Another break from the usual adventures, this time it’s caving! I have been lucky enough to go once before, and loved it. So when I put out feelers asking who might be free on Saturday after 9 (yes, I had to work, but I wasn’t going to be able to walk on my usual Sunday and Monday off, so I had to get out when I could), and got an invite to tag along, there was no question about it!
We were intending to go to Mystery Creek cave this time, but the fact that it was still raining a bit, that there’d been a fair bit of rain already, that you have to cross a river, that water drains into the cave, that we had three kids with us, and that a group of Victorian school kids were killed when the cave flooded meant that a decision was made to go back to the Bradley-Chesterman cave. It was the same cave I’d been to before, and although that meant no new territory to explore or secrets to discover, it didn’t really matter because it was quite a different experience in any case!
I didn’t start the trip off too well, realising as we stood at the cave entrance and filled in the log book that I’d left my camera in my jacket pocket, which I’d kept on till the last minute before leaving the cars. In my rush to take it off and leave it behind I’d forgotten to take my camera with me. Great.. after a race back through the forest just to check that I hadn’t actually put it in my pocket and it had fallen out, I kept going with the others until I got too annoyed with myself, and begged for the key to the car. Somebody thought it would be funny to see how long it would take to make me cry. It didn’t come to that, fortunately, and once again I was racing back through the cave, then the forest, retrieved my camera, and ran all the way back. That was actually quite good, it meant I was nice and warm for the cold water.
While there was probably a similar amount of water in the cave to last time, in parts it was moving much faster, and there was a section full of foam that had been formed by water racing through the cave at some earlier point. There were also more cave spiders and crickets than I remember from last time. Oh, and our lovely little blood sucking friends, leeches!
The cave itself isn’t too long, and at the ‘end’ (the furthest we’ve been, as there’s a collapse which would involve being on your tummy in water, and probably not suitable for kids) there’s a ‘mud cave’ off to one side. It also involves sliding along on your tummy, but it’s just muddy, with no water. When you pop out the other end, you’re in a literal mud cave.. there must be rocks under all the mud, but the walls are just covered in it, and you squealch along in very muddy water or thick mud that threatens to keep your shoes. Hehehe… ah, why is mud such fun?!
Big kids and little kids alike had lots of fun, though I’m not sure why I seemed to be the primary target of the mud and foam wars! If you’re up for something different, and don’t mind small dark spaces, being wet and muddy, and the occasional spider or two, caving is great fun. I can’t wait to go back to another one, or even to explore this one past the rock fall :D!!