|Starting the one hour hike through the jungle, at about 9 am.|
|The first half of the trail was pretty flat, but the second half had some ups and downs, and very muddy, slick places.|
|At the entrance to Crystal Cave|
|You must have a guide to enter Crystal Cave, and there was even a guy from the Belize Audobon Society, Jeremy, who came|
to make sure nobody did anything stupid to the cave formations or the artifacts in the cave.
|You start into the cave by lowering yourself down while holding onto a rope. Pedro went first to help the rest of us.|
|Pedro told us where to put our feet on each step going down.|
|Terry going in|
|Diana and Leslie waiting for everyone to else to do the rappel|
|Eric coming down|
|From here you walk in.|
|It was pretty muddy and slick inside, so you definitely had to watch your footing.|
|Down we go further holding onto another rope...|
|Will and Diana at the bottom waiting for everyone to come down the second rope.|
|Looking up at the hole we just came through|
|There were broken bits of ancient Mayan pottery throughout the cave. Often pottery was found|
under certain cave formations to catch the "pure holy water" that dripped off of them.
|There were some tight spaces to crawl through.|
|But, crawling through that tight space that led you to this amazing skull (that was once intact until someone dropped their |
camera on it several years ago).
|Funny Gerry (sp? - it's short for Gernot)|
|Soda straws - a very delicate cave formation, hollow in the center like a straw.|
|Crystal Cave is gorgeous, but it is definitely strenuous. You will use every muscle in your body on this tour.|
|More amazing pottery...|
|Obsidian blades for ceremonial bloodletting, a tooth, a shell, and more...|
|One pot was still fully intact.|
|It might have been at this point that our guides asked how we felt, and if we wanted to continue|
on to a place in the cave that they call "Wonderland". Thankfully, there wasn't a question in
anybody's mind - of course we wanted to go to Wonderland!!!
|So, on we went...|
|Wonderland is a large room filled with many incredible formations.|
|Wonderland is where our guides prepared lunch for us - make your own burritos with homemade tortillas!|
|Up we all went...in socks or bare feet.|
|Cara with Jeremy (from the Audobon Society) in the background.|
|Will and Leslie|
|Terry's favorite cave formation|
|The white spot in the middle kind of looks like the outline of a woman.|
|See the leg bone in this picture?|
|A good picture of Jeremy, from the Belize Audobon Society|
|A good view of one of the tight spaces to maneuver in Crystal Cave.|
It was raining when we got out of the cave, and it rained the whole hike back. We didn't care, though, since we were all drenched with sweat anyway. We got back to the parking lot at closing time for the park (4:30 pm), so it was a very full day!
|On the way home we decided to stop at Over the Top Cool Spot (a bar on a hilltop) for a drink.|
|The view from Over the Top Cool Spot|
We were all thoroughly worn out, sweaty and muddy by the end of the day, but we all had a fantastic time. We went home, rinsed our muddy clothes and shoes outside, then threw them in the wash, went to bed, and slept almost twelve hours!
P.S. Thanks to Terry for letting us use some of his photos.