Visit to the three caves at Cueba Bosá

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Savonet-Cueba Bosa 20141002 035 smallClose to the border between the Christoffelpark and the neigboring area of Wacao there are several caves. At Cueba Bosá three caves are located; the most Western one (cave 1) is easily accessible to the public; the second one is closed to the public but we got special permission to enter this cave; the third cave is open to the public but not so easily accessible because there is no path cleared to this cave.
The archaeology sleuths gathered at the entrance of the park at 8 AM on Thursday October 2, 2014. With two cars the trip was made to the area of the caves. The route to the caves is clearly indicated. Close to the three caves of Cueba Bosá there is also a small cave with indian drawings.

After parking the cars at the small parking lot we followed the signs towards the first cave. There is a path to the entrance of this cave. If you want to explore this cave on your own don't forget to bring a flash light. Especially if you want to go into the cave. And that is certainly worth it. There are nice stalactites in this cave although we have the impression that in all three caves a lot of the stalactites are gone because of the excavation of the guano (bat droppings) that took place in these caves. We could clearly see where originally the floor of the cave was. By excavating the guano the stalactites lost their support and broke off.

The first cave is the smallest of the three. The second one is the largest with a length of about 120 meters; this cave has a extra large chamber to the right of the main path. This cave is closed to the public to avoid disturbance of the bats inside this cave and because the remaining guano is not really healthy for humans. We got special permission to enter this cave. This cave is very impressive. At most places you can easily stand upright. The chamber to the right of the main path is called the white chamber and it is obvious why. The walls are white. Unfortunately people cannot withstand this white wall and have to leave a permanent mark of their presence. This goes from "Bin Laden cave" to lots of names of the visitors to this cave. Really a shame! Also a good reason to close this cave to the public.

There were indeed lots of bats in this cave. Central in this cave there is a chamber with a high ceiling with a window. A perfect place for us to take a rest and eat our apples.
After the rest we continued our search of this cave toward the farthest point. Also there is a small window in the ceiling where a lot of bats were gathering.

Our next visit was to the third, the most Eastern cave. This cave is about 110 meter long. The entrance is easy but soon we had to crawl literally on our belly to pass a low ceiling. Behind that point we could once again stand upright. This cave had several large windows in the ceiling which makes it possible to go through this cave without a flash light. We used an alternative exit through a small window to leave this cave.

Our last visit was to the cave with indian drawings closeby. These indian drawings had to be protected because also here people were putting their own names between these historical indian drawings.

All in all a very nice hike. Not that we covered a lot of distance. We walked and crawled this time only a small distance and mainly in the shade, But the views were very impressive. Enjoy the pictures!

No rights can be derived from this report.

The map of the three caves is taken from the book "Caves of the Netherlands Antilles" by P. Wagenaar Hummelinck.

 Cueba Bosa 20141023 010 smallOn Thursday a small group of the archaeology sleuths went back to Cueba Bosá; last time we went into each of the three caves and saw from inside a number of windows in the ceiling of the caves. A GPS does not work in a cave so we didn't have exact locations of most windows. Only in cave 3 I had taken some waypoints standing under the opening. But the accuracy of the GPS is lacking if not many satellites can be seen. So the plan for this visit was to investigate on top of the caves.
We gathered once again at 8 AM at the parking lot of the Christoffel park; from there we went with one car to the caves. Initially we were with only 4 people, Karel Aster, Eddy, Fred and I but later also Gisette joined us.

First we tried to get better waypoints of the entrance of each of the caves; Eddy stayed at the entrance level while Karel, Fred and I went on top of the caves (better signal for the GPS). We located each of the entrances by calling out to Eddy and then positioning ourselfs opposite him as close to the edge as we dared. There Fred and I took a waypoint.
After taking a waypoint of the entrance of cave 1 we checked window 1 of this cave; that is located very close to the entrance. Surprisingly enough we found some stalactites on the surface; that strengthened our idea that the windows were used to get the excavated guano out of the cave. When we saw boreholes in the side of window 1 it was clear that this window was created with explosives.

After this was done Eddy joined us on top of the caves. We started with cave 3. This cave has 4 windows. First we went to window 1 of this cave. After taking a waypoint at window 1 we went to the second window. Last time we left the cave through this window. This time Karel, Eddy and Gisette entered the cave while Fred and I investigated the remaining windows of this cave.

Fred and I decided to go from the last window of cave three to the largest window in cave 2. That was easier said than done. Large fields of Prickly pear cacti and also several Wabi and Palu di lele trees made it not easy to progress. To make it even worse also Bringamosa was present. But we made our way to this large window.
This window has a similar structure as the others but on a larger scale. The opening at the surface is quite large but when you go inside the window you will reach a horizontal terrace in which the actual much smaller window into the cave can be found. Fred went to the terrace, I stayed on top.

From there we first went to the smaller window 1 of this cave and from there to the other two windows more to the end of the cave. The fields of Prickly pear cacti were here even worse so we had to create a path to safely pass. But even then we both got a lot of spines in our legs, hands and feet. But that is part of the risk of walking through the mondi.

After taking the remaining two waypoints we went back to cave three and from there to the parking lot where the others were waiting for us. Fred and I took our apple break which we had skipped to work as quickly as possible through all of the windows.
On our way back to the entrance we made a detour to visit Boca Grandi, a very impressive bay at the Northern side.

Back at the parking lot Karel offered us a drink; we went to Trio Pinotti for this and that concluded a special hike; not very interesting from a nature or achaeology standpoint but important to accurately locate the windows in the caves and from this information to exactly position the map from this cave on the topographical maps made by Werbata and Kadaster.