Rancho Pint - The Mexico Page
Cueva de Los Moscos - Cave of the Bugs - Jalisco, Mexico

Text and Photos ©2010 by J. Pint

Photo Gallery

Crossing an agave field "in the right direction."

A forest of stinging Dominguilla plants.

David Andrade smiles after escaping The Squeeze.

Detail of Cave Map - Click to see the rest of it.

Map Detail (Click on it to see the rest). The bugs wouldn't sit still for a photo, but this will give you an idea...

"Guacale! Enough bugs for me! Luis Rojas heading for the good old agaves and thorns.



Caves beneath the dunes? Check out our Saudicaves page:












Cueva de Los Moscos     Cave of the Bugs     By John Pint

On June 3, 2010, Ezequiel Garcia invited us to visit two caves he had heard about, not far from Amatitán. “Us” in this case meant Leonel Ayala of Filostoc, Luis Rojas and John Pint of Zotz, and David Andrade, a caver newly arrived in this area, now living in Ahualulco.

We followed Ezequiel and a friend along a dirt road for about 20 minutes and parked. Our guides pointed to a hill in the distance. “There’s the first one,” they said. “It’s at the top of that hill.”

Well, that hill looked pretty far away and mighty high and I thought, “Hmm…I don’t think we’re going to be visiting two caves today, especially in this heat (It’s hottest in this part of Mexico just before the rainy season starts).

Ezequiel Garcia shows how to find a cave by phoneSo we walked about half an hour and stopped to rest under a shady tree. Ezequiel whipped out his cell phone and began a long conversation with much gesticulating and pointing.

“Ahem,” I whispered to Rojas, “It looks like Ezequiel has never been to the cave… this will mark the first time we have hunted for a cave by a remote guidance system.”

“Guess what?” said Ezequiel. “The cave is not on that mountain at all. It’s next to that smaller hill over there.”

This could be interpreted as good news, but for the fact that the only way to get to the other hill required cutting across numerous rows of tequila agaves, which are always planted very close to one another in one direction and just far enough apart for (very careful) walking in the other direction. The agave leaves, of course, are tipped with a spike that used to serve as a sewing needle in the past and it has microscopic barbs on it which guarantee pain for days.

Now, as we began to cut across the field, “in the wrong direction, agave-wise,” we discovered that the spaces between the agaves were filled with:

A. Dominguilla (a kind of stinging nettle)

B. Thorns

In addition, every patch of agaves was surrounded by a barbwire fence which we had to crawl over, under or through. So, the most spoken word during this portion of the cave hunt was ¡Ay! from my companions and ouch! From me.

At last, well scratched and well pricked, we came to a kind of sheltered indentation in a smooth, undulating wall of hill number two. It was quickly determined that there was no cave anywhere along this wall, and out came the cell phone again, with lots of arm-waving and endless attempts to describe what we were seeing versus what we should be seeing (come on, Nokia, we need a videocam in these things!).

“Entonces,” said Ezequiel at long last. “The cave is not here (which we had already figured out), but it’s at the base of the next hill, over there.”

Well, dear reader, I imagine you can guess what was between us and the next hill. Yes, more rows of agaves to be crossed wrongly, more thorns, and this time a veritable forest of evil dominguilla plants.

Finally, after a mere two hours of ¡Ay!s and ouch!es, we arrived at the cave: a long, high, very narrow crack. Our noses immediately informed us that there was plenty of guano de murciélago inside, which brought joy to the face of our bat expert, Leonel.

Leonel Ayala attempts The SqueezeThose of us who first took a look at the cave, found it narrowed to a gap that only a Sonia could squeeze through standing up (the pre-ice-cream-bar Sonia, of course). For us normal cavers (with panzas) the way forward meant throwing ourselves on the ground and crawling on our bellies for a meter or two, at which point we ran into a veritable cloud of little black bugs guarding the passage.

If you managed to get through the bugs without swallowing any, you came to a climbable vertical wall, sixteen meters from the entrance. Here, anyone who wanted to could proceed upward for 9.2 meters, which gets you to the top of the crack and the home of the bats. Up here Leonel found Grey Sac-Winged Bats (Balantiopteryx plicata) which also live in relatively nearby Cueva Cuata (Tequilizinta). There were lots of these as well as signs of a few vampire-bat visitors too. The temperature inside, by the way, was 27°C, humidity 71%.

Exploring and mapping this cave took only a tiny fraction of the time it took to locate it, which, to some, might suggest it was rather small and insignificant, but, of course, in comparison to those Manantlán caves recently found by Sergi Gómez, Cueva de los Moscos should probably be listed among the major caverns of Jalisco.


A Grey Sac-Winged Bat (Balantiopteryx plicata)

Besides bugs 'n' bats, this cave also features a nice view.

Copyright 2010 - www.RanchoPint.com - All Rights Reserved