I was getting pounded sitting in the front of the launch, so I grabbed a bumper and sat on the nice suspension, but too much bounce. We were crossing Lake Isabel heading for the thermal waterfalls. The green hills that led up to the mountains were a powerful sight as I bounced along on my bumper. Our captain was loving the wave action and took great glee in trying to bounce me clear out of the boat. I knew he would get his way, given the increasing size of the waves, so I stood up and took the action in my knees.
I loved the contrast of the amber reed grass and the green fields that warmed the lake’s edge. We hit the beach in style and climbed out eager for our adventure that lay ahead. There were ten of us, a motley collection of British, French, Canadian and American. We had been together long enough to skip past the social shine and get right into the abusive humor, which suited me just fine. Nothing sacred at this point. Lots of laughs. We walked along a dirt road surrounded by cattle in the fields, very peaceful. The smaller cattle had collars with three-foot sticks wedged through them to keep the little buggers from slipping under the fences—good idea. The road gave way to a small jungle trail that would occasionally flirt with the banks of a good sized stream. Occasionally some of the local girls would be on the trail trying to sell banana bread. We assured them we would buy on the way back.
Coming up a small hill and around the bend, the smell of sulfur hit us first, then the sight of the thermal pools and waterfalls. Man, what a sight, something out of dreams. It did not take us long to get into the water and swim over to the waterfalls. Better than any hot shower I have ever had. I could go for the heavy volume and hot pounder or the light hot tease. I tried them all. They call me mellow yellow, that’s right. One hour of that and I was mister limbo.
Our fearless leader, another Dave, gathered us together to head further up the trail to the caves. The jungle smells that tickled my nose were something else. You could never quite name what it was before a new smell would waft up your nostrils. These were the same jungles where Tarzan was made. Once I was told that I was on the lookout for Jane—hey a fellow has to keep an open mind.
As we headed down the slick mud trail, both my feet went clear into the air and I took a good dumping. That smartened me up some. The trail got so steep that Dave had to tie a rope to one of those thorny jungle trees so we could rappel down. The adventure had begun.
At the bottom was a stream that ran out of a 30-foot high opening in the side of the mountain. With just swimsuits and head lamps we all swam into that dark opening—cool, unreal, a little eerie. This was a new one for me and I was loving it. We took breaks every hundred yards by clinging onto the sides of the rock before swimming further. I could hear hard water ahead and see rock and white water. We climbed the rocks next to the waterfall, and there were some very scary moments where the wrong slip could have plunged us into the waterfalls. At one point Katua stepped out from a rock and missed her footing but was caught by her friend. I swallowed my heart watching that little number. Once we were up to the top we killed our head lamps and sat in the darkness feeling the strength of this ancient cave. Woooooo. Love Dave.