Well Santo is certainly a quiet place in the evening, some research is to be had for the evenings, but after a couple of quiet beers and pizza for dinner it was time for bed. After a night of the rain pouring down and a crack of thunder that woke Sarah (I had ear plugs) we woke this morning to teeming rain and a day trip booked to the Millennium Caves. After our pacific timing for the tour a taxi came to collect us and take us to the rest of the group for a briefing for our trip. The idea was, 45 minutes by van to the first village, 20 minute walk to next village and then 1 1/2 hour trek to the cave. We would then go through the cave followed by a spot of canyoning, 45 minute swim and walk back to the village, with a spot of face painting along the way.
Anyhow, as we turned off the main road the rain just seemed to get heavier, the car didn’t get bogged, but that was a miracle, we did have a moment where we thought we might have to push the vehicle up the hill or at least walk. We headed off on the first leg, 20 minutes to the village. The mud was shocking, the rain poured and the wooded logs to help your footings were slippery, but we made it and were then given life jackets to don for the rest of the journey. We were told that we might not be able to enter the cave because of the rain but still we would continue the trek to see what it might bring.
Well it brought more rain, more slippery logs, more mud, a bamboo bridge, but non of this is a complaint it was a bit of an adventure really. As we neared the cave entrance, before we went any further it was time for a spot of face painting! Stripes over the eyes for the swallows, stripe on nose for the water fall, zig zags on the cheeks for the shape of the cave, splodge on the chin for water and two spots on the cheeks for something else. Not sure whether this really was about respecting culture or the guides having a bit of fun, but we participated like good sports! As we got nearer we could hear the water roaring, which was not a good sign, as we got to the path overlooking the cave entrance, we could see the waters rushing through the cave and knew that it was gonna be a no go! We stood and watched for a little while before turning around and heading back on the long trek to the village.
Basically the rain continued for the whole time we were out, but it never stopped us, and it was a little bit of adventure, with admittedly, a little bit of disappointment. Time seems to pass slowly here So we headed out at 5pm to Club Aqua, we were told a good spot in town. The woman who was cooking cooked up a great veggie stir fry the only other options for veggie’s in town seemed to be pizza so we had to ask can you do something else and she did. We also got our first taste of Kava, looks awful, smelt like cucumber, but tasted not too bad.
Anyway good night was had, bit of dancing, good food and good people!