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140119_Trip Report: Two Caves Hike

15 people turned out for this hike, ranging in age from the mature to 5-years old. The 5-year old was in front for much of the hike.

Hiking conditions were perfect being pleasantly cool and overcast but dry, with good visibility which allowed us to enjoy the marvellous views over the Doi Pui mountain range.

The first cave was reached without incident and the impressive entrance viewed from above. No-one ventured to climb down the entrance shaft. No sight or sound of any bats. We then proceeded to clamber straight up the steep slope above the cave. This was relatively easy in the dry conditions and provided good amusement on the steeper parts. At the top we crossed what a few weeks ago had been crops but is now wasteland and took a break in the small shelter.

Following the road down from the shelter the hike leader had a rush of blood to the head (if not brain) and turned left too soon for TaktanCave. This resulted in a pleasant and much-appreciated diversion, which added 1.5 extra km, explaining why Andrew’s GPS logged the hike at a healthy 14.5 km. Once having returned to the straight and narrow, TaktanCave was reached without further incident.

The cave smelt as if someone had been burning incense and this, along with the general stuffiness, persuaded the group to go no further than the large pillar and flowstone formations about 100 meters in from the entrance. After another snack break we walked back down to the cars and arrived about 14.30 after almost 6 hours hiking. No-one complained that the hike was too easy.

Thanks to Marc and Cheryl for the photographs.

photo 1 19.01.2014(2)

photo 3 19.01.2014(3)

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