Verfasst von: rbontour | August 26, 2010

ATM Adventure – Money Laundering or Cave Escapade?

In San Ignacio, all the local tour operators advertised special deals on something called „ATM tour“. At first we had no clue what we should expect of an “ATM Tour”. Was it maybe a tour to a Central American money laundering facility, where a local gangster would teach us how to survive and get through the next 8 months of our trip? Ha, ha… definitely not. Actually it was about traveling back in time to follow pathways used by the Maya. We discovered an ancient cave world (ATM – Actun Tunichil Muknal caves) that has been hidden deep within the jungle for centuries. We mentioned before that traveling in Belize is like watching the discovery channel all day long… and here, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the History Channel really filmed and published a documentary a few years ago.

The tour we did was definitely no walk in the park (and if Brigitte would have known what to expect, she probably would have chickened out!). It required hard work and Robert was utterly excited about this unique adventure. Well, although we had muscle aches for two days … it was definitely worth it! In the complete dark with no artificial lights, equipped with helmets and a head light, we climbed over big rocks… up and down… we swam through ice cold spring water next to cave spiders and bats, we passed stalactites, skeletons and old Mayan pottery. All in all, it was a tour which would NEVER be allowed in Europe or the US; that’s for sure! The climbing was definitely dangerous sometimes, there were no ropes, no light and the current of the spring water in the cave was really strong in some spots… We didn’t even sign a waiver and at one point we couldn’t resist and asked our tour guide how many tourists actually died in that cave (especially because we passed skeletons here and there). But the guy said “No, no… nobody dead here in ATM. Only few cracked ankles”. Ahhhh, okay, that’s not too bad then… :-).

Fortunately we got out of there unharmed, feeling proud and victorious to have survived this challenge. We will certainly not forget this unique adventure – how could we passing all those ATM machines around the world!

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