Some time ago, we stumbled upon a small shelter cave in a remote part of the Primavera Forest, alongside El Río de las Animas, the River of Ghosts. Inside the cave we found a shimmering white, bell-shaped column of rock which I decided to call La Reina de las Animas, the Queen of Ghosts.
We had reached the cave by following the river upstream, which had taken a lot of time and, of course, required numerous attempts (some not so successful) to cross the river without getting our boots wet. I wondered if we might not be able to revisit the cave more easily by approaching it from what Google Earth seemed to suggest was a dirt road passing only 500 meters away.
One fine Sunday in November, I set out with three friends to try to reach the cave “the dry way.” We succeeded and along the way wandered into a strange and wonderful place which almost made us forget our original quest.
We drove through Tala into Villa Felicidad, a picturesque area frequented by picnickers on the weekend and—unfortunately – by numerous noisy motorcycles as well. To our surprise, we were stopped at the far end of Villa Felicidad by forest rangers who told us that we would have to park right there and continue on foot unless we had written permission to proceed. This regulation was something totally new and unexpected, so, of course, we didn´t have the required permission, but the guard eventually let us drive through, after much palavering, “...only to take a quick look.”
We followed the road shown on Google Earth for two kilometers and came to a big iron gate which is apparently always kept locked. Here we parked and continued on foot.