Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bats and Sun and Fun

What a fantastic day yesterday.  Kezia and I set off at 8:00am, bound for adventure.  Our plan was to hit up two caves—Cueva Ventana and Cueva del Indio—and then end up at the beach for the remainder of the afternoon.  I had been to Cueva Ventana (the Window Cave) before, but Kezia hadn’t.  And neither of us had been to the other two places.

Today was one of those days where, for me, the drive was half the fun.  Route 10 is one of my favorite drives in PR, even though there’s one twisty, winding section in the middle that slows you down a bit.  The mountains, valleys, and lush greenery make it worth it. 

We arrived at Cueva Ventana with no problems, and I noted that, again, the property has undergone some upgrades.  The price to see the cave has gone up, but no one charged us for parking in the Texaco lot this time, so it evened out.  A new gravel/stairway has been put in place up the hill, and at the entrance to the cave there are now a few stairs and railings.  Let’s just hope that’s the end of the improvements, and they don’t install lights inside the cave or something.  Going with your flashlight is half the fun.

Kezia and I took our time in the cave, exploring the different formations and looking up at all the bats.  (The girl loves bats.  I like them, but she LOVES them.)  Then, we took our time at the window overlooking the valley (even though we had to share the view with quite a few other people yesterday, which made it slightly less awesome).    

The next stop was Cueva del Indio, just outside of Arecibo.  We got there with pretty much no problem, thanks to the directions Robert had given me the day before. 

Cueva del Indio is a beautiful place to visit.  The cave is located in the rocks on the coast, carved out by the waves over time.  A ladder leads you down into the cave, which is light and airy because the roof is no longer completely there (due, again, to water eating away at the rocks).  Inside the cave you can find Taino petroglyphs as well as tide pools, bats, and fun little passage-ways to crawl through if you dare.  We spent maybe half an hour poking around, then scooted back out and made our way to the beach, our final stop of the day.

Entrance to the cave is where the ladder leads down.

Looking up after climbing down the ladder

Taino petroglyph

Inside Cueva del Indio

We took the scenic route to Mar Chiquita in Manatí, driving along the coast until the road cut away and we had to connect briefly to the main road before cutting back out towards the ocean.

One thing I loved about adventuring with Kezia today was that she is as laid back as I am about getting lost.  When I missed an exit, took the next one, then decided to take the back roads back in the direction we needed to go without consulting the map first to make sure the road I was on would lead to the one we needed, she didn’t bat an eye or raise a question.  We’d get there one way or another, and if we ended up driving in circles or something…what did it matter?  We weren’t on a schedule.  It was a very relaxing car ride.

My route on the back roads did end us at the correct place, by the way.  We found Mar Chiquita to be beautiful—the sand soft (though it was the coarse type that sticks to you no matter how often you try to keep brushing it off), the sun hot, and the water refreshingly cool and clear.  We spent some time bobbing in the water, then parked ourselves in the shade of a palm tree and relaxed most of the afternoon.  Kezia repeatedly asked me, “Why haven’t we done this before?  This is nice.”  I agreed wholeheartedly.  Hopefully we’ll make it more of a frequent occurrence to have Saturday adventures before the school year ends.  

Mar Chiquita

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