Saturday, January 10, 2009

San Ignacio, Belize

So yesterday we got into San Ignancio around noon, checked into our hotel.
Our whoel group decided to do the cave tubing adventure. We did it 5 years ago when we were here, and just decided to go again, we didn't have too, we could have done something else, or done nothing, but we just decided to go along with it. It was still fun, and we enjoyed it, but it was the same caves we had done before. We went to bed early and rested up for the big adventure we did today.

Today we did ATM which is the Actun Tunichil Mukal caves. You hike 45 mins over land and cross 3 small rivers before you reach the entrance of the cave. Then you get headlamps and helmets and swim across of deep pool of water about 15ft across where you climb up onto the rock bank inside the cave.
From there is a full hour of wading in water from a couple inches in depth all the water to chest deep and scrambling rocks and making your way through all the twists and turns. There are some very small spaces! and it's a good thing I had a helmet because otherwise I would have brained myself a few times.
The way in was SO much fun, but really a challenge, and not at all a walk in the park. I was quite impressed with myself for being as good as I was as finding my footing, and places for my fingers to grip into the rocks walls as a crawled, and wound myself through the caves and the waters.
inside the cave once you reach about 1 mile inside is the burial ground for where the Mayan people tortured and people as sacrifices to their gods.
They were downright nasty, pulling peoples jaw apart, ripping out their ribs cages, and spinal cords and while the people were still alive and leaving them for die a slow, painful death. So far there are 14 different persons who have been discovered in the cave, although they suspect there are many more. The cool thing none of it is roped off, the whole cave is a living museum. you just walk around exactly as it was found! clay pots, artifacts and bones.
The coolest of all was a complete skeleton in the back of the chamber, they call her the crystal princess, because they know she was from a very royal mayan family they think she was about 18 when she died. We got lots of great photos and then spent another hour hiking back out of the caves going back the same way we came through.
Only about 50 people a day get to go into the caves, and there is much talk about them becoming closed to the general public soon. So I am VERY glad to have gone to see them. It was a life changing experience seriously. Ben and I had such a good time.
Only us, Sarah and the other couple our age from Colorado went of this tour, the rest of our group stayed behind and did other tours or had a lazy day.

Tomorrow is the first day of camping on the Belize River. We spend 3 days, and 2 nights camping and then back for 2 night in San Ignacio again ( we are thinking of doing the more difficult caving tour which includes some repelling!) Then from then on to the ocean and the beach for 4 days of relaxation and fun!

Okay so hopefully the hotel we stay in on the way back from camping has Internet, since we are staying at a different place than where we are tonight or last night.


kp said...

I'm glad you guys are having a great time. My parents had a great time in Dominican minus there room catching on fire they second last day they were there and they lost everything they went with except for what they had on the beach with them. They are fine though. Keep blogging andrea I emjoy reading what you guys have been doing it sounds like such an awesome trip minus the firworks at 4 am lol.

Jen said...

I can't wait to hear about your camping trip...sleeping with the crocs!!! Between almost pushing Ben off a cliff and now camping with Crocs, I am beginning to think that you are trying to get rid of Ben!!! LOL.
My love to you both.