Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sabie and Graskop trip - Part 2 - Caving with candle

The afternoon passed off without any momentous ventures or events. We were all just tired but still excited about what more is to come. Some of us were apprehensive with the water tubing experience though with several cuts across hands and legs. Karthik had a swelling on his leg and thereafter refused to take part in further adventures.

No lunch yet and soon it was time to go for our second venture with Kestelle - Caving with a candle - with 8 of us. It was pouring down and we hadn't got enough dry clothes. So, we just went off with the same wet clothes. To enter the caves, we were taken to Kestelle's office where we wore the ankle boots and our long blue robe tucking into them. Two couples joined us in this adventure at the office.

When we finally reached the cave, it was still pouring badly and we struggled a bit to light our candles. We did not realize how awkward it was to walk with the boots on till we actually started walking towards the cave. All of us managed to reach the cave entrance without our candles getting blown off. Kestelle told us to guard the candles with our palms also helping the eyes from getting blinded by the candle light in that darkness.

A few bats passed me so close that I felt the whiff of air :) Our descent into the cave was through a narrow rock canyon first followed by our first bending & crawling on four limbs. Not everyone liked this and especially Nanthu seemed to dislike all this squeezing through rocks & crawling. It became more apparent when we had our next crawl in the cave, this time completely like a worm slithering through the mud and Nanthu was going mad. He was shouting "I hate caving"!

Whenever we managed to walk though, our guide was charming enough to guide us about the rock formations and types of rocks inside, especially to the German couple in our group :)

Gnana was crawling ahead of us and suddenly at a turn, Kestelle tried to scare us. He did the same to me too once in our subsequent journey when he went ahead of us. Once we reached the deepest part of the cave, we were asked to blow off all our lights. No matter how we tried, we could not see anything even after few more minutes because there was no light, even a minimal one there.

After some more descent and more crawls later, we were near the entrance out. One final dare ensued - to crawl out through the narrowest of the gorges, only the south african & german couple tried it and made it finally to the outside.

Soon, we were out and on our way back to the backpackers. This time, there was more fun in the truck where Alagiri was trying to blow the German lady's candle. Shahjahan was however persistent about holding his mobile light on all through the way. It was still raining heavily when we had started back to Kestelle's office to derobe.

We were all so dirty and wet, but since we did not have any more dry clothes, we chose to head to the Woodsman in our 'adventure' dress itself. Famished is an understatement of our condition then and we gobbled down anything that seemed palatable. The waitress was apparently furious at us for coming in so late to the restaurant (and due to our appearance as well!?) that she refused a finger bowl for Nanda! We were all making fun of him for this snubbing :)

Shaju and Karthik though wisely bought some noodles and bread for the breakfast next morning. We were all to begin the final planned adventure at 7:30 AM next morning - canyoning. But for then, we were extremely tired and went to sleep early. Thankfully, I had kept Shambhavi and breath watching going at the night - otherwise, I don't think I would have made it through the next day at all!

What happened on our Kloofing trip is reading material for another day :)

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