At the top of the mountain, we all got out and started wondering into the cloud forest, as the government vehicle drove off. After about an hour and a half of ducking under vines, and peering into sinkholes, it was evident that the couple did not know where the cave they were trying to show us was. Occasionally, they would point into the mist and say “dong”, meaning cave, but nothing resembling a hole in the earth was there. Eventually, one of them pulled out a cellphone and, to our best guess, began calling a relative for help in locating the cave. Surprisingly, they had cell reception up here. So, we continued meandering through the forest as they pointed at sinkholes and attempted describing to the relative where we were. All we could hear on the other side of the phone was laughter. Another hour, or so, past and they admitted defeat, so we all started walking back down the road to the car and then drove back down to the valley.
After returning back to where we first met, we all got out. The couple wanted a photo with us, perhaps to share the story with family and friends of the time they took some random foreigners to the top of a mountain and wandered around in the fog.
It’s hard to fathom why we love such adventures, especially when no caves are found in the process. Perhaps it’s the spontaneity of it all and creating new memories with locals that you hadn’t known before that day, and may never see again. Experiences like these don’t happen without the calculated risk of mutual trust in one another and going with the flow. When they do occur, they make you realize that most people in the world are good or else society wouldn’t function. And, that trusting in each other can lead to richer experiences in life.