Cave Tubing

Trip Start Aug 13, 2009
Trip End Aug 30, 2009

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Flag of Belize  , Cayo,
Monday, August 24, 2009

Today we woke up early to get ready for our first of two caving excursions we would be doing while in San Ignacio. All of Belize is built upon limestone rock, which are the remains of shellfish, meaning that Belize was probably under the sea at some point in ancient history. Because of this Belize is FULL of caves.

We got picked up by Mayawalk tours in a very beat up minivan and headed off with another couple and our tour guide. Our trip to the site was about an hour and on the way we saw a few Amish men with their long beards and denim overalls riding on their horse and buggies and selling their fruit on the street. We were surprised to find out that Belize actually has a large population of Amish and Mennonites living within the country. They are well respected here as the most peaceful people living in the country.

Upon arriving to the site, we picked up our inner tubes and headgear and headed off for a pleasant 45 minute hike in the jungle to the caves. When we reached the entrance of the cave we were stunned by the aquamarine water we were going to be jumping into. Steve and I jumped off some rocks into the water and were refreshed by its coolness. In areas where you could stand you can could see your feet and the rocks below you as clear as day. It was like looking through glass instead of a river.

Inside the caves we saw some beautiful glittering stalactite formations and were awed by how the condensation forming on the roof of the caves looked like diamonds. We were told that the river we were floating in was once and underground river but that at some places, over time, the caves collapsed revealing the river we were swimming through.

It was really a very relaxing trip down the river, something very different than we have experienced throughout most of our trip where we have been very active and rushing from place to place. At the end of the journey we took the hike back to the beat up minivan and went back to our hotel.

After getting cleaned up and resting a little in the hotel we decided we should go out and get some food to eat. We ended up at the only Sri Lankan restaurant in Belize and had the most delicious meal of our whole trip. Steve made sure to get his meal fiery hot and the restaurant really gave him what he wanted. He had a bit of difficulty getting some of the food down but enjoyed every second of it. We also made friends with our waiter Abner Swift who pretty much told us his whole life story during dinner. All in all it has been a very good day. Tomorrow we will have a pretty trying day as we are doing a somewhat advanced caving tour. Rachel is a little bit nervous about it but we are sure all will be fine.   

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