Scheduled Date: Tuesday 5th August, 2014
Located in The Heights of Aripo are numerous caves and sinkholes, the two most visited are the Soho Cave and the larger Aripo or Main Cave. The geological structure of the area is Jurassic rocks which consist of re-crystallized limestone, quartzite and metamorphosed phyllites. The vegetation made up of undisturbed seasonal montane forest and growing on the forest ground is a distinguishable palm-like plant with a bright yellow orchid called Bronze Pagoda (Calathea Casupito). The two caves positioned miles apart on different sides of the valley. The Main Cave placed on the north- western side while the Soho Cave situated on the north-eastern range. Large colonies of oil-birds and bats dwell inside these caves, and of the two the more accessible is the Soho Cave.
The exploration to Soho Cave starts at the end of the Aripo Road, where there is a large christophene plantation. The journey will take at least 1 ½ -2 hours, and the trail passes through intricate forest with some over-growth. The trek starts with a short ascend and after a twenty minutes walk the trail comes to a cross section. A visible path on the right leads to the Soho Cave while the straight route continues onward to the Aripo Cave. The terrain is mostly hilly, with valleys and streams to cross, and two–thirds on the trip a noticeable landmark, is a large silk cotton tree. On both sides of the pathway, there are limestone outcrops and coming from the sink holes is the strong scent of bat guano. Situated from the main path in a nearby gully is another small cave called Carikkers Cave. The trail descends sharply from the ridge to the entrance of the Soho Cave. At the entrance, there is a prominent, large, lime-stone boulder, and the oil-birds can be sighted on the walls however to explore further requires climbing equipment and ropes. The oilbirds are frugivorous; their diet consists of fruit pulp from palm trees that they transport back to the cave. The floor of the cave is like a nursery where the left over seeds germinate into small palm trees. In the vicinity of the cave, there are deep sinkholes and caution should be exercised going off the path
Fitness Walkers explore Soho Cave on Saturday 11th October’14.
For details contact Marcia 490-2421 Mario 749-2956 or www. Islandhikers.com
Assembly: 7.00am Corner of O’meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway Arima.
Rating: 5 moderately challenging
Hiking time : 1 1/2 – 2 hours
Phone: (868) 749-2956,
email :islandhikers @gmail.com
Marcia 490-2421,Michael 719-3368,
Jamal 761-1889,Robin 681-1389,
Camille 620-314, Michelle 726-5195,
,Petronilla 342-1072, Pooran 764-2041
Dennis 678-2768, Adrian 349-9316,
Bob 685-5355, Pedro 346-3460
Ian 682-6177, Danny 372-7798