Entrada de Sotano de los Golondrinas…

Now it was time to head to the Sotano de los Golondrinas. The place is a sink hole/cave/hole in the ground 376 meters deep until the first step and another 200+ meters below that but requires more technical spelunking/repelling/caving to reach it. It’s the second biggest sink hole in Mexico but the greatest attraction comes from the swallows. 60 million, yes, 60 million swallows live in this cave and leave it at dawn and return at dusk. They fly at 160 Km per hour (100 mph) and all dive bomb into this cave with about a 80 meter diameter opening.

I wasn’t sure I’d get to see the spectacle as I found out the campsite was 400’ below the road, and a ten minute hike …and no way to get the bike and my stuff down. Not wanting to leave my stuff unprotected, I was thinking I’d take a quick look and then head back towards town before dark and look for a place to camp along the way, but after talking to the guy collecting at the gate, Santos, he said “no problemo” and sent me up 4 blocks to a friend of his Teno who would put me up for the night. Wow, once again relying on the kindness of strangers.

I set up camp at Teno’s and headed back to see the swallows dive bombing into the cave at 160 km an hour. They’re so fast, small and sleak that you can barely see them but the sound of them whooshing by you is intense and totally scary.

After the spectacle, I went back to the house to share a few beers with Teno, his brother Lionel and Cesario. Also got treated to some delicious banana leaf wrapped, homemade tamales (the specialty of the area) stuffed with a bean/seed from a flower tree. I can’t remember the name but can definitely identify the tree and flower so I’ll look it up shortly. Very tasty. Again wow, what a day.

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