Once again we decided to go for a hike to explore an island. We do a lot of that when we hang around with Steve from Slow Flight. This time we followed Meditation Trail into the hills where we came across a cave system large enough to go spelunking in. However, we made some ominous discoveries that discouraged too much adventurous exploration!
Peter and Sally from Milly already hiked the Meditation Trail and recommended we go and bring a light for the cave. Cave? I’m in!
There was a lot of cactus but it was mixed with green shrubbery. This dry terrain wouldn’t seem like snail territory (and maybe it isn’t now), but we saw hundreds of snail shells all along the trail. Cacti were everywhere and we really had to watch our step! Sally stepped on something that sent a spike right through her shoe! We didn’t want to fall either. The rocks were volcanic and very porous and sharp.
The trail led us on a gradual ascent into the hills. When we reached the top, we were rewarded with great views of Spanish Water Lagoon and Seru Boca Marina.
Here is the marina art the far right of the lagoon. The lagoon is so big, I would have to take multiple pictures to show the whole thing. There are hills on two sides of the marina, which block almost all the wind. On top of the hill we enjoyed the cooling wind that we had no idea existed when down below.
Our boats were definitely safe and sound. The bottom center catamaran in the picture is Coco de Mer, then Milly is in the next row and Livin’ Life is kitty-corner to Milly. The cats required a double slip, which we had to pay extra for.
Slow Flight was three slips to the right of a weird trimaran. That trimaran didn’t use sails, it had something that looked like an airplane wing. While at dock it spun around in the wind. To sail, they probably lock it into place. We’ve never seen anything like it. And just look at how it fills the entire slip!
Look how small they look next to that cactus. It’s a little bit of an illusion because the cactus is closer, but it was a big cactus.
There were so many snail shells everywhere that I kept an eye out for living ones. Eventually I started to notice them on the shrubs and cacti. I can’t imagine what they eat or how they keep from drying out, but they must multiply like crazy if the number of shells is any indication.
Ouch! Dave wasn’t watching where he was going close enough and that cactus just jumped out and bit him! Wade also brushed one with his hand and regretted it. Vicious things!
We were enjoying the view of the rest of the lagoon, but those cactus bites itched. I wonder how the ocean was doing in the distance. We were too far away to tell if there was a big swell from Matthew.
Still can’t see the left side of the lagoon or the entrance, but this is towards the center. It really is big. There is normally no anchoring allowed, but exceptions were made because of the hurricane.
The hike wasn’t that long to get to the caves, but it was a hot and muggy day. These above ground caves don’t offer any relief from the heat. The rocks absorb the heat and it can be hotter inside where there’s no breeze.
Just inside the cave entrance we found bones that we think were from goats. The more we looked around, the more bones we found. We wondered how they got there and what killed the goats. What predators were on the island? Hopefully people. We didn’t want to run into anything big and dangerous.
Everyone went further into the caves and Dave was trying to convince me to come. “It opens into a big open space,” Dave said. I decided to go. I’m not afraid of caves or what might reside within them, but I do get claustrophobic in cramped quarters.
Hodges, on the other hand, is fearless and she just goes for it.
She walked or crawled into any tight space she could fit into. Me, I looked around for another route.
We did find another opening into the darker recesses of the cave. Inside here we found more bones but also some really cool mineral deposits. I wouldn’t have thought Curaçao got enough rain to create these deposits. They must have taken a very long time to form.
As Hodges shone her light inside the cave, she disturbed the bats. They started flying around and whizzed right by her head…and mine! Now that doesn’t bother me. As long as they don’t poop on me, I’m good with bats. You have to really work at it to get bitten by a bat! Contrary to popular belief.
Their wings made a whirring sound as they flew by my head, but I think they were otherwise silent. I don’t recall hearing any squeaking sounds. In the movies they always make squeaking sounds. Haha!
Further inside the cave, the mineral deposits were green and glowed in our light. Very cool! I don’t know enough about caves to explain the phenomenon. Wish I did.
Inside, an opening in the top allowed streaks of light in where we could pose for pictures. More interesting to me than posing was capturing the amazing bones inside. Could this be a goat head? Whatever it is, it’s kind of creepy. If it was in better shape, I’d have considered collecting it. Instead, we left it for the next unsuspecting hikers to stumble across.
Driving back to the marina, I spotted these two birds on the side of the road. I made Dave pull over so I could take pictures. They were big birds; the size of large hawks or eagles, but more delicate in build.
They acted more like scavengers, like vultures. I only saw them on the ground, never flying or in a tree. They can fly, I just never saw it. When I got too close for their comfort, they just casually ambled away on foot dragging their dead whatever. Such cool birds!
I didn’t have my good camera lens with me, so here is a closeup picture from the internet. Awesome, right? I found out they are northern crested caracaras and are in the falcon family. They are birds of prey but they also scavenge. They have a wingspan up to 51 inches but only weigh around 2 1/2 pounds. Next up, we try out diving in Curaçao.