Borneo

Nine Southsea Cavers spent three weeks in Malaysian Borneo from 4th to 26th September 2010. Rooms were booked in the Gunung Mulu National Park giving access to some of the largest caves in the world.

 

 

The Southsea Trip To Borneo

by Gail Walters

Highlights;

Clearwater connection, floating down the river using tackle sacks as buoyancy aids.

Racer cave, plenty of wildlife including Huntsman Spiders, the best way to spot these creatures was by their green fluorescent eyes glowing at you! Cave centipede, the famous Racer snakes were notably absent from the cave bearing their name! The cave formations were very good, a few rope climbs and we were allowed to explore on our own!!
Racer snake found in Clearwater
The Elephant Trunk formations.
The walk to and from Sarawak and Drunken Forest – Ishmail our guide on the return trip took us on the ‘adventure’ route – lots of slippery logs over rather stinky marsh – poor Simon and Dave rather exhausted. My fellow friends made me fall into a very deep pool – ‘it’s okay to cross there Gail’ hee hee!!!
Camp 5, Headhunters trail and the Pinnacles – world’s worst parachute landing site! Climb up via ropes and ladders to a good overall view point. The towering limestone pillars poked out through the forest canopy – very spectacular.
Running rapids in a longboat!
Staying in a Longhouse.
Being invited into the community homes and seeing how the local people live and interact. Meeting the children and being able to experience at first hand a traditional way of living. Very community orientated.
Garden of Eden – out through Deer Cave (slightly smelly!) out into paradise (apart from the leeches more of those later!) A beautiful waterfall and rock pools in which you could take a dip – and leech free I hasten to add!
Deer Cave and the mass exodus of thousands of bats in the evening – columns would form and spiral upwards, they would then fly in ribbon like formations across the skies, the patterns constantly changing as the outer bats were forever trying to be in the centre to avoid being supper for a few hungry Goshawks!!

Worst Bits

The leeches, you find them in any primary rainforest. They can live for 6 months to a year on just one meal! They sneak up on you, often travel north, stick their chompers in and fill up – a piece of cotton swelling to the size of a piece of rope! Poor Bob managed to get one in his helmet ( it probably couldn’t believe it’s luck), it then looked like something from alien, proceeding to suck out his brains!!!

Why did you say that?

“Ken’s got stinky pits, but he’s brought his scrubber with him.”
Dave, “I don’t have a six pack I have a barrel.”
Ken to Gail, “you’re like a dried old prune.” Ken definitely goes down in the popularity stakes.
Whilst wading through swamps and rivers our leader declares, “I don’t like getting wet!!”
“Great turnout for a Wednesday pub meet but where’s the Chairman?”
Ishmael to Steve DB re. wobbly elbows, ” how did you get those? Crawling to your wife?”
“Those indentations in the mud, made by your knob!”
Ishmael goes commando, “leaches like warm smelly balls!”
re: Steve walking into a spider’s web and waving his arms about, ” you fighting the wild spirits? My grandfather used to talk to them – no one else could see them.”
“Gail does the best war-dance to remove unwanted visitors!”
Simon, ” I think I’ve sweated enough to grow gutters!”

Injuries Sustained

Steve DB cut knee twice in Clearwater.
Simon fell off board-walk 1st day and not under the influence of alcohol, hole in knee, promised lollipops if he didn’t cry.
Simon cut hand whilst descending from The Pinnacles – accident prone?
Paul N – torn eye whilst removing disposable contact lens – ooh ouch cringe – take care all contact lens users.

Lasting Impressions

Friendly people, beautiful colours, butterflies are huge, bats, interesting creatures, flowers, the incessant jungle noise! Cloud bursts, hot sweats! Rice and Noodles.

Gail

 

 

A return trip was undertaken in 2012 which finally saw the completion of a visit to Sarawak Chamber in Good Luck Cave. This chamber is possibly the largest in world at 700 by 400 metre and 100 metre high.

 

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