Sótano de la Golondrinas
Mexico Caving Day 9
Took a photo of the low side of Sótano de la Golondrinas (1,150 feet) while waiting for my turn to rappel into the massive pit. This time we visited the pit with a large group of people, which was not the idea situation. Over 10 rappelled down, and then spent hours exploring the bottom, before I got my chance. No one climbed. So when Chris and I hit the bottom, we had a quick snack and then hopped on rope, being the good team players we are.

Sótano de la Golondrinas
My view about 400 feet from the top.

Sótano de la Golondrinas
Chris derigs the high side of Golondrinas.


Hoya de las GuaGuas
Mexico Caving Day 8
Went to bounce Hoya de las GuaGuas (668 feet) again. This was the morning view of the valley below when driving up to the cave.

Hoya de las GuaGuas
People tandem climb out of the entrance pit.

Hoya de las GuaGuas
Here’s me topping out at the lip after climbing the low side.


Las Pozas
Mexico Caving Day 7
We decided to take a day off after bouncing Golondrinas the day before. So we visited a Mexican rainforest gem, it’s in a remote mountain village called Xilitla, and is the home to the extraordinary surrealist architecture of Edward James called Las Pozas. This is a photo of me there.

To see more photos from a couple of years ago from a visit there look here — http://www.nikkifox.net/blog/11-21-2007.

Las Pozas
Think M. C. Escher meets an elvish city. Very cool architecture with mysterious paths and illusions that come to life.

Las Pozas
Shapes and visuals to please your eyes!

Las Pozas
Even though this photos looks like the place had no people, our experience was not the same as it was a couple of years ago. Since then, a snack bar has been added, the ticket price has increased, there were busloads of tourists there and many of the places we could go before were blocked off “for your safety.”


Sótano de la Golondrinas
Mexico Caving Day 6
Nikky LaBranche looks down while climbing out of Sótano de la Golondrinas (1,150 feet) during a triple-tandem climb with Chris and I. It was the most peaceful day of the expedition, with only the three of us in the pit.


Cascadas de Tamul
Mexico Caving Day 5
Sonya Erickson rappels over the lip alongside of the 300-foot waterfall called Cascadas de Tamul.

Cascadas de Tamul
The view while rappelling on the side of the waterfall.

Cascadas de Tamul
The limestone-rich water was fantasy colored. The stream was lined with dark pink flowers and lots of green, exotic trees. It was straight out of a book, a live elvish landscape!


Hoya de las GuaGuas
Mexico Caving Day 4
Here’s the sophisticated sign we found when we returned to Hoya de las GuaGuas after a 2-year hiatus.

Hoya de las GuaGuas
Jeff Dunn rappels the high side of the 668-foot entrance pit.

Hoya de las GuaGuas
Looking up at a rappeller on the high side of the pit.

Hoya de las GuaGuas
What it looks like on the bottom . . . a mini Mexican forest. The huge black space on the right is another 600-footish pit that gets you into the cave. We did not go down, as we’ve been told the loose rocks on the slope are very dangerous.


Sótano de Octufu
Mexico Caving Day 3
Chris did not get to go underground today . . . he got sick outside of Sótano de Octufu (415 feet) on Christmas Day. He did not get to enjoy the TAG-like pit.


Hoya de Quile
Mexico Caving Day 2
We hiked the trails around the mountain fields of the Barrio de Paxaljá for 2 miles in hopes of finding a large pit (La Quila). We didn’t. Instead, we found a tiny pit, Hoya de Quile, (120 feet) and bounced it once. It was rather a disappointing day, but that’s what you get when you decide to go with a group and not do your own thing.


Rio Coy
Mexico Caving Day 1
The 2-mile hike along railroad tracks to access the cave of Rio Coy. There’s a 180-foot drop that is purposely short-rigged so you can rappel off the end of the rope into the underground river. Let me tell ya, letting the end of the rope zip through your last bar is unnerving!

Here is Chris as we swim out to the entrance.
Rio Coy


Casa de Walsh
We arrived at Casa de Walsh in Aquismon! A group of Texans were working on the house, or having a party; maybe a bit of both.
After a shaky start to our road trip to Mexico, with a 2-foot blizzard with lots of 4-wheel driving and Jeep problems, we were very happy to be at our destination!