Travelblog 6 – Belize

“Cave” and “tube” are two words I might never have put together outside a description of some large lava tubes I’ve seen on the Big Island of Hawaii, but in Belize tourists can go “cave tubing.” 

After finishing my classes on Friday, a few of us ventured to a place called “Jaguar Paw,” where a hired guide led us on a 45 minute hike through a riverine rain forest (during which we tasted termites from a large mound), then on an hour-plus float that included lots of hand paddling through about a mile of caves through which the river runs. Several shallow spots with small rapids gave me an unexpected massage — the guide kept yelling “butts up!”

The water was cold and the caves were dark, so my teeth were chattering by the time we finished, but it was quite an adventure. In most places, the cave was 20-40 feet wide and the roughly arched ceiling rose about ten feet over our heads. Wearing small headlamps, we could see where high water during the rainy season had filled the cave and lodged sticks in the ceiling.

Where the cave widened into side chambers, we could make out formations such as stalactites, but they tended to be worn because water occasionally reaches them, too. 

As much fun as it was, after ninety minutes of sitting in cold water with my neck at an awkward angle, I was happy for the adventure to be over. 

Caves that are cold, wet, and dark can be fun to visit, but I much prefer the sunlight. 

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