Saturday, May 23, 2015

Projecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla

I spent a week in the state of Oaxaca (southern México) at the end of April, joining the last days of this year's expedition of the Projecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla (PESH). I knew what I had signed up for – hauling heavy packs out of project caves, surrounded by folks who had spent the last month getting fitter and fitter by going caving every day.

Which is pretty much what happened. I nearly broke myself on the first day, hauling two packs at once while climbing up the "110" (a pit which derives its name from its depth in meters) in the upper parts of Sótano de San Agustín. Followed by a day of shuttling packs from the cave's entrance back to the field house, and a fairly pleasant day surveying and derigging upper passage in La Grieta.

View straight up at night in the entrance of Sótano de San Agustín

The rest of the week was divided between traveling to and from the town of Huautla (and village of San Agustín Zaragoza), and spending time in Huautla and the expedition field house with a bunch of old and new friends.

Looking down the jungle drop into the entrance of San Agustín

Oaxaca City itself, which United flies into, is a great tourist destination and worth a (weekend) visit. I spent a day on my way home touristing around the city and nearby Monte Albán, enjoying lots of great food and sights on México's Labor Day weekend.