Mateo and I enjoyed a great breakfast of beans, plantains, and an omelette. Our group was really oversized, I was disappointed by this, so I kept pace on the hike and stayed towards the front of the group with Mateo. Our guide didn’t hold back on his pace, the first segment was hiking up to a veiw point of the limestone pools and then down the other side. I intend on being forced in to excellent hiking shape by the time I get home now that the bike is gone. With Mateo and I being too cheap to take taxis, we are getting closer and closer to being in shape. We then took an hour and a half to tour through the pools, this included jumping, climbing, swimming & sliding.
During this time I would have rather just been let loose to play around in the pools. It was still fun. After going back to the hostel to eat lunch we moved on to the caves. I have never been in a cave, it sounded scary, fun scary. These caves were pitch black so we all got candles and did a lot of swimming. The water was moving at a good pace, I’m glad I was wearing my sandals. I kicked many rocks under the water. The tour through caves is not a normal tour you would see in the states. Many parts of cave travel felt very dangerous, and exhilarating. Climbing up water drenched ladders and over small water falls, some times only being guided by a rope. It felt like if you were to slip in many parts you may obtain a severe back or head injury. Mateo and one of the other boys from Australia actually lead most of the travel through the caves, our guide was busy helping people though small cracks of the cave, literally. I felt like he was a bit handsy but I couldn’t really contest, I wasn’t interested in slipping or falling anywhere in the cave. Due to my astounding hight of 5’1″ I was swimming often. At the end of the cave our guide was pointing up so Mateo started climbing upward, as did I. Guide man was quickly behind me helping me up. He wasn’t too creepy just a bit, he also remembered my name the whole way and called me mi amore (my love). Mateo arrived at the top ledge. Oh my what did I just sign up for following Mateo upward. It was time for Mateo to jump, guide man said to just jump in the middle. So Mateo surely did. I didn’t give myself much hesitation time because that would only lead to fear. Of course it’s safe Mateo just jumped I got to to ledge and aimed for the middle. Thrilling success, and it was fun too! It also helped that I couldn’t see how far it was. Most of us had success, Tua one of the Swedish girls had a bit of a scrape on her knee from the jump, not too bad. We began our return. There were many natural slides in the cave,and just at the very end there was a cave hole that people were going down with the guide’s help. This I was not too excited about, there was no seeing on the other side or through the hole at all and the water was being pushed through quickly. I put my legs through and grabbed on to the knob on the other side of the hole. It shot me out to the group that was waiting on the other side. It was fun being shot through that hole. I did bump my hip good but that only ended in a bruise. Our guide stayed back with a couple of ladies that chose not to go through the hole. So we were on our own getting out, I was excited once we got to the end and I was able to see the light from outside. Many of our candles were gone or getting really short by this time.
We ended our tour with a lazy float down the river outside of the hostel, and jumping off a bridge. Mateo and I had bonded well with the family of Australians in our group and also the Swedish two that were sharing our room with us. We convinced one of the moms to have a commemorative shot of tequila with us. I think most people drink a lot of tequila here, I’m not a big fan of the stuff.
It’s really awesome to meet such random people when traveling, and to discover their reasons for being where they are.