Parque Norte15th January 2012
The city of Medellin, Colombia was home to a large drugs empire in the 1970s. Today it is a thriving modern metropolis; clean, tidy, and full of high rise buildings. It is also enormous; the city has spilled into an area of over one thousand square kilometres, and is home to a population of over three million. An obvious security presence hints at times past, but otherwise the city could be just about anywhere in western Europe.
Parque Norte is its largest amusement park, built around a lake in the northern suburbs. While pleasant, it is not in the same league as the fabulous park we visited yesterday and not currently somewhere I'd recommend enthusiasts plan their travels around. The biggest attraction is Viaje al Centro de la Tierra, a large custom designed log flume with two major drops. We elected not to try it for two reasons; the disembarking passengers looked very wet, and there was a definite chemical smell coming from the water. There are also a few custom tracked rides, including a boat trip through a jungle and a train ride through a world of myths and legends.
There are also two coasters. The smaller of these is Blue Fire, a figure eight layout ride with a tyre drive that was out of commission for our visit, and apparently due to remain so until the end of February. The larger is Montańa Rusa (#1707), a ride that at first glance looks like a SDC Galaxi, but on closer inspection appears to be a copy that didn't quite match the original plans. It features extremely low clearances, to the point that taller riders could potentially be decapitated in two locations; the approach to the lift hill, and mid-course on the main drop. Anyone putting hands in the air would certainly track in both locations; the fact that this doesn't happen (and the ride can operate!) is a testament to the fact that Colombian guests play by the rules.