Sunday, February 7, 2010

Catching Up & Cumaca Caves

I really should review these hikes sooner. It's been a week now and my brains are fried from work and self-induced stress. The good news is that my internet is back! Wahoo! I spent all of yesterday and this morning catching up on two week worth of chapters of online stories. I got the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.
I saw a recommendation for it on a blog sometime last year and I figure since The Lightning Thief movie is out, I might as well give it a go. It's quite funny so far. I also got The Hunger Games, which my fellow ADF campers are recc'ing and made a LJ Community for. I will read when the PJ&tO series are through. So on to the hike...

Let me just say that this was an 8/10 hike and if it wasn't for the caves, I would not deleted that notification email without a second glance. I like waterfalls, yes, but I live on an island - there is water everywhere, and I am quite convinced that Maracas (in the wet season) and Rio Seco are the prettiest here. Caves however, are few and far between so we could not pass up the opportunity.
That being said, this hike was not particularly hard (7/10 Cyril Bay almost killed me on that up-slope) but it was rated as such because of the thorn bushes, large amounts of mud (I had to re-tie my laces after I almost lost my shoe), and the length - it was 2 hours ONE FREAKING WAY after the maxi drove us 2 hours into the forest.
So anyway, if I remember correctly, the hike started out at a downslope through loads of mud, and then went up when the terrain improved. We stopped at a pommerac tree for a bit and then trekked on. All this time, I had to pee. Uphill and having to 'go' is not a healthy combination, let me tell ya.
About an hour after I found relief in the bushes, we reached the caves. There was this little sign outside with two dudes' names saying that they went in the cave to find water source and never came out. What a lift the spirits. We divided ourselves into groups of about 15 to enter the caves. Kedar and I opted for the second batch. When we got closer, and the first batch were in, the Jurassic Park screeching could be heard. Some dude from the first batch got pooped on from one of the oil birds and decided to make a raucous which in turn, scared the crap (pun intended) out of the birds and hence, the gates-of-hell-screeching. For information's sake, the poop looked like black oil.
Then it was our turn. I couldn't see a damn thing. It was pitch black, not Christmas-lit like Gasparee. We were walking through water and the rocks were high and low and I almost fell if not for some random guy who I probably scared the bejeezus out of by holding on to him in the dark. I snapped pictures at random and I only got to see the inside of the cave and the birds on these pictures. Kedar got closer views of the birds and they are not attractive. They looked like hawk, cobeau (turkey buzzard) and something covered in boils - all combined. When we came out, I got my hair and clothes checked for poop. Thankfully, I was all clean.
So then we took the river route to the sulphur spring which turned out to be a 2 inch tall bubble maker in the water. We headed back a bit and went to some pools to swim. I kept my clothes on and took pictures. Then we headed back some more and then braved the rivers with their highs, lows, and slippery rocks. I fell on my butt at least twice.
We made it back to the maxi before 6 and then started our 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive back to campus.
The pictures are up - click on the pictures of the hike in this post to be directed to the mother-load.

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