Parque Nacional Tororo — Part 2: Caverns! Catfish!

3 Oct

As if dinosaur tracks and marine fossils weren’t enough, the trip to Torotoro also involved crawling around in Bolivia’s largest cavern, Umajalanta. This was perhaps the most memorable adventure of the trip. I love caves. I love the fleeting feelings of panic and claustrophobia you have to talk yourself down from at times. I love turning off the lights and sitting in the darkest dark imaginable. I love the dripping stalactites. I love observing the massive power of time and water.

In case you were wondering how caves form, it apparently involves lots of HO…wait…hydroxide? That can’t be right. I think whoever made this lovely drawing forgot a ‘2’somewhere…or it was painted over. What a mystery.

Here I am at the mouth of the cavern, eagerly awaiting the damp darkness. Even from the outside, it’s magnificent!

Once inside the cave, we crawled, hiked, repelled, and shimmied around for a couple of hours. Seriously, so cool.

Here I am taking a break under “el arbol” (the tree). Can you see it? The “trunk” is to my right, and I am sitting under the leafy foliage. There were lots of stalactite/stalagmite formations in the save that were given names by individuals far more creative and imaginative than me.

Allow me to demonstrate one place were being little really helps. Sure, I can’t reach things stored in high places, but I can crawl through a cave like a freaking pro.

There was so much sand and dust in the cave that my camera shutter stopped opening completely. It makes it look like I’m crawling through an even tinier space, I suppose.

Towards the end of our cave crawl we happened upon a small pond brimming with tiny, white, blind catfish. Evolution, you’ve done it again! Sooooooo cooooooool. (These pictures really don’t do these fish justice).

More on Torotoro later. Stay tuned!

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Parque Nacional Tororo — Part 2: Caverns! Catfish!”

  1. Larry October 4, 2011 at 13:34 #

    You look like you barely fit through those spots. Would I even have a chance of getting through that cave?

  2. katiethecakes October 4, 2011 at 14:07 #

    Yes, Larry, I believe you would fit. There was a man much larger than you with us, and he fit. It took a little bit of work for him to get through (actually, it was quite a struggle), but he eventually made it out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: