Monday, October 1, 2012

Cueva Cofresi

It is great to be caving again! Sometimes Puerto Rico just drags you down. Spotty services (power, water, internet), lack of services, crappy roads, bad behavior etc etc. It is easy to wonder "why are we here?" ...and then we go caving. Yesterday was a search for the illusive "treasure chest" called Cueva Cofresi. Another caving pal of ours from San German posted a video of it and we decided to give it a try. We called Tom and Diana and found out that Tom had tried to locate the cave multiple times without success but he was willing to give it another try. We were armed with actual GPS coordinates but even then there was no guarantee that we would find it. You still have to find a place to park, find a way to enter the general area of the location of the cave and then wander around without a trail to try to find it. We entered near Playa Buye and entered the mangroves walking in ankle-high stinky mud and water. None of us likes to get our feet wet at the beginning or at all if we think the cave is a dry one. After trudging across the muddy mangrove/bog area we looked for trails but didn't find any large "real" ones, just a horse trail. When we got close to the coordinate area we were near a lot of jagged rocky outcroppings and had to search all of them for what was a small opening. I found a hole we could rappel into just as Jeff found a hole we might be able to drop into and shortly afterwards Tom found a walk in entrance. Since 3 of us were at my drop in hole we rigged it and dropped in. It had a small tunnel to the right (I followed it a short ways before it ended) and a larger one to the left. We went left. Here Diana is navigating a descent from an upper tunnel. It always looks easy in the photos, but these "little" drops are taller than we are, slippery, and we are doing it with only the light from our helmets. There were a lot of upper passages, little tunnels going in all directions and in loops. It was nice and interesting for a smaller cave. We explored just about every opening we could get in to. There were a couple walk in entrances and a couple you could rappel into. It was a light and bright kind of cave with light colored rock.

This was the little tunnel to the right. A lot of air was coming through it from little slits that must have gone to the surface. There was some climbing in it but nothing extensive. The upper area is one we couldn't get to. We were close to the surface though so it couldn't go far and was probably just a small room.

Jeff is in a nice big room that is close to a walk-in entrance. The formations here were interesting. We always enjoy the tarzan vines coming through the rock from the surface. You can see the entrance to the left.

There was graffiti which is common here. Not much trash. Nothing in the cave was obviously broken (but there weren't any real nice formations that could be broken). We took a different route out in an attempt to avoid the stinky bog. We headed onto some kind of reserve/preserve and found these remnants of a building. Possibly they were from an old Sugar Mill (that's what I think). It is always interesting to see walls in fields with plants growing over them. We walked a mile or slightly less to the road and then headed to Buye for a quick swim to get the mud off and cool down. We had a very nice day. Then we went to Pica Pica Mexican restaurant that had normal service and marginal, bland food. Anything tastes good though after you have been walking and climbing and crawling. The margarita was the best. Then it was off to Tom and Diana's to pick up our car and head home after a nice, warm cup of coffee! We already have plans for next weekend to search for another cave nearby. Hopefully we will find it!

1 comment:

Cassie @LifeTransPlanet said...

That ruin of a wall/building thing is cool! Looks like a fun cave too. We'll have to go with you guys again...You should make a list of your favorites and the difficulty level. The Cueva Ventana one looks cool because of the view too!