Jul 12 17
I was just a little worried with the description of the proposed mine trip. The “bridge of death”, and a dingy that kept deflating had me very close to going for a walk above ground. But Pete’s enthusiasm “it’ll be a great adventure!!” finally won me over. I clambered into the borrowed romper suit (just) and headed underground with the rest of the team.
I have to admit, this was my sort of caving. Mostly upright with no tight squeezes, although I was always apprehensive about the talked of dingy……
The early obstacles were 2 long abseils, which were pretty straightforward; the early aim I suppose is to gain some depth, unlike climbing. I even noticed that part of the abseil wall was carpeted…. (fairly upmarket these cavers)
The Zip wire should have been a quick whizz across another pool, but I jammed half way when the rope got caught, luckily I didn’t end up in the water….. I’m not exactly sure what you do if you fall in. I think I would have just sunk.
after this came a rickety ladder strung over a deep pool. The photos give a vague impression of what its like, but just a lot darker (as the photo has a flash).
The 2 bridges came next and the second of these proved fairly tricky with a changeover of safety and pulley in the middle. My short slings and short legs had me marooned for a while.
From the bridges Pete and I hurried on to the next abseil. This was down to the boat. I had been worried about this all the way along, but was relieved when I realised that it was 2 in the boat and it was like a small ferry. I was less relieved when I realised that Pete hated the idea of the boat more than me. But with both of us in the boat, I realised there was no way Pete could fall out as he’d vacuumed his bottom to the floor of the boat by clenching his butt hard. He didn’t move, and I reassuringly tested the stability of the boat for him as we crossed by rocking it from side to side.
The boat was the last of the major obstacles and it just left a lot of clambering up and down passages and slopes to find the way out. I have to say, Pete was right, it was a great adventure and one I’d be happy to do again. Thanks to our caving experts (everyone except me) for leading us back to daylight safely.
Series - Rendezvous #4
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