Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cueva de Sucre

Wow! I am really far behind on posts. I guess that's what happens when you go a week without internet connection, go camping for 2 days, and get really, really, sick. Don't worry- I'm better now. This happened over a week ago- Friday, March 25, 2011. 

all 13 students plus Lauren and the professors
Cueva de Sucre has nothing to do with sugar, but was a lava tube that emptied and left a beautiful cave for us to explore. This is the entrance to the cave...kinda scary, right? 
entrance to the cueva

Inside the cave it is dark. Really dark. We all had headlamps and flashlights and as you ventured far into the cave, all light from the outside disappeared. There are a few main tunnels that are pretty wide and once and a while the ceiling dips to about 4 ft so ducking and shuffling is required. Oh, and the inside of the cave looks like gold....
 As far as I could tell, it looks like some sort of lichen or moss is growing on the rock and when water droplets gather on it (I forgot to mention there is a constant drip in the cave, you will get wet) it glistens. Oooh, ahhh. There are also plant roots that go through the ceiling of the cave. I wouldn't go around pulling on those anytime soon.
Lauren exploring
That was the required part of the field trip. Next came the optional part. There was a much more narrow tube that went off from the side and we were warned that some crawling might be required. It sounded like an adventure so about half of us decided to try it. It started off like this.... pretty reasonable. 
 That tunnel led to a "room" with a smaller tunnel going off of it that looked like this....a little more difficult
Colby scoping out the next tunnel
It was a slippery, wet, small pathway that involved some spider monkey moves
Hilary in one of the smaller tunnels
 And then, the tunnels of all tunnels. After several of these narrow passageways leading to rooms, there was one large room that we all gathered in. There was one very, very, small tunnel leading farther so we sent Colby ahead to scope it out. This tunnel couldn't have been more than 1.5- 2 feet high. It required a combination of army crawling/doing the worm across sharp, cold, lava rock that had 3 inches of standing water. We sent him forward and he sounded excited when he found another huge room with more tunnels branching off from we followed. One by one we went back into the room and as soon as we got there Colby told us to play along because the "room" was only about 4 ft tall and had barely enough room to fit the 8 of us crouching in it and it was also a dead end. After we all realized we had been lied to, we turned around. I was the 3rd to last to leave the room and Marina has an excellent picture of me lying in a puddle on the cave floor waiting for my turn to shimmy through the 10 ft long tiny tunnel.
She also got a video of me (that I didn't know was being recored) complaining about being soaking wet on the cave floor, getting my hair stuck on the roof of the cave, and getting stuck halfway through the tunnel. I ended up getting scratched up and bloody knees, arms, and palms.
Colby army crawling through the tunnel
So that was my first real cave exploring adventure. I had gone to ones previously, but they had a paved path through the center and included a boat ride (lame). Spelunking has been crossed off the bucket list!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh- I'm getting anxiety just reading! You are brave. We've toured caves here locally, but they're all well scouted and hooked up to electric lights. I'm too much of a chicken to do the real cave exploring.