” Hola, mujeres y señores!”, « hello, ladies and gentlemen!» His voice was so smooth and buttered that I looked up. I had been on the verge of dozing off in the sun, tired after many hours on the road and too many things on the agenda, but now I opened my eyes and ears, eagerly anticipating an eruption (excuse the expression, it was the first one that came to mind…) of facts, and possibly interesting fiction, around this amazing phenomenon, the Cueva de los Verdes, a 7 km long volcanic cave, running from its entrance where we were currently at, all the way down to the sea.
“We are now entering the cave, watch your heads, …cuidado con la cabeza”, was all he said, before we ventured down into the gaping, and if it were not for the strategically placed artificial lightening, pitch dark hole. To be fair, he did say it 17 times before we again gathered/regrouped at a wider chamber further down. And 29 times more, while we were waiting for the remnants of the group to catch up, actually occasionally throwing in a “well done, lady” or “hello there, señore” for good measure as one by one slowly appeared through the narrow passage.
While he again and again was pushing his replay button, the clock was ticking, removing time from the precious tour by the minute. Minutes that could have been used conveying the inexhaustible source of facts that can be associated with and attached to the magic place we were in. A geologist would go wild in these surroundings, barely being able to contain himself and probably inflicting permanent injury to people with his load of information about the formation and history of this 4000 year old cave system and that of the Earth in general. A philosopher could have maimed his audience with allegories and impossible rantings on life, the universe and everything, and an anthropologist would be able to convey more than we’d ever care to know about when and how this and other caves were used by the local inhabitants, from the time of the aborigines of the island, the Guanches to the present.
But not our guide, he was of a different breed altogehter: He was so laidback, I was afraid he would fall over backwards any minute, literally, not by effort!, and so coool, that had there been a volcanic eruption there and then, his mere presences would have kept us unharmed…
To read more… Clueless in La Cueva