I should have took a picture of the sign advertising for this place, because when I got back to Tuxtla I couldn’t remember the name. So after a good nights rest I headed back to Chiapa de Corzo and asked the man at the kiosk how to get there. Funny thing was you can’t really catch a van or comvi to this destination, it’s off the beaten path. Sounds like my kind of digs! However to get there I had to take a cab as the Chorreadero is roughly 12 kilometers, the cost was 250 pesos roundtrip or about $15 usd, which really isn’t too bad. So I hoped in the cab and we left the city and headed up into a remote area… This is yet another time in my life that I fell back on faith, here I am with some cabby in the middle of nowhere and I’m starting to get those thoughts… “Yep this is where I die, bad idea, why are you so stupid, like a sheep to slaughter, hope my family pays my ransom” you know along those lines. The guy at the kiosk had made sure I knew that this was a secure way to travel, but my mind started to go wild. Right about that time there was a sign and we were there.
I agreed with the cabby that he would pick me up in two hours and really hoped he would come back, as I had already paid him. At the gate the fee was 25 pesos or about a buck and a half. The man asked if I would like to tour the caves and I said yes! Then he went into a huge spiel about things most of which I couldn’t translate as the context wasn’t fathomable. There was this sign that he pointed to which was also in english and later I looked up facts and figures and understood more. As we were talking a group tour was gearing up high-tech and he said I could join them. I had asked the cabby to come back in 2 hours and was in my flip flops, along with the tour being a technical 6 hours, it was a no go. In the end I was really glad I didn’t do the tour because even the entry to the cave was daunting.
What I found out about spelunking this particular cave was there are a variety of options. First you can go without a tour, but you have to pass a knowledge and skill equivalent, nothing too formal they’re just not allowing any yahoo in, you have to know your stuff. Second you can go with the guide service and the prices were not listed. The options are somewhat unending from this. Anyone can go in the cave and anyone can walk to the underground lake, which would have been cool if I had made it up the stairs. From there is where the technical side comes to play. The cave system is massive and if you look at the map you will see the entire route to complete. The circle takes 16 hours, or there’s a six hour trip up either side. As I watched the tour gear up I came to the understanding that this would mean repelling and climbing with harnesses and all kinds of gear that I love. Yet again I’m not prepared and don’t have enough time, I’m to far from home and Monday means work.
Despite not spelunking this day I really had a great time. I followed the path down to a sublime waterfall that ended in a deep green pool. I hadn’t even realised how long I had just sat in zen untill the cave tour passed by and I remembered my camera. As I said in the last blog the early bird gets the worm, and this morning I was the early bird and had the place to myself for almost an hour. As I watched the tour head up to the cave I realized it was now or never if I wanted to head in and make for the lake. However as I traversed the stairs, I had some second thoughts especially about my footwear. The stairs were wet, and the cable on the cliff side was duct-taped together, there were no guide rails and I felt a bit dizzy about the drop. Being by myself I decided that this day, maybe crazy-town shouldn’t get herself stuck in a bad situation. Especially since there was not a guide with me telling me I would be ok and also in remembrance of the fiasco I got myself into at El Arcotete.
So I ended up exploring the rest of El Chorreadero and it was beautiful! Despite the 90+° weather I never got in the water, the reason for this being the smell coming out of the cave reminded me of bat guano and other marmots. Of course I would love to go again and schedule one of the spelunking tours but I’m running out of time. To my absolute amazement the cab driver was not only there when I finished but early, faith in humanity restored. I promised myself I would finish this blog before my next adventure…. And that’s tommorow, life goals!