Bat Cave

To the bat cave!

We heard about a bat cave fairly close to where we are living.  Chris and Ashley (Terry & Liz’s son and his wife) were visiting at the time and love adventures as much as Shirlene and I do.  Terry and Liz graciously offered to watch our kiddos.  Shirlene & I headed over to where Chris & Ashley were staying, across the bay and while we were there, Chino, a local Ngobe man who’s family owns the land the cave is on, offered to drive us in our cayuco.  So, all five of us piled in and headed off towards the bay of Bahia Honda.  In the bay we started towards a small clearing in the mangrove which was a creek that headed up into the hills.  As Chino navigated the creek for about a half an hour, I was glad he was driving.  The creek was filled with seen and unseen hazards, fallen trees, branches, mangrove roots, super shallow areas, tight turns that required 4 point turns and multiple ways to go with only one that led to the bat cave.  Chino finally pulled the cayuco up to a simple dock which we guessed led to the bat cave.  We had heard that a man named Juan ran the bat cave, a professing Christian, and we were eager to meet him as Christians are quire rare here.  As we walked we spotted a young man, probably in his 20s, under a thatch roof waiting near the path, Juan.  Chino was Juan’s brother, a meeting and introduction and we were off to the cave.  We walked another 15 minutes or so through the jungle on a well cleared but muddy path… This is where our adventure begins…

 SNAKES!  Oh, wait, just vines… sorry.

 Sloths above us, a mama and baby.

 The bat cave dock.

 On the bat cave path, cool centipedes.

 I LOVE the red frogs, only found on Isla Bastimentos.  Tiny, amazing poison dart frogs.

 The bat cave entrance.

 As we entered and tromped through the guano.  There were hundreds if not thousands of bats hanging out above our heads.  This is probably why they call this “the bat cave” – just a guess though.

 Awesome and amazing formations!

 As we walked, the water started getting deeper and deeper.

 I love my adventuresome wife!

 I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy…

 Until some sections were so deep you had to swim.  Chino said some of the pools, like this one, were bottomless.  And the cave end has never been found either.

 This section was very tight, we had to climb up and squeeze through a tricky part.

 Great game faces girls!

 Awesome fun.

 We finally reached a spot that could only be passed by swimming through a bottomless pool and then special equipment had to be used to climb a waterfall and get through a small hole.  We deciding to go for it!  And by “go for it” I mean we started our way back.

 Hiking out with my special weight boots to get my exercise in, my secret is filling them with water.

 Juan and Chino’s mom’s house.

 Guys cutting lumber near the bat cave dock.  I love how skilled they are here.  Most lumber is chainsaw cut – awesome!

 Chino driving “mi bebe”, translation: my baby.  I always tell the guys to be careful with mi bebe.

 A local who lives even further upstream.  God has given us such a love for these people!

 Here with my awesome wife.

One of the “negros” (yes that is what they call them here) that passed us while jokingly saying cuss words in Ngobe.  When I asked Chino what he said, Chino wouldn’t even repeat them – he’s a good guy.  Pray for Chino and his wife to come to know Christ.

I can’t deny the spiritual parallels of a trip like this.  In my ignorance and over confidence I was ready to drive us to a place I had never been to, to navigate waters in which I had no knowledge of the unseen dangers with only the goal in mind… the bat cave.  By God’s blessing, mercy and grace, God provided Chino as a guide to lead us safely to our destination.  Often, I find myself focused on the goal, the end result that I forget about the importance of the journey itself.  I need to be focused on God as my guide, He needs to be the one guiding my steps, navigating me through the unseen dangers, at His speed, not mine.  My goal is to please Him, to love Him and to share Him!  But I need to seek Him daily to hear His direction and not trust in my own abilities but in my close relationship with Him.  Man!  Our God is good!  Keep refining me Lord Jesus, my life is yours!

Can I get an amen?

 

4 Comments

  1. Andilee
    Nov 9, 2012

    Amen!!! :-) Thank you for posting this Bobby. I get caught up in the “end result” all too often. I appreciate the reminder that He is our guide and that He will use every step of the journey to teach me. I just need to listen. :-) God is good, all the time!

  2. merri trifiro
    Nov 9, 2012

    Amen! We were privileged to experience a similar adventure to that bat cave when we were there just about a year ago this week! Life in Christ is a marvelous, winding and wonderous adventure, wherever He leads us! Abiding in His presence, looking in to His face and listening to the voice of truth and love as we go, is a trek in paradise indeed! Keeping you ever covered in prayers..Blessings to you all! Merri T (Church of Life)

  3. Mom-Nancy Wood
    Nov 9, 2012

    Looks exciting! You guys are soooo adventurous!!!! Reminds me a of a movie we just watched Sanctum. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/sanctum/
    Be careful if it rains when you’re in there! Love ya’s!!!

  4. Jennifer
    Nov 21, 2012

    super hero status achieved

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