Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Lost World


I've been meaning to write this post now for a few days. Last Thursday, my aunt and I went down to Waitomo. It's a place here in New Zealand that is full of caves. Not the caves you see in cartoons where the ground is flat and it's just a lovely little space that you can wander through (Spongebob). No, deep, rocky caves full of exotic plants and glow worms.

We signed up for a four hour tour of a cave, which included a 100m abseil (manual, no person at the top letting you down gently) down into the cave and then a really long hike over rocks, boulders and bits of mud. There was a point where you had to climb a 30 metre ladder, vertically, and I can honestly say it was the most difficult thing I've ever done. You see, it's completely pitch black inside the cave. You have a little light on your helmet and if it runs out of power, you're, well, stuck.

This experience was probably the best thing I've ever done. I have never been brave enough to do anything like this and after I hiked out of the cave, I felt completely empowered. Yes, I have bruises and cuts, but now, I feel as though I can do anything if I put my mind to it. In the cave, I might have been thinking: "This is it, I'm never going to make it out of here alive" but I did, and I'm sure anyone could, too. Just be aware that you have to have quite a good level of fitness and stamina, and giving up is not an option. You have to be really confident. Don't worry about experience, though, because you learn as you go through. The instructors are really nice and helpful, so that's an added bonus.

People from all around the world have done this. If you are ever thinking of visiting New Zealand and like a good adventure, I suggest looking here for more information on this tour. There are many other options available, though, so don't limit your choices.On this tour, you can't take your camera, it would fall into a crevice or get lost, so the guides have cameras attached to them by ropes. You can buy a CD with the pictures on them after you finish the tour.

After you finish, I suggest getting some good, greasy burgers and fries/chips to eat. Don't worry about calories, you would've burnt them off down in the cave.

{sorry about the second picture's quality, but I had trouble uploading it}

The person in the bottom picture is my aunt. She and I were wearing these baggy overalls and gumboots. They saved us from getting more hurt than we would have, otherwise. The helmet did, too. There were many areas where you had to crouch, crawl or inevitably bump your head and the helmet saved me from getting some serious brain damage.

Happy Caving!


1 comment:

  1. Good description Tins, can almost relive the experience...