L’Observateur : Summer Solstice Edition

Sunday afternoon was the summer solstice and, being only a few kilometers north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun was directly overhead. The night before at the bar, Ed(uardo) had the bright idea to spelunk a certain cave where the sunlight would shine through a hole at the surface and illuminate the entire inside. Karl(os) postulated off the top of his head that the approximate time of this happening would be about half past one in the afternoon – and as it turned out, he was exactly right. Only one day prior I had obtained a toney four-way Energizer head lamp at the Wal-Mart in Matehuala, so I was all in.

We met at 12:30 and took off with two ropes, three dogs, and five men. After hiking about 30 minutes straight up, we dove about 50 meters down a spiraling cave hole, meandering our way through four-foot high holes and around abandoned mine shafts which are hundreds of feet deep – without safety lines. One misstep on the chalky cave floor and basically, you’re dead. Try it for the first time while carrying a 50-foot rope over your left shoulder and a camera bag over your right. Admittedly, I was terrified. No matter, we made it to the cavern and the light came through on cue, creating about an eight-foot wide beam of bright blue light on the cave floor.

It was like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie, except afterward we went to the art gallery and watched Karl(os)’s girlfriend perform an Octavio Paz poem about (metaphorically) dying in the desert – while scantily clad in some kind of weird Mexican Indian costume. It looked like a Day of the Dead celebration had thrown up all over her.

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