Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beyond the Safety Rope

I spent last week in south Mexico in the beautiful state of Chiapas. I highly recommend it! I went for work, with a group of dedicated volunteers who are helping lead a mission project for teens this summer. We spent a lot of time on the road (dirt, gravel, paved, and mud varieties) traveling from site to site. Besides sitting in a van together we also spent a lot of time eating really good food. This wasn’t my best week for fitness.

The dinky hotel gym didn’t call my name either late at night when we arrived, nor early in the morning before our 7am breakfasts. But I did find one way to get moving! One afternoon we decided to check out a local find, Cima de las Cotorras. We wondered how good this could really be – because – the book described a big hole in the ground.

Well, the description was right. It is a BIG, BIG hole in the ground. The flat grassland is interrupted by an abrupt drop about 160 meters in diameter. The initial view at the start of the trail was impressive, but as we hiked around the lip it was hard to see down because of all the brush blocking our view. At the end of the trail, a guide told us that there was another trail that takes you 40 meters down into the 140 meter canyon and sports a much clearer view.

My coworker jumped right in and clambered down the steep dirt trail. I really admire his attitude of saying yes to any adventure, and any responsibility. I held back, considering my options, and wondering if the view was really worth it. A few minutes later I glimpsed him nearly opposite me and standing on a rock ledge inside the cavernous hole!

The view was obviously better than any I had seen and I decided to go for it too. It took me at least twice as long to pick down the steep path, and once I went off on a false trail, but I eventually arrived to the narrow rock ledge with a stunning view of the canyon and the unique forest growing on it’s floor. In the summer months the canyon is filled with hundreds of parrots flying in flocks and echoing their calls in the cylindrical rock enclosed forest. In February we saw only a few of the bright green birds. Soaking it in, I was glad I said yes to adventure. 

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