PV009: Rio Camuy Caverns

Posted by Arlo on May 3, 2010 under Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Travel

Back in November, Oksana and I spent our vacation in Puerto Rico.  If you’ve been following along, you already know that we’ve already put together a video on the Arecibo Radio Telescope, plus a short little Culebra diving video.  One of the other places we visited happened to be right next to Arecibo: The Rio Camuy Caves Park.

We shot the opening clip with Oksana at the park, but because of the problems I’ve been having with my laptop, I wasn’t able to edit anything together while we were still in Puerto Rico.  This April, comfortably back at home, we recorded new voice-overs for the podcast using all sorts of new equipment we’d bought for our upcoming trip.  I’m curious to hear if you notice any difference…

The following is a transcript of the above video for Google’s benefit (ignore it, watch the video instead!)

Postcard Valet
Rio Camuy Caverns

Hi!  This is Oksana, from Postcard Valet.  It is November 14th, 2009, and we are at the Rio Camuy Caverns in Puerto Rico.

The first time we tried to go see Rio Camuy caves, we could not get in because the park was too full.

They only let a certain number of people down into the cave and they told us that there wouldn’t be any chance for us, so…

They very next day, we made sure that we showed up really early morning before the park opened.  Once inside the park, we purchased our tickets, we found a place that gave us silly green hard hats, and we found our seats on the trolley.

We sat on the trolley for a while and finally took a little trip through the jungle, getting down to the bottom of a sinkhole where the cave mouth was.

I had very low expectations about the cave tour because the last time I was inside the cave, it was under the water, it was really cramped, and pitch black.  The entrance into the cave is pretty small and dim because it is 200 feet lower, and the sunlight doesn’t really get down there.

We entered the cave listening to our tour guide tell us facts about the cave system, however none of those came anywhere close to preparing me for what I was about to see.  It is the third largest cave system in the world.

They had a huge cathedral ceiling, something like 170 feet tall, and from one entrance to the other – you could see across – to another sinkhole entrance.

We got to walk next to humungous stalagmites and stalactites.  We got to see huge boulders that fell off from the ceiling and now are littering the floor of the cave.

That happened thousands of years ago.  We don’t expect any more to fall till the next 200 years.  That’s what they told me (laughter.)

Because the environment there is so moist – I mean, it’s essentially a jungle along the edges of the sinkholes – there’s a lot of moisture from the humidity forming on the walls, and then trickling down into little rivulets that then gather into larger pools.

We also got to see a spot where Rio Camuy enters into a tunnel.

Down below is the Camuy River.  During our flood seasons, that river can reach the height of 80 feet.  This part of the river also flooded with the hurricane, coming up to 160 feet high, covering the ceiling here in front of you.  What you’re hearing is a waterfall 60 feet above the river and the river is 150 feet below us.

And we were told it is home to millions of bats, however we did not get to see a single bat!

(Not a bat!)

We could see all these groups ahead of us being ferried about by their own guides.  It lended to the touristy feel; I think I would have been much more comfortable exploring by myself.

We could have easily spent an entire day discovering little nooks and crannies.  All those pirate cave descriptions that I read about as a kid are actually based on a real place.  How cool is that?

Rio Camuy Caverns
Rio Camuy Caverns, Puerto Rico
Postcard Valet
Episode 9
Rio Camuy Caverns
14 November 2009
Digital Color photo by Arlo Midgett

Place Postage Here
Arlo & Oksana Midgett
Postmark: 3 May 2010

Postcard Valet is a Travel Podcast by Arlo Midgett & Oksana Midgett
All footage © 2009 Arlo Midgett


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