Cajon de Muerte, Danger and Death

A new water feature was revealed on the property earlier this week. Literaly, the "drawer of death" demonstrated that what goes into this drawer never comes out. It is a kind of pool of water in the solid rock which contains extremely strange currents, think whirlpool. The depth of the box is unknown and possibly connects to one or more underground rivers.

For whatever reason, at the last part of our walk to the Tabarcia River, our friend, Pepe, went ahead of the rest with his two large dogs. Details of what happened next are likely to remain obscure as no one witnessed the entire episode except for Pepe.

Apparently as Pepe reached the steep incline he went ahead and then slipped, sliding downward towards the rivers. Unfortunately, his dogs took this as a cue to follow. They ended up stumbling and doing rolls into the rocks below.

During this entire episode John was slowly coming down the incline/cliff with the help of sticks with crotches hooked to saplings. I had made the wise decision to stay above with Roxy. From my vantage point I could only hear what was happening below.

Our friend's strange cries finally alerted to trouble. Somehow, the dogs had gone into the water and somehow, entered the Cajon. By the time John reached the bottom there was only Pepe on a rock desperately trying to get closer to one corner of the "box". By now it was clear that the dogs went in.

What ensued was a terrifying minute as Pepe was preparing to jump into the box. One of our workers Frye, who was on the walk with us, appeared, stripped to his underwear ready to jump in also. Fortunately, at that time, no one was insane enough to take the plunge.

This area is like a rock cathedral with high sides. Its beauty and tranquility were juxtaposed against the human drama of our friend's loss. The two dogs who only moments before were walking with us on the trails had entered the box and disappeared.

What followed was the climb out to the top followed by an expedition by Pepe and Mario up the Rio Viejo to see if the dogs or dog had made it to the pools farther down river. John and I went home and Frye was already up river ahead of Pepe and Mario.

After some hours Frye returned and had not seen Pepe or Mario. A couple of fretful hours later, they arrived after determining that there was no hope for the dogs.

John and Pepe then went to the local bar as something was needed to help get Pepe back into order. It was then that the very old bartender explained the story of the Cajon de Muerte and related that some decades ago a handsome young man disappeared there among allegations of foul play involving a stolen sweetheart.

Then John and Pepe went to Mario's campo and the old lady fed them chicha and tortillas while the story was replayed for the locals and relatives. The old timers seemed to be aware of the Cajon.

Rest in peace Leeky and Lady.

The first picture was taken inside our house on one of the many occasions Leeky (the large Belgium Shepard) and Lady (the Dalmatian) came for a visit. The second picture was taken from my safe vantage point looking down at the Tabarcia River. The last picture was a scenery shot taken from the same location.