Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cueva Larga is, Well, Large

This was my second time and Jeff's first to Cueva Larga in the Camuy area. I swore I would never go back to this area (depressing) but here I am, again. Here I am swearing this is the last time (until the next time). This time though I need to be done with it for many reasons. The main ones are the same ones I have about Puerto Rico in general but to the extreme degree - starving animals (3 kittens that ran up to us, a starving horse, dogs, birds of all kinds), garbage (heaps on heaps on heaps) and general filth at the house we pass by and all along the roadside which is basically what defines Puerto Rico. Why mention it? It really really disturbs me and if I ever get to the point where it doesn't I might as well be dead. So I came here again despite the disturbing nature of things because Jeff needed to see this amazing, huge cave. I wanted to take him into the secret white room he would likely pass by if I didn't go. Here is Tom at part of the large entrance. You get to it by hiking about 40 - 50 minutes from the car/garbage area. The hike is slightly down, follows the contour of the slope and then there it is! It was very slippery. It is hard to show the true scale of things because our cameras and lights just can't take it all in! The floor of the cave was cake mud and Diana commented that she was 2 inches talked after walking around for an hour. It did feel like we were wearing platform shoes. Jeff is gazing at one of the many formations. The floor was all mud with some occasional stalagmites but the ceiling and sides were layers and layers of formations. Most of the cave was really kind of dark and mud colored which makes showing detail near impossible. The cave heads pretty straight and then veers off and ends. We explored pretty much the whole thing in 4 1/2 hours or so.
An unusual formation we don't see much is prolific here - I call it the popcorn formation because I have no idea how they were formed or what their real name is. These stalactites and the floor were covered in this brown popcorn like stuff. We have seen similar stuff in Cueva Sorbetos. There was a lot of flowstone and I think Tom said this cave was a former route of the Tanama River. A lot of water had to have gone through here. Here's Diana trudging through the mud.
Up at the top of the collapse area there is an entrance to a pretty large room that is easy to bypass. Jeff headed past it and I went into the entry hole and remembered immediately where I was once I got in! This room is odd because it is really a bunch of collapse but at the top there are beautiful white, clean, undisturbed formations including a thin stalagmite 6 or more feet tall. Everything was drippy looking - like candle wax. There were large white areas.

My favorite part is the chandelier chamber, an area full of helictites. In my mind I see acrobats and perching birds and insects in these formations. In the middle of the mud passage I caught a glimpse of this creepy stalagmite. I think it looks like a skeletonized woman. Do you? Kind of creepy. When my light flashed over it it was freaky! Diana was nice enough to take our photo on the way out. The area is just beautiful (except for the garbage). When we are in the jungle or in the caves or underwater Puerto Rico is magic for us. When we are on the road or near people...not so much. So now Jeff has seen Cueva Larga and I am sure he is glad he has. For me I will not be returning to this particular area. We have investigated many caves from this same parking area and I just can't stomach it any more.

1 comment:

Cassie @LifeTransPlanet said...

Since "larga" means "long" in Spanish was it really long too?