66 ~ Cave of Munits

075Legend has it, that a very powerful Chumash shaman lived in this cave thousands of years ago.

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I had been wanting to do this trail for a very long time. It is a short 3 mile round trip hike where one can climb out from the top of the cave and travel on to Kas’elew (Castle Peak) where Chumash priests and astronomers held ceremonies for the summer and winter solstice.

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Climbing into the cave was ridiculous. I told myself that once we got inside, there was no way we would be turning around and coming back down this route.

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This is what they call a “chimney cave.” It was really intimidating and we were alone. But getting out was actually way more simple than climbing into it.

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The views above the cave were AMAZING. No one really described how to get to Castle Peak except that it would be hard and a lot of false trails – no one mentioned how little footing you would have or how steep it would be. I had always been afraid of heights, but this was something else.

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The true way to continue the trail was to keep climbing up the rock face, but there was so much loose sand and we were already so high up. I was really scared so we spent the rest of the time trying to figure out the safest route back to ground.

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Jp took this picture of me of where I was about to cry… or as she calls it – facing my fear. She stayed brave for me so I wouldn’t be even more terrified, and for that I am grateful. It doesn’t help that there were tons of broken glass everywhere so we had to be extra careful. You can see Castle Peak in the distance, how the hell does one get there?! 😯

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My hands were still trembling after we got home and my arms and legs were left with bruises. But Castle Peak, I’m coming back for you.

37 thoughts on “66 ~ Cave of Munits

    • I don’t get very far, lol. I know some people who like to travel to other states or countries but there are so many interesting things to see that are within reasonable driving distance. California isn’t well known for its’ hiking trails but it should be. So much history in these mountains and valleys, rich in tradition and beauty.

      • That’s good to know! Well we don’t have so many trails and places to hike in driving distance! Fortunately I was born in a state which has the great Himalayan range in its north end. So I can’t deny that I have had my share of the fun even though not as frequent as you because of the nature of my job.

  1. It looks spectacular and the history sounds fascinating also. I like anything to do with ancient astronomy. If you’re interested in Shamanism this is a blog that I found quite recently http://shamanictracking.com/ that is really good.
    Also it’s funny how easy it is to climb up a steep hill but then coming down the same way is never an option, it should be the other way round.

    • I believe we have the same interests and fascinations. πŸ˜€ Thank you for the blog link! And yes, it should be the other way around but with gravity in play, coming back down safely is definitely not as easy as going up. ^_^

    • Adventures are best when shared. I am fortunate to have a partner in crime, but my brother told me that there are hiking groups that you can find on the internet. I had no idea until last month! The wonderful thing about the internet is that it can bring like-minded people together, much like our blogs.

    • Yes, exactly! Nothing wrong with traveling the world (I’ve already done a bit), and it is still on my To Do list, but I wanted to explore my own backyard first. There’s so much to be learned here that I had previously taken for granted.

    • LOL, Vasthi. I wish you can do it soon, it’s so soothing for the soul and has helped me clear my mind whenever I get a roadblock when writing. Not that you have that problem, but fresh air is good for the spirit in general. ^_^

  2. There’s something about these pictures that reminds me so much of those old 60’s and 70’s Western movies, the ones they referred to as Spaghetti Westerns! It looks like it’s lacking some cowboys in those scenes, especially the one where you are looking down at the view!! πŸ˜€ I think quite a bit of those movies were filmed in Italy and Spain, so it’s interesting that despite being so far away, the scene looks very similar. I’ve only visited Spain once, but I did actually break out of the tourist area and end up seeing some similar views to this. And funny enough, our little group actually went to visit some caves!! πŸ˜€

    The only down side to the day was we got stuck in that little place near the caves for hours, because my friend who had organised the trip thought there were no more buses going our way after the one we’d missed for another 3 hours!! She later discovered from other people there were buses going home very hour! 😦 It was interesting I’d had a conversation with her the week before about why she wasn’t worried about being able to speak the language, and she wasn’t at all. It bothered the hell out of me, for exactly the reason that occurred that day – none of us could ask in Spanish about bus times, drivers refused, or couldn’t speak English. Oh no – not my kind of fun that, vulnerable foreigners, with no ability to communicate! We didn’t dare wander into town in case we got completely lost. It was a very hot, long and boring day, but the bus journey’s were amazing – I really felt like I’d seen real Spain – through a bus window – but better than not having seen it at all!! πŸ˜€ Here’s some picture links to that area called Nerja (pronounce the j as an h – Nerha) one is of the caves. http://www.info-costa.co.uk/costa.del.sol/nerja.villa2_files/mountains_through_trees.jpg


    The caves are not like the ones you’ve been visiting, they’ve pretty much turned them into a museum – very tacky! 😐

    That looks totally scary – you sort of hanging from that rock. I’m glad you got yourselves out of there safely! And you’re going back!!? 😯 Do you think by the time you’ve visited all these venues you will have overcome your fear of heights?

    • There’s this place here in CA called Garden of the Gods, and it is fabled to be the most photographed location ranch in movie history. Beginning in 1912, the ranch had been used to depict Asia, Africa, the South Seas and the American West, and in thousands of films including such classics as β€œThe Lone Ranger,” and β€œTarzan the Ape Man.” I haven’t been there yet though, haven’t been to Spain either. πŸ˜›

      Bus routes can get confusing, I don’t blame her. I get confused with our bus lines here. >_< But she should have known better in a foreign country. The cave looks tacky but interesting – I would visit it if I were there. Seems less dangerous than what I've been doing. πŸ˜†

      I'm trying to. Mind over matter. People have done this trail w/o incident so I know it's doable, I just can't seem to tell my feet to move when I'm scared. I just freeze or I tremble and that's not good when I'm so high up. Next time we're coming with more people so we can all offer each other support. Hopefully by then I will have conquered my fear (at least a little bit more). πŸ˜‰

      • That cave is incredibly tacky, they have glass boxes with bones displayed! There’s something special about those bones. We were all very unimpressed by that, so much, I can’t even remember if they were meant to of some saint or something silly like that! And a lot less dangerous than you’ve been doing – those caves have stairs!!! πŸ˜† Imagine that in one of those caves you visited, I when you got inside, you found spot lights in all the dark corner and flights of stairs in all the steep bits! πŸ˜€

  3. all the pics are great. like the tidbit about the shaman. as to me, things are good but also in a very testy state. I’ve been really busy with the crib as I just got done with painting a room. my time at the computer isn’t as strong as i’d like it to be since I’ve gone from one project to another.

    • So many projects, so little time. I haven’t worked on my crib in forever – I really should though but time isn’t always on our side. With this project, work, hiking, cooking, and trying to obtain somewhat of a social life… I haven’t much time for anything else. Once this year is over though, I will be taking time off to take care of this household of one, lol. I’m happy you got to paint, wish I had a house to do so but since I’m renting, decorative touches are limited. πŸ˜›

And the wind whispers...

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