Hole in the Ground

2010.Jan.15 Friday · 0 comments

in Life

This little trio of days involves a lot of bouncing about on back roads and then mucking about, often literally, on dirt trails off into the middle of what seems to be nowhere. Having returned from our waterfall march, we grab a little rest, then have a bite to eat at a spot on the main plaza called Chacha – nothing of great note, pretty basic food – Henry had a lomo saltado, more or less stir-fried beef, and I had a pork chop with rice and boiled yuca – the one thing that was exemplary was the house drink, called the jugo especial, or special juice, an absolutely delicious blend of milk, various fresh fruit juices, carob and vanilla – pretty much like the best milkshake you’ve ever had. We had two pitchers.

Entering Luya

Early morning, shortly after 7, found us on the road again, an hour and a half or so away, in steadily drizzling rain, and passing into the small village of Luya atop a mountain. We didn’t pause here, just bounced our way through, and then…

Entering Lamud

…crossed the bridge into the small town of Lamud, the regional capital. We could tell we were somewhere more important because the one main road and that surrounding the plaza were paved. Nothing else was, but those two were.

Lamud - plaza de armas

It even has a quite pretty Plaza de Armas

Guide’s home, Lamud

Our guide was not awaiting us at the tourism office in the plaza. A couple of phone calls revealed he was hanging out at home – so we headed there – a quite nice little place that doubles as an in-home eatery…

Cuy

…with a specialty of cuy, which they raise themselves in a series of pens behind the house. There’s also about a half acre field of alfalfa, the favorite food of the critters. Alas, we were not to come back to his house for our lunch – instead to be treated at some little touristy spot on the plaza later on with poorly made antichuchos and a small piece of fatty pork over boiled rice, yuca and grilled plantain, the last of which was the only thing really edible on the plate.

On to Quiocta

We were outfitted with rubber boots for the trek, a process which took close to an hour – the guide just didn’t seem to be ready for anything. Then a half hour drive out into the middle of some farmland…

On to Quiocta

…and set out on another half hour walk along a small trail leading out into the fields.

Quiocta

In short order, we found ourselves in a big hole in the ground – the 600 and something meter Quiocta cavern. Our only light source, a car headlight hooked to a battery which our guide carried around, flashing it over various relics and features of interest…

Quiocta

…like stalactites…

Quiocta

…stalagmites… and more of the same, each with its own character.

Quiocta

Quiocta

Quiocta

The visit to the cavern takes about 45 minutes and was actually kind of cool. It might have been nice to have an extra light or two (one other visiting group was there, each person outfitted with their own flashlight), though not having it contributed to the general effect of where we were. We returned to the sunlight, which had thankfully come out, the drizzle had stopped, and headed back to Lamud for the above mentioned excuse for a lunch.

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