Ok, these aren't my pics because we didn't have a camera in there, but just wanted to put things in perspective.
Now, this makes no sense at all, but as we started walking into the water and deeper into the cave my brain went to Pirates of the Carribean, the ride at Disneyland. Suddenly, I was in a fake cave and I was feeling more calm. I was in the ride and I was discovering a new portion of it! I was helping to plan the ride! This made me feel SO much better and I think I just had to feel in control of something, so clearly I went to setting up the logistics of this new ride. I looked at Mike with a huge smile and said "Im a part of Pirates of the Carribean and I am building the ride!!" What a guy to just go with it and say "Ya! You're building the ride!"
There were parts that were really scary, like going under a waterfall and parts where the water was so deep we couldnt touch and we had to swim with our candles over our head. If your candle goes out you are in the dark, but not really because there are 15 other people with their candles. I was enjoying it, but the realistic part of my brain was thinking: this would NEVER be sanctioned in the US.
We got deep into the cave and I was really enjoying it. I couldnt even remember how my mind felt at the beginning when there was no way I could think of doing this. I was climbing through tight spaces and up and down ladders that led to...who knows where. And I was in it! We made our way out of the cave and the feeling of when I was out was pure joy. I was so proud of myself for conquering a major fear, but more of taking control of my mind.
Feeling powerful with our war paint from inside the cave
The rest of the day was just beautiful hiking and playing in lagoons that were the models for many postcards. No real challenge here, just pure happy.