Monday, March 7, 2016

Back to caving

After a two year break working on a conservation project in the Mountain Pine Ridge, a few more months helping family in the US, and then another couple of months getting settled, we are back up and running at Moonracer Farm!  In our absence, the place was beautifully run by Julio and Janeth, but we are looking forward to getting our own hands dirty and rebuilding the business, which slowed down because we weren’t paying attention to promoting it in Belize’s changing tourism industry.

Speaking of getting our hands dirty, we took some time out yesterday to explore a local cave which neither we nor the property owner had ever investigated beyond the entrance room.  Access to the cave has been difficult in the past, with ladders and ropes necessary to get from the rock opening to the floor of the entrance room.  The property owner has just recently taken the time (perfect for our return!) to create a ladder/stair structure that makes it relatively easy to get into the cave.  So, we decided to go exploring.

We only explored a small fraction of what we believe lies in the Maya underworld inside this cave, but what we saw was impressive.  Like most caves in Belize, pot sherds are everywhere, and some are parts of what must have been very large pots. 

The rock formations are stunning, and at points the entire cave sparkled in the light of our headlamps. 

 The cave is also home to lots of bats, who mostly hung out on the walls, but would occasionally take flight and flutter through the very large rooms of the cave.

The parts of the cave we explored were very large and open rooms.  While we had to scramble over rocks, slide down a few dirt and mud slides, and occasionally duck through a small tunnel, it was pretty easy going where we went.  However, we decided to save one large cavern for another day, and we peeked down plenty of cracks and smaller holes that undoubtedly lead to more rooms, and decided to save them for another day as well.  We have heard of experienced cavers getting lost in this cave, and while we have enough experience to know to do things like wear hardhats, carry water and extra batteries, and mark where we are going, we are going to do a little more planning before venturing further into this underworld adventure.  It’s just one more thing to add to our very long Belize Adventure To-Do list.

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