The city of Monterrey can be found in the north-eastern corner of Mexico, just eighty miles from the border with the United States. It was until recently the subject of a travel warning by the US State Department, but the local authorities have worked hard to clean the area up and incidents are now relatively rare.
We decided to avoid a nine hour drive from Mexico City by flying into the local airport and booked tickets, only to discover a few weeks before travel that we'd inadvertently selected a date when Bosque Magico was closed for a private event. In many parts of the world our situation could have been politely summarised as game over, but we decided to try our luck by emailing the park. Much to our delight management was more than happy to accomodate a visit from five crazy enthusiasts, and gave us the full VIP treatment in a visit spanning just over three hours.
Our day began with two circuits on Tornado (#2131), a whirlwind that operated in Belgium for seventeen years before finding its way to Mexico. Only the most hardy enthusiasts could fully relax on board a thirty-three year old Vekoma product, but I can report that the train on this one negotiated its track with remarkable ease, delivering a good ride with no head banging and only a few minor jolts. The view from the apex was spectacular, with a clear blue sky, mountains in the distance, and an enormous number of trees.
From there we were escorted to Sky Flyer, a 40 metre high Soriani-built star flyer clone. This gave us our first good look at the bright green track of the almost completed Zombie Ride, one of two roller coasters being added to the park this year. We were told that construction of the second, a heavily themed spinning mouse called Policías y Ratones, would begin once the first was complete, and that we would be welcome to return for the opening if we could.
Our guide brought us next to an ice cream stand, where most of our group decided to indulge. I'm very fond of ice cream and would have liked to join them, but unfortunately I've developed lactose intolerance in recent years and decided against tempting fate. My abstinence meant that I was the only person completely ready to ride the Boomerang, an inward facing Frisbee copy of indeterminate provenance. There was a slight shudder with each change of direction, but otherwise the ride quality was very good.
We decided to pass on the opportunity to ride the park's loop fighter in favour of the Cabaña del Tío Chueco, best described as an illusion show set within a crooked house. The effects included water flowing uphill, snooker balls rolling from side to side on an apparently flat table, and more. I'd never seen anything quite like this before, and very much enjoyed it as a result.
We were treated to a light lunch at the park restaurant, before the highlight of our day, an exclusive opportunity to tour the construction site for Zombie Ride. Close up encounters with track segments might not be to everyone's taste, but for us at least it constituted an incredible privilege. Those of a less nerdy disposition would likely be somewhat bemused at the sheer number of photographs we managed to take, covering all the expected angles and plenty more of niche interest; if anyone wants a close-up of an InTraSys GmbH SLIM Stator Type AS 5-W-150-006.08-T739h then feel free to ask!
We'd like to extend our sincerest thanks to Julián Villareal and the entire team at Bosque Magico for everything you did for us today. We hope that we'll be able to return in the future.