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Birthday in a cave

It is always fun to have friends from home visiting with us.   Our regular life is pretty quiet and when the visitors arrive, we feel like we are on vacation with them!   Fortunately our house is large enough to easily accommodate 2 families and we have never felt that the house was too crowded.

This week our visitors (Carl, Sylwia, Hugo and Antoné from Val-David) have arrived just in time to help us celebrate Millie’s 7th birthday. She isn’t yet comfortable enough in spanish to invite her friends from school over, so she was very pleased to share her birthday celebration with people outside our family!

Millie’s birthday turned out to be a rainy day (apparently the first time in 42 years here it has rained in February!) and so we thought it was a good timing to go cave exploring.   The cave at San Gabriel was an easy choice since it is just 20km from Cuyutlan.   Now 20km does not sound like much when you live in Canada, but being in Mexico, these 20km took us 90min (yes by car!).

As we switched backed up a HUGE mountain on a rough cobblestone road there was a lovely view of the valley below.  Unfortunately this view happened to be only 1 foot from our tires as the road dropped off cliff-like down to the valley.  And forget about a guard rail.   It was a 2-way road, but there was only space (barely) for 1 car.  If you meet anyone going the other way, one of you needed to reverse to the “passing” points that are spaced out about every 1km.  We were pretty happy to make it to the top and then again back to the bottom without meeting anyone else.

The village itself was tiny (about 3 houses), but at the entrance to the cave, there was a guide and it was open for visits!   None of us had ever visited a cave like this before.  To enter, you had to descend a spiral staircase into the earth about 50 feet down and then through a tiny hole and down a ladder…where suddenly the tiny entrance opened into a large stone room.  The open space was about 100′x50′and with a ceiling approximately 30′ high at its peak. The only word appropriate upon entering is “wow”. Finally – it is worth the drive.


This donkey is probably about 25% of the town of San Gabriel


The beautiful view from the road up to the cave


And down you go.


This rope is used as a railing to help lower into the cave without slipping on the wet rocks.


The quartz stalactite walls of the cave were fantastic. They reminded me of an ornate church organ…yet all natural.


Kids are all having a great time together. The age differences actually are perfect.


On valentines day we went to the ancient ruins in Colima. Millie found another new friend.


The ruins here date to 1000 B.C. and are very well preserved. These people knew how to build something that lasted!


Millie enjoying her birthday girl chair and party.


The flowers from our yard made a perfect deco! This would have been much more challenging in Quebec in February.