Early Friday morning four daredevils met in a light rain at the designated meeting place: Eun Hwa,(our new hiking friend from Korea), Chan, Richard and Anders.
The question was: shall we perform the hike or cancel?
The decision was, it may make or break.
0815 started the hike. Chan had his stunning rain hat.
We walked up into the gentle rain through a misty agricultural area. At the foot of the plateau the dirt road ended, and we continued uphill on a path through a field of giant bamboo. At the end of the trail, we reached our first cave. It has no name, so I have named it as Chan’s Bat Cave.
All photos by Chan
Please click on photos to enlarge them and enjoy their real beauty.
Using Chan’s rope we climbed down. The cave looked pretty small from the top. But imagine our surprise, a giant cave with several halls. Up in the ceiling hung huge bats, which became very annoyed by our flashlight. They were the largest I have seen. Great as rats.
Inside the cave, it was hot and dry. Chan terrorized us with an endless photo sojourn. After an hour we climbed up again.
Now the rain had switched to heavy monsoon rains. The question now was, shall we be able to climb the trackless terrain up to the plateau? The rain had made the ground slippery and like soap. But thanks to our rope we could handle the last steep bit in the mud. Tired and hungry, we reached our resting hut, the rain poured down, but we sat sheltered under a roof. I asked the group if they wanted to stop and walk home, but they really wanted to see the next cave.
The Tak Kar Tan Cave. I must say that I am glad that we went.
In rain and cold winds we hiked on at the high plateau to the cave. (First time I have been frozen in Thailand).
This cave is enormous, large halls on a string with the height of a cathedral.
We went on deep into, at least three hundreds of meters. The bats were of a different kind here, very small in stature.
After an exciting cave hike with flashlights, we reached the end of the cave system.
I climbed up and saw that the cave went on further in a narrow passage, but we chose to go back.
Chan had his usual photo festival, so the stay in this cave took again one hour. Once outside we were met by rain again. We bit the bullet and walked down to the mountain village. From here we had 4 km down to our cars. Just in time for the finale, the rain stopped and the sky cracked up a bit. Aftermath at the Idol Cafe. Leo for Chan and me, lemon tea for Eun Hwa. Richard had already rushed home.
Chan was generous and stood the bill.
A wonderful hike in different terrains, with super extra bonus, cave hikes!
Filed under: Hike Reports |