Monday, May 26, 2008

Marengo Caves: Dripstone Trail

link to Marengo Caves Website

Marengo Caves: Crystal Palace

Marengo Indiana

Blowing Bat Crawl: On June 14, 1992 experienced cave explorers dug through the final tight spot in the 'Bat Crawl' to discover the largest cave passage ever found in an Indiana cave.  This effort culminated many years of sporadic digging to enlarge this passage to follow the strong air flow which indicated the large cave system beyond.

link to Marengo Caves Website

Marengo Caves:

Marengo Indiana

Discovered September 6, 1883 by Blanche & Orris Heistand who descended into the first room. The following Sunday, Mitch Stewart and friends explored the main passageways.

 

The next day, local residents descended in mass on the cave. Owner Samuel Stewart, recognizing the commercial potential, secured the entrance and immediately opened the cave to the public. The Marengo Cave Company was formed in 1900 to operate the cave. The cave became popular destination for railroad excursions prior to the great depression.

Local residents used their wagons to haul visitors to and from the train depot. As transportation changed from automobiles, the business languished yet survived on word of mouth advertising. The cave was sold to Floyd Denton in 1995.

Floyd had big plans for redevelopment but died in 1960 before he could realize many of his plans. The cave was sold to a group of avid cave explorers in `973. Designated a National Landmark in1984, the cave business has steadily increased since 1973 to become Indiana's #1 natural attraction.

image

Click to see Crystal Palace Cave

Click to see Dripstone Trail Caves

 

link to Marengo Caves Website

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cozumel: Mexico

Cozumel, like Nassau, had a lot going on at the port.  If you liked shopping the and some nearby shopping centers were easy access.  We did an ATV adventure with Wildtours [link to the left] which included a beachside restaurant with pool, hammocks, shops and massages.
The ATV adventure included a sinkhole and a ceynote.  Prepare to eat dust.

Mexico: Port Calica

We did a lot in Calica. We snorkeled off the beach at a ‘grazing’ area for sea turtles [I didn’t see one but Kelly did, I did bother a barracuda though], we snorkeled in a cave and at a lagoon, we did a zip line and we toured the ruins of Tulum. We had a great and busy day. As usual we booked our own excursion and received great service for a great price.

We arranged our excursion with Edventures and were very satisfied.  We did the ruins of Tulum in the morning. [see Ruins of Tulum link back on the "Activities" page.]  We walked the ruins on our own instead of using a guide but hiring a guide is pretty cheap.

After the ruins we did the zip line which was a blast.  Edguardo [he's the Ed in Edventures] took our cameras for us and took our pictures coming down the zip line. We then did the Dos Ojos Ceynote.  It was too dark there for our cameras so the pictures in the slideshow were not taken by us.  "Dos Ojos, meaning 'two eyes,' has become a world famous dive spot for obvious reasons. Divers and snorkelers alike cannot wait to traverse this vast cavern, considered one of the longest, and most decorated, underwater cave systems in the world. Enter through one of the two separate pools, which look like two large eyes, and explore an intricate, and surprisingly clear, maze of caves and limestone formations."  From the restaurant we loaded up in two boats and went out in the serve and down the beach to a point where sea turtles graze on the bottom.  Kelly saw a see turtle but was out of film and I was too slow to keep up but I got a great picture of a barracuda. BARRACUDA! Our last stop was a beautiful lagoon where the springs from the ceynote enters into the gulf.  The fish there are beautiful, big, small, whatever and if you don't splash around they will lets you get so close.

When we left the lagoon for the ride back to the ship everyone marveled at how much we had done in one day and for a low price to boot.

Edventures don't seem to have a website but if you email me I'll send you their email and a breakdown of our excursion.

M.S. Holiday: Carnival Cruise

The MS Holiday {Motor Ship} is their oldest and smallest ship but that was no problem.  Didn't notice it until it pulled along side the Fascination in Cozumel.  Great crew, entertainment, etc.  Buffet was better on the Soveriegn of the Seas last year but not bad.  However I was very disapointed in the casino.  The only Hold'Em game was an electronic table which doesn't make since, who wants to play real people in the same room on acomputer?  A sad mix of online poker in a casino, how lame.  Never did get one tournament game going even though they advertised it the whole cruise.  Their entertainment was great and the cruise director was awesome, very talented.  Won big in bingo (twice) came in second in the slot tournament.

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