Friday, 8 May 2015


So another epic adventure had come to an end and despite having been to both South Africa and Mexico before I still found so much new stuff that it didn't feel like I was retreading old ground or wasting my time and my highlights of each leg were as follows.

South Africa: Visiting the Rand Fair and riding the Silver Arrow coaster.
Botswana: Seeing African kids having their first rollercoaster experience on the same one I did many years ago.
Mexico: Successfully locating so many new coasters all over the country but especially those close to the airport. I did also like the mine roads of Guanajuato.
Cuba: Just getting to see the country pre-American-Corporate-invasion.

Of course the trip wouldn't happen for me if it wasn't for the driving of Tal and Thomas, so a huge thanks to them that. I can't fault their planning either. We had great hotels, got around everything that we wanted to (and more), and the logistics were tight enough to do everything but flexible enough to be adjusted as our plans changed. Thankyou to Maria for helping out with the translation with some of the parks (you won't believe how happy we were at Romo; even I smiled)

Across the trip we did 35 parks and 10 fairs and rode around 80 rollercoasters. All being well I managed to pass 1700 coasters on this trip, it depends on confirmation on 1 or 2 unconfirmed coasters being agreed.

and if you've made it this far well done for reading, what I think has been the biggest trip report I've ever done. The next one should be much shorter as I'm planning on doing a week in New England with the Coaster Club in June.

Next year will likely be North America too. Who knows though.


Bosque de Aragon Again

and it was kind of poetic that our trip finished at the park we visited at the start as we returned to Bosque de Aragon to ride the new finds.

As we walked to the rides in the north-west we could hear the train running and noticed the park was much more busier than our earlier visit. We were definitely here at the right time on this occasion.

The coaster was quite frankly atrocious, with the second hill whipping everyone's necks more than it should. It didn't help that the ride was run for about 6 laps. So far we'd done OK on the pain front with the Chinese Corkscrew on Mexico day 1 being the worst, but this took the crown.

See for yourselves. This isn't sped up at all. Ow ow ow!

Quickly leaving that behind we made our way around to other collection of rides.

and the coaster here was running too. A quick conversation with the girl running the ride had her going off to check that it was OK for us to ride. This one struggled to make it over the hill and the girl had to turn up the motor and another chap had to come and give us a push. A little bit of rocking from us helped get the coaster over the hill and were soon on our way.

This ride was next door was ridden by two teenagers whilst we were on the coaster. Now when teenagers are on a ride they usually make some noise, but these two weren't doing anything. They were just hunched over the front of their car. That usually means one of two things. The ride is too intense to make any noise or its extremely boring. Judging by the speed it was going around there was no way it could be the latter so I thought it would be a good idea to ride it.

It was the most intense centrifugal ride I've ever done and it hurt. The cars were just the right height to press on your ribs and the forces pushed you outwards ensuring the ribs would get hurt. It took some effort to keep upright and we weren't strapped in. Over compensate in getting back up and you could fly out the top. I was feeling the blood running from my head and at one point I somehow started sliding down into the floor of the car, and when you thought it was all over and had composed yourself back into your seat ready to get out then run it backwards.

We were very glad to have survived this ride, and I think I'd happily ride it again now that I know what it does. A unique and fun way to finish the trip.

That's one proud ride operator. I tried to find out how many Gs it put us through but he didn't know. It must have been at least 6.

So we'd finished where we started much like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings only without the eagle bound return leg. I was pleased that we'd gotten what we labelled the airport set. It's hard to believe there were three, possibly four, rollercoasters literally under our noses the whole time.

From here it was time to say "Adios" to Mexico as we dropped off the rental car and headed to the airport for our flights home.

Lago Mayer Alameda Oriente

At the start of the trip we visited a park under the flight path and I made a comment that people landing into Mexico City might be able to spot the coasters. Some of you may have thought "what if you were on the other side of the plane?". Well I thought of that too as I found a coaster south of the airport.

South of the runway is a park called Lago Mayer Alameda Oriente. Like the Aragon park it includes a number of rides around a lake.

There was just the one site here.

But that definitely looked like a coaster at the south-west end.

and when we got there we were pleased to see a coaster called Cruco in attendance.

Cruco doesn't translate to anything in Spanish but the train doesn't look like a crocodile so it can't be that. 

That Winnie car looks to be scraping the ground. That can't be good and for the record it was like this before I got near it. I didn't do it!

More kid rides. This one with El Chavo characters stayed flat so wasn't a coaster.

This was a pretty interesting pirate shop variant and yes it did go all the way around. I don't think I've ever seen something like this before.

We took an interest in this ride called Bigfoot which had hills and drops, albeit small ones. It was powered but we believe it would meet the coaster criteria. So we rode it, once we figured out how to get into the cars without derailing it.

As we were taking pictures of this a woman came over demanding to ask why were taking photos. A response of "Nos gusta montana rusa" (we like roller coasters) and "no comercial" (no commercial reasons) seemed to be good enough for as she nodded, walked off and let us carry on. But we had pretty much done what we wanted to do anyway so headed off to the next park. 

Feria Mineral de la Reforma

Located quite a drive north-east of Mexico City towards the city of Pachuca is the Feria de Mineral de La Reforma. Too large to play as a Scrabble move but hopefully an opportunity for us to add a few points to our coaster count.

A large fountain display at the entrance was keeping the kids cool. Today was quite a hot day and we were out literally out in the desert.

Emergency Services were close at hand. Perhaps the risk of fire is quite high out here.

A haunted walkthough attraction formed part of the initial set of attractions. Better to have to walk past things like these rather than displays of pottery and jacuzzis as we'd done previously.

This was a circus, and I would guess one that featured animals quite heavily. A quick look on the net revealed that this was the case and I came across a rather interesting story reporting that they were held up and had a white tiger stolen in 2012.

I'm not a fan of animal circuses so didn't bother checking this out.

There was a small farm paddock where animals could be fed and petted.

Any volunteers to pet the tarantula?

A purpose built diving show.

and a tiny bullfight.

A nice two-storey carousel marked the entrance to the fair rides area at the back of the complex.

First up was the Wild Mouse coaster with a strange sign that could only be read when viewed from the side. This ran well but would never be as good as the crazy spinning one we'd ridden at the previous fair.

Again another good selection of rides some clearly to small for us...

...including unfortunately the second coaster, themed around what would happen if the Flintstones stumbled upon an explosion in a highlighter factory. We think this one was called Picapiedra which is Spanish for Flintstones. 

Wacky Worm #11 we were certain we hadn't ridden before and offered nothing out of the ordinary.

It's the El Chavo crew again. I wonder if that does translate to The Chav?

This one like Gus at the Monterey Fair was discounted as a coaster on account of there being no hills or drops. A flat circuit just makes it a train.

and that was the fair. A long drive for 2 ticks. We were happy with that. It was now time to head towards the airport.