Monday, December 23, 2013

Caves in Our Neighborhood (almost) - 4 New Ones

On Sunday we stayed close to home and went off with Tom armed with some guy's 50 year old not-very-descriptive report of the locations of a bunch of caves near our house. Weather looked iffy so water caves were out and being close to home sounded great. The information was sketchy but Tom's knowledge of topography/geology etc makes finding things possible and probable! First we drove on 112 to the spot where we see the drug dealer stand guard 24/7. We had gone down into this cluster of houses before and asked around. People pointed to the hillside and we were coming back to scope it out! We parked, changed, and walked behind a house up onto the hillside following the river and came to our first "find." It was a large opening that went through to the other side. The bottom looked scoured by lots of water which was strange. The other side was a field and it is hard to imagine it draining that much water. We looked around. Tom was more interested in it than we were since he understands the geology and we don't. There wasn't much to it so we poked around a bit and then climbed the hill to what looked like an upper level.

This upper level wasn't much either but did have a tiny hole that we thought might lead somewhere. I went in feet first having to really flex around a stalagmite with my helmet off. I did end up in a nice little room but it did not go anywhere. One of these times I am going to get in somewhere I can't get out of! A little swelling or water drinking and I could be stuck! I contorted my way out head first. Oh, such relief to be out!

Next we roamed around the ridge and came across a hole that turned out to be the amazing find of the day! This little cave is full of decorations! Unfortunately a majority of the stalactites have been broken off but the amount of decoration was still amazing given how close this cave is to houses and people. After a couple small drops you enter a large room with a side room and a deep cut in the bottom. We explored it all looking for passages to continue on but didn't have any luck.

We wandered around for another hour or so in pouring rain and found another cave, Cueva Armistad (?) which is where rebels reportedly stashed guns and maps of attack plans. No rebel booty here though - just lots and lots of bats. Not much of a cave passage-wise but interesting for a few minutes. We continued wandering around looking for a few other caves without finding them. It was an early day which was fine with me - rainy and cold. We hacked through the jungle with a machete (or at least Tom did) to get down to this field. We walked across it so we could climb up the other side to the car. On our little trek we were hoping to see another cave...running water was there, vegetation was there and all the conditions were right....but no. No cave. We hiked up to where the car was and headed to our house for a beer and snacks and mainly a nice HOT shower! Kind of a different day with a big payoff. We discovered one very nicely decorated cave close to home.

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