Thursday, November 20, 2008

Secret River

Underneath the Yucatan Peninsula lies a massive network of snaking underground fresh water rivers. Cookoo crazy amazing. As if the Yucatan isn't brilliant enough with impossible beauty it has to go and pimp it hard with underground gorgeousness that rivals it's outer hella fine looks.

Our guides brought us to a newly discovered spot call Rio Secreto not far from our digs in Playa Del Carmen. We arrived at a non descript dusty parking lot off the main highway (I was a bit skeptical) and hopped out of the air conditioned van and into the bright broiling sunshine. We signed the typical waiver-no, if I die or am maimed I will not sue. We then climbed into a wacky tonka truck-y vehicle and tore off down the rocky rollin' bumby dirt road away from the busy highway and deep into the jungle.

This was our brave guide, Chris. He had good taste in shoes!

Willy wonka tonka truck.
Bouncing down the jungle path. Hold onto yer hats. Theres a reason those bars are padded.

Chris giving us the down low on the history of the area. It just so happens that a local man was chasing an iguana (this is true) for his supper and the iguana bolted into a hole. The man reached into the hole and the earth gave way, he poked his head in and realized there was an underground river on his property. Fancy that! The cave specialists came and explored and Rio Secreto was born. Voila!
The cave we are sitting in is 2 million years old. Wild. Only groups of 6-7 are allowed down there at once. Absolutely NO chemicals are allowed in for obvious reasons.

This shot shows the scope of the joint. Huge stalagtites and stalagmites....wonderous things that grow excruciatingly slow; my mind had a hard time wrapping around such slow growth. The first espeleogists (cave experts) to map it are serious bad asses. Can you imagine being the first person to hike/swim around down under for the first time!? DARK-PITCH BLACK cavern.....jitters.

The water cool, refreshing and held colors like I've never seen in nature.

Decended 60 feet. At one point we stopped in a 'room' our guide called 'the heart' of the system. He gathered us around and asked that we turn off our headlamps and float in silence. It was blacker than black. Zero point. Complete quiet less the ocassional tummy grumble or water whisper. I imagined lining up all of my chakras, spinning them in perfect symmetry and harmony with mama earth and the cosmos. It was phenomenal. An experience I will never ever forget. I go there even now during meditations. OM.

I still have a scar on my left thigh from scraping against the sharp calcite wall.

No comments: