Cave Exploration Jamaican Style

A way to tell if a person is a “bushman” (Jamaican slang for someone who was raised in the countryside) is to learn more about some of their experiences growing up. Caves are found in hilly areas and these places are usually rural areas. If a Jamaican person tells you that they have knowledge of caves then they are probably from the country and it’s an exceptional place to be because, cave exploration can be incredibly fun and yet test you on so many different levels.

I can remember clearly those days when I would hear stories of people getting trapped in the cave because they were too fat to fit through the rocks. The funniest of the stories is one where a friend was in the cave with some other people and a bat flew and landed on him and he ran out of the cave screaming and fanning the bat away. Imagine a gigantic man running out from a cave with a baseball bat in hand screaming like a little girl. If that is not entertainment then I’m not sure what is.

Some of my fondest memories can be traced back to me walking with a kerosene lamp in hand with the wick slowly burning and a baseball bat in the other hand for protection against bats. It used to be that cave exploration was a scary thing but after a while you would get used to it and you could just enjoy the scenery as you climbed on your belly through small pathways underground. Usually you’d end up deep down until one of your friends screamed Jamaican patwa“woooiiii mi ago ded!!”(I’m going to die), only to realize that there was nothing ahead of them.

A few tips for cave exploration if you ever plan on going through caves. Never go alone, because if something happens to you then it’s you, yourself, and you whom are left to figure it out. Always carry a torch even at daytime because it can get dark and scary. That’s about it. If you are doing it Jamaica just have fun and go try to go too far.

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