed back to Rover.
While quite pretty this was an unplanned stop and we still had miles to go. On our way out we had to make another stop at the corn vendor that Holly liked so much and at 15 pesos per corn it was cheap.
We continued to drive through the mountains past picturesque towns tucked into the mountains. The problem with mountain towns was the lack of large, flat parking spaces so we did not stop. A while later the mountains turned from pine forest to scrub and as we continued down the mountain it was back to desert conditions as we started getting out of the mountains.
The good thing about getting out of the mountains is that we finally passed through a town with large, flat parking spaces and we stopped at a roast chicken restaurant to pick up a chicken for lunch which turned out to be quite large so we had plenty of left overs.
We finally got to Bernal in the late afternoon. Bernal is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicales or “magic towns” and is known for the Pena de Bernal a porphyrytic monolith which towers over the town. Basically the Pena de Bernal is a very large rock the size of a small mountain. Unlike other mountains the Pena de Bernal is all one rock. It is 1,421 feet tall and the third largest monolith in the world. Some people think that the monolith has mystic powers and is considered one of the 13 wonders of Mexico. For us though it was just a small mountain over the town. Guess we are just muggles.
Being a cute Mexican colonial town it was a stressful bouncy drive going through the lovely narrow cobblestone streets. I am starting to really dislike cobblestone. The roads were so narrow that occasionally oncoming cars had to back up to a wider part of the street so we could pass. We wound our way through the town headed towards a parking lot reported by iOverlander but before we got there we found flat parking on a quiet wider street and decided to just pull over then and there instead of pushing on through the narrow streets.
We had some sunlight left so we walked back down the mountain to check out the town. Bernal is a dedicated tourist town lined with shops and restaurants. It was Saturday so the town was filled with local Mexican tourists. We passed by a bunch of souvenir shops before stopping at a place selling sweet Gorditas. Instead of meat they sold fat gorditas, which looked like large English Muffins and filled them with a choice of filling such as strawberry jam, chocolate, Nutella, cream, etc. We got one with strawberry jam and Nutella for 30 pesos and it was quite good.
A few blocks further down we came upon a corn seller. In addition to the standard corn on the cob she had a variety of corns of different colors, some sweet corn, some salsa corn, some salty corn. Holly got a small plate and made herself a little corn sampler.
We continued down to the main square which was really cute and filled with hip restaurants and bars. Some of the streets looked like they could be from a movie set they were so cute. As we walked something smelled good and we followed the aroma to a small doorway with a line of people out front and the sign Pan de Queso above We got one of the cheese breads along with what looked like a large cinnamon roll. The Pan de Queso was a warm soft bun filled with soft sweet cheese and was utterly delicious. The roll was a just slightly sweet cinnamon roll which we saved for another day.
By then it had gotten dark so we took a trike back to Rover to finish off the chicken we got earlier for dinner.