Monday, January 20, 2014

Ecotour Day 2 – Kounoubwa Cave near Camp Perrin

After an easy Day 1 of birding, we had a more challenging day of walking to and exploring a cave.  We drove to Camp Perrin where we picked up the cave guide Joel Constant who is mentioned in the Clammer/Bradt Haiti guide.  Joel was trained by spelunkers and has the keys to the gates to the cave – you need to arrange with him to see the cave.  We gave him around a $25 tip at the end.  We then parked on the east side of a wide river and walked across the dry river bed.  I don’t know how deep it is when it is flowing.  Then we immediately climbed up a rocky steep rocky hillside to reach a grassy path that ascended the hill.  The younger crowd (age 8 – 18) with us ran ahead and waited for us older folks to catch up (40 – 70 with a bad knee).  Our slow walk took about 40 minutes to reach the cave entrance where there are small benches for resting.  Decent into the cave was slippery and steep.  Again the children bounded down while the rest of us practically crawled down on our hands and rear ends.  Joel showed us around the large cavern which had been vandalized with many large stalactites broken and missing.  The group then made another steep slippery climb to another room while I waited with my guest.  This other room had bats.  We also saw cave crickets.  We spent 1.5 hours in the cave.  The descending walk back to the truck took about 30 minutes.

Access – Moderately difficult.  Right after crossing the river which was dry during our visit you must ascend a steep rocky hillside.  Then the path is relatively easy walk up a grassy slope, with one steep rocky area to navigate.  The decent into the cave is steep and slippery.  To move farther in past the main cavern you again navigate over steep slippery rocks.  You will get muddy.  A headlamp is necessary so your hands can be free.

In the dry river bed.
The walk to the cave.
The short climb up from the river bed.

Broken stalagtites

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