My wife and I decided to take an excursion to Aruba's Fontein Caves. Anytime an attraction merits a collectible stamp, it makes our list. In this case there are three Aruba stamps dedicated to the caves in the area.
Some may say that getting there is half the fun. In Aruba, depending on how you look at it, getting there is either fun or a curse. Most of the natural tourist attractions are not on a paved road. Fortunately, the path to Fontein was on a main road... a fresh new path (at least new to us) through Arikok National Park. It would have been a great ride if there were big dips every 20 yards or so. Our trusty Toyota Yaris had to nearly come to a complete stop at each one to avoid bottoming out. Other than a 100 or so dips the rest of the trip was uneventful.
When we got to the caves, we didn't know what to expect. We were prepared to hike for miles. My wife, who had been championing this journey looked in the Fontein Cave entrance and declared that maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all. After going through 100 of the aforementioned dips, I was going to get me some stalactite and stalagmite action! I went in slowly and tentatively. I got a good 10 steps in and realized that the cave was quite small. It was probably only 50 feet deep in total. My wife's fears of nasty critters went away quickly after that.
I wish I could say that the caves were awe inspiring. We found them to be a little disappointing. There are some markings that may have been from native Arubans from thousands of years ago... or they could have been man made recently... it was genuine hard to say. What wasn't hard to say though, is that thousands of people had scratched their name into the caves, defacing the natural beauty. We came away with a feeling of disappointment in the human race instead of the excitement of having seen a natural wonder.
After spending about 5 minutes in the caves, we decided to go on a quick 600 meter nature walk on a path next to the caves. That was pleasant enough, with the only surprise being what seemed to be a freshly dead goat on the path. Let's just say we weren't too sad that we forgot to bring our camera for this trip.
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