One of my roommates/interns was working the weekend that we went cave tubing a month ago. Since she leaves tomorrow, she wanted to do it before she left so we went today. We had 7 people going this time and I was the only person on both trips. (I also realized that of the 8 people who went last month, only 3 of us are still in Belize!)
We went with Jaguar Paw this time. Though both groups do cave tubing, this experience couldn't be different from the one last month. Unlike last time, there was a lot less exploration and a lot more relaxed tubing. Despite being slower paced and less adventurous, we actually had a lot more safety equipment. We had to wear helmets and life jackets and all the tubes were tied together. While I fully understand the need for safety - this may have been taking it a bit far.
The cave itself was still quite cool - where we started was in a break of a long section of caves. There was a bit of a swimming hole and we were able swim around a bit (in our helmets and life jackets). Despite being rainy season, it didn't rain at all in the last week, so the river was quite low and quite calm. Once we went in the cave, there were not nearly as many formations (columns, stalactites and stalagmites) as on the last trip, but it was still pretty awesome. The best part was the waterfall where another cave system met up with the system we were in. The roof had caved in (a millennium ago) and so there was light and jungle next to us. You can actually hike through the jungle and into the cave from that side.
Besides the cave tubing, we also got to do some zip lines. Zip lines are always fun. I always love the expressions on the guides faces when they try to figure out how to handle me. (For those who don't know me, I am a bit on the bigger side). These guys gave me an extra harness around my chest - I never mind an extra bit of protection in this scenario.
We did 5 lines and a rappel type thing (where they control the ropes). It was pretty awesome. Flying through the air is always awesome and the jungle is so green. Given my weight and the laws of gravity, I fly down the lines. We only had one small incident where my roommate forgot to keep her guide hand behind her and started spinning - she crashed into our guide a bit.
(Sorry there are no pictures, I didn't really take any.