Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hell - the Sequel

Yes - you read correctly...we were invited to return to Hell! This time it was not Hog Hell - but rather a different section of the Infierno System...the part Jeff exited out after the beloved Hog and sump adventure. Somehow I doubt he remembered it. The purpose was to map another section. The cave was wet mostly but it wasn't as putrid as the other section.

Here's Tom at the entrance donning his purple pullover.

We entered the cave almost immediately into water and this cave continued to have a dark, evil presence. Jeff had a little freak moment and said he didn't want to go (was probably having Hog Hell flashbacks) but he got over it when he realized it wasn't going to be that constricted. There were a couple folks from Tennessee along as well. Note the rope embedded in the ceiling (this is the thing that creeps Jeff out) - wonder how that got there...

So here is Jeff in the water tromping to the next "station." When mapping you've got to find lines of sight so you can measure the distance and inclination/declination from station to station. Sometimes this is hard because spots are narrow, rock is in the way, water is in the way etc etc.

Just like a Disneyland ride (only not as cheerful) there is a little tunnel of water to somewhere.

Hmmm..what now? We are on this huge fountain of neat rock and it is a little taller than any of us.

In our minds we try to imagine we are at a water park and we just slid on down hoping nothing pointy is in the way.

It was kind of fun and kind of a controlled slide.

Here is one of Jeff's favorite things - a slightly frayed rope we will use to get down the next fountain! He is trying to make sure he hangs on above where it is frayed. How's that working for ya? The 222 (or is it 777) white card is what we use to aim the laser beam at to take measurements.

Tom went first kind of swinging on the rope and down to the next spot. I'm kind of glad this is a one direction (we think) trip - it would be hard to get back up this thing!

Isn't this just the coolest looking thing? What a neat formation. We were in the cave for around 4 hours and managed to map the entire section as planned. The personality was just like Hog Hell - dark and brooding but it had some nice areas like this. It was nice to successfully finish off a section. There wasn't any slithering required on this one but it was wet and muddy. When we came out we exited into a farmers field where there were cows and horses and chickens and guinea fowl. It is always an adventure to come back into the light and be who-knows-where! We stopped at the property owners house for introductions and they offered us a ride back to our cars. This saved us maybe 30 or 40 minutes of a walk so it was nice for them to do. Then they proceeded to tell us (in Spanish or course) that we were lucky no one stole our tires and batteries and other car parts. They invited us to park at their house the next time where it would be safer for the cars. That sounds like a good invitation! I showed some photos on my camera (hard to see) and Tom gave them a map of the system and they seemed interested. I'll bring some photos for them the next time so they can show people the beauty of what is in their back yard! Another great adventure (although not as entertaining as a dead pig) - thank you Tom for inviting us!


Cassie said...

Cool! You guys are getting in on some neat excursions. What do you think that rope thing was in that one picture?

I think Britton and I are planning on coming out in late February. We are trying to work out where to stay. We'll probably be in PR for about a week. We would rather not spend too much money on hotels as this is not a vacation but rather a trip to find a property. Do you guys have any tips? The last trip was nice because we were able to stay at the property in Lares. Maybe you know someone with an extra room who would like a couple hundred bucks?

If you have any ideas, can you email us?

Hopefully we can get together during that time as well if you guys will be around! Talk to you soon.

Anonymous said...

Cassie - The rope Tom and everyone swung down the waterfall on was left there by previous cavers as a way to get down (and back up if needed). The ropes and things attached to the ceilings in some caves are put there by the force of water flooding the tunnels/cave system.

We'll try to get you the phone number for Shacks - Jeff knew someone who rented there for $250 a week or something and it had a little kitchen. That would put you on the beach for early morning swims. Shacks is in Isabela and a lot of work is in Aguadilla (Honeywell, Tyco and other companies). Definately plan on getting together! katrina