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January 26


Home Impact ! Photos Essay Thank You! Links

Click on an image to see a

magnificent 9" x 14" full-size view!


jpegktexpedition0126010947.jpg (287480 bytes) Reubs in the jungle near the cave entrance.
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We took a day off to "relax" by going caving.  Here, the first group hikes down to the cave entrance where they will swim into the darkness.  A few years ago, National Geographic produced a documentary called, Journey to the Underworld, in which they detail this cave.
jpegktexpedition0126011016.jpg (169363 bytes) Entrance to the UnderworldGŁnther (burgundy shirt) and Doreen (blue shirt) wait their turn to swim into the cave behind the rest of their party.
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Fourteen human sacrifices have been found in the cave so far.  Look carefully and you can see the forehead has been flattened and the front two teeth are castellated (having notches cut into them like the top of a castle wall).

(Don't forget to enlarge the pictures!)

jpegktexpedition0126011331.jpg (122518 bytes) Reuben admiring the splendor of a candelabra stalagmite.  Want to know a secret?  Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is nowhere near as awe-inspiring as this cave!
jpegktexpedition0126011343.jpg (105871 bytes) Jutta, Cole, Bill, & Sergio pause on a complex of pool-forming "rim dams."  Note the sock feet to exercise "due regard" for the cave's formations.
jpegktexpedition0126011344.jpg (152094 bytes) Our group's guide, Rafael Guerra.  He's studying to be an archeologist, and is involved in a dig on Pook's Hill where several burials have been found.  His knowledge of the cave's geology is impressive, and left us with very few questions to ask him!  Thanks for an outstanding tour, Rafael!
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"Crystal"  These are the sprawled skeletal remains of a woman that seems to have been hauled back to this spot deep in the cave and simply dumped off as though from over one's shoulder.  The bones are encrusted with calcite crystals, hence the "fake" appearance.

Seeing her was rather sad, actually.

jpegktexpedition0126011453.jpg (99450 bytes) Our group pauses near a large "bacon stalactite" also referred to as an "accordion" stalactite while Reubs (left) and Bill (right) pose for a picture.  That's Susan in the background with Jutta and Sergio(?).
jpegktexpedition0126011457.jpg (138328 bytes) Cole, Jutta, Sergio, & Bill.  (Sorry I cut ya off, Cole.)
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Reuben takes a sec, then takes yet another plunge.  What a great experience!


Reubs (left) and Cole (right) ford one of the cave's many pools.  There were several places where the water was too deep to touch bottom adding to the thrill of it all.

jpegktexpedition0126011504.jpg (120937 bytes) Cole & Sergio in a portion of the cave's shallower waters.
jpegktexpedition0126011509.jpg (156715 bytes) Bill, Cole & Sergio making their way.
jpegktexpedition0126011510.jpg (132768 bytes) Jutta (left) Cole (middle) and Sergio (right) examine a particularly interesting formation of stalactites.
jpegktexpedition0126011513.jpg (148161 bytes) Reuben crawls out of the hole he came from!  What???
jpegktexpedition0126011519.jpg (134462 bytes) Bats!  The arrows point to two blurred bats in flight behind Reuben.  These tiny cave residents were darting by at amazing speed, but never hit a thing... not even my face!
jpegktexpedition0126011522.jpg (134563 bytes) Here's Reuben in another hole.  I couldn't resist climbing down into this tight complex of large boulders that formed a drain for the water rushing through it.  (It sounded like a giant flushing toilet!)  Unfortunately, I'm blocking most of the opening, so the current isn't clearly visible, though it was surprisingly strong and could have easily drawn me down had I let go of the rocks.  No worries though, I simply would have swam out the other side of the complex.
jpegktexpedition0126011525.jpg (153157 bytes) Bill, this is an excellent shot!  I hope you, your friends and family get lots of enjoyment out of it.
jpegktexpedition0126011633.jpg (353179 bytes) This is the guide that lead us through the jungle to and from the cave.  He had a pleasant accent in his soft-toned voice that I still can't place.  It was unlike any other I heard in Belize.


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This page was last updated on 07/22/01

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