The walk in was about a mile through the jungle, as we walked Kim stopped and talked to us about how the caves were formed. He explained to us how the cave ceiling was the floor of a sea millions of years ago. As we explored the cave we saw different types of rock formations like stalagmites and stalactites. Stalagmites rise from the floor due to water dripping from the ceiling and depositing material. Stalactites are formed from water dripping from the ceiling and depositing calcium salts. We also learned about the symbiotic relationship of the birds and the bats. As the day becomes night the bats come out and the birds use the cave as shelter.
The day after we initially explored the cave, we took a kayaking adventure. This kayaking adventure took us to the original cave. Once we got there, we were given headlights. These lights were meant to help us to see in the darkest parts of the cave. Once we got these lights, we were sent to navigate through the waters of the cave until we reached the outside(we followed the guide). The view at the end of the cave was remarkable, as we saw swarms of birds flying around the entrance of the cave. Some of the students even got pooped on by the birds.
When we reached the outside the cave, we had to get out of the kayak and start hiking. The hike took us through the forest and it lasted about a mile, until we reached the hole for the next cave. The hole for the cave was so small that everyone had to crouch down just to get through. While we were in the caves we saw live stalactites dripping onto the floor starting the process of the making of stalagmites. The guides told the group how during the summer the monks would go into the caves to meditate since it is cooler than outside. They also told us how the people would hunt porcupines in the cave. When everyone turned their lights off the cave was pitch black so that you couldn’t see anything and it was dead silent. It was truly an amazing experience.
-by Matt, Tariq and Chris R