After months of working in the caves, I finally managed to go on a short adventure in a "wild" cave this week. There are over 300 caves in the area around Mole Creek, but I had only been in the 2 with the convenient pathways and lighting and handrails so it was definitely about time for a bit of exploration.
My day started off at Marakoopa, watching some of my workmates start an adventure into the parts of the cave that don't have pathways. I elected not to go on this particular adventure because I'm not confident on the ropes and there were limited places on the permit, but I was still keen to watch their descent off the pathway into the river bed. This meant getting to work at 7am, but I decided to stay at the King Solomon house so I didn't have to get up too early.
Here is a video of my friend Cath going over the edge. Its sideways unfortunately, but for some reason Blogger's video player puts it sideways even though the video itself isn't. It must be an aspect ratio type thing. You'll just have to tilt your head (or your screen) to see it properly.
Then after a full day at work taking tours through Marakoopa, I still hadn't had my fill of caving for the day so Cath, Teresa, and I went and explored my first "wild" cave. I had an amazing time. I had an even better time than I thought I was going to. The cave we explored was on the property that Cath is renting close to work and she had already explored it 3 times so she knew exactly what she was doing - she's also a very experienced caver- so Teresa and I just blindly trusted her that she knew what she was doing as she set up ropes and led us through the cave. Our trust was well placed, and Cath was an excellent trip leader.
Cath going down the almost vertical descent into Quarry Cave.
Helictites on the cave ceiling.
Teresa climbing back up the incline out of the cave.
Sorry about the quality of photos on this post, but there was no way I was going to take my good camera crawling through a cave so these were all taken on my waterproof camera instead.