Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Hole

So we took a side trip on the way to the marina this afternoon. "The Hole" is a natural limestone sinkhole in the top of a ridge just off the beaten path in Long Bay Hills. Maybe it's more of a 'path that could still use a beating'. It's not very well marked, but it is easy to get to. You just pull off the road where you see this little trail between all the caution signs and safety fencing:

Image Hosted by

I was joking about the caution signs and safety fencing. There's nothing like that. Just this little trail of dirt and exposed limestone. Just the kind of thing you would bomb down on a mountain bike, or rush into like the silly dog in that photo. See that small hole in the path about 20 ft. ahead of him? Doesn't look too scary, does it.

But rushing down this particular trail on a bike could cause you some sudden anxiety:

That would be a good brake and reflex check, I think. Maybe a biking shorts check, as well.

This sinkhole is typical for limestone geology. There are groups of these scattered throughout the islands. Some of the ones on Middle Caicos have signs of early inhabitants. They are big enough to live in full time.

This one is not very wide across,but the sides are so steep it would be difficult to climb out if you ever fell in. A couple dozen broken bones would probably complicate it, as well.

It's maybe 50 feet deep, with some real uninviting water in the bottom.

Image Hosted by

I tried to take a "vertical pano" series, but I messed up the bottom one by changing angles. So....this is two-thirds of how deep it is, just imagine a dark cave under the rocks filled with some highly stagnant looking water.

Image Hosted by

If La Gringa Suprema would have taken just a few more steps to her right in that photo, she would have been standing over the thin ledge you can see in this photo a little better:

Image Hosted by

She was unaware of what it looked like directly below her at the time. She was pretty busy yelling at me and the dog to get back away from the edge. She gets nervous about these things sometimes.

So, this is not what we would recommend for a swimming hole.

Image Hosted by

It's not the Grand Canyon by any means. But it's still big enough that you wouldn't want to stumble across it by accident going down a path in the dark.


La Gringa said...

Um, YEA I get nervous when Gringo is slipping and sliding on loose gravel next to this thing with bad knees, flip flops, a manic Jack Russell Terrier darting in and out of his feet while grabbing little dried bush twiglets for strongholds!!

Guilty as charged!!

Unknown said...

Gringo, thanks for the photos and that is quite a sight, hard to believe it is not marked with any sort of cautionary sign. Wouldn't want my two year old flying down that trail.....Mark

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many bones are at the bottom of that water......

Anonymous said...

Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly!

Nice pictures! Looks to me like its best not to go walking at night around the TCI if you don't know where you are going!

Anonymous said...

There are definitely places here in the bush where you could seriously turn an ankle.

The area up on the bluffs overlooking Mudjin Harbor over on Middle Caicos are even gnarlier. You would'nt want to stray off the concrete paths there, the ground is honeycombed with sinkholes and little caves.