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I woke up early and headed to Arecibo to explore the Cuevas del Indio. I was among the first guests through the gate. Large, red signs warned tourists to continue at their own risk. The caves were surrounded by sandy beaches where palm trees shaded the pathways. The rocks were dark and rough. Climbing over them required balance and concentration. The view again was breathtaking. This is a common trait of Puerto Rico I have discovered.
The rocks laced together to lace a large arch with a small window framing a small island in the distance. The waves crashed into the rocks and sound of the water flooding caverns below echoed up the rocky walls.
Visitors, those who are more adventurous, can climb down a rickety ladder to weave their way in the caverns below. Hieroglyphics from the Taino Indians are etched into a few of the damp cavern walls.
The bottom, floor, was sandy, unlike any cave I had ever been in. I crawled over the boulders and watched the tide flow in and out of the west part of the cave.
My laughs and shouts reverberated and ricocheted off the walls. It was cool and damp, but the smell of the ocean flooding part of the rocky maze helped.
I sat on the rocky ridge looking out on the Atlantic. A cruise ship snailed its way across the horizon and seabirds dotted the water’s surface.
I made my way south to another cave: Cueva Ventana, the Window Cave. The Window Cave was located on a rim of a large cavern looking down on the countryside below. A small dirt road had small carts tooting their horns as they passed by a horse munching on the grass near the riverbed.
Getting to the pristine, picturesque view we had to snake our way through arches of stalagmites and stalactites. Bats swooped around and squeaked in what seemed to be panic. Desperate to know how close these unwanted visitors were to them.
Stone steps and stairs were slick and covered with moss. The tour would’ve been grander if we ventured further among the ancient cavernous formations.
After our day of cave exploring and acting like an archaeologist, I drove up to the mountains to Jayuya. The drive was weary and long. We rejoiced when we saw Saint Mary which marked the entrance to our home for the night.
The sound of rain and cool mountain breeze rocked me to sleep.
The next day…