Caving Exploration - Tempurung Cave

28 November 2010
  I woke up early this morning deciding to explore Tempurung Cave together with Aunty Ebbie's family and friends alongside with Le Chi's family. There was a total of 23 people in our group. We took about two and a half hours drive there as it was a long way away from our homes. We arrived at Tempurung Cave (located at  Perak, Land Of Grace) at nine thirty in the morning. 
The entrance fee for the Grand Tour was  RM 22 per adult and RM11 per child. When we arrived we took a look at the map and  it looked  something like this ........

The Grand Tour(Package 4) had four compartments and our tour took three and a half hours and we saw lots of cave formations that  we shouldn't miss but we didn't get to capture many pictures about them as our  tour guide was a bit too fast.
 First, we are told to walk on the platform and stairs  to explore the cave's first compartment. This compartment is filled with lights and this is the easiest compartment. Most of the cave formations are found and spotted in this place.
 Walking these stairs tire my feet and I'd rather walk down-stairs than compared to up-stairs as up-stairs waste more of my stamina and energy. Well, what I wouldn't give for a cool drink in a situation like this......

 Do these things look like cave drawings to you? If yes, you got it wrong. These are helictites.  Helictite is one of the most interesting formations that can be found in a cave. Unlike most of the other cave formations its growth is  hardly affected by gravity and while other formations grow downwards, helictite curls to its own will, creating interesting patterns that curve in all directions.
 This is a column. A column is a growing stalactite and stalagmite that will eventually connect and form a column. A column first begins as what is called a soda straw. Shaped like a thin drinking straw, soda straws are created from the convergence of water in a specific spot. After a long period of time (about a century), the soda straw will slowly thicken and forms into what we know as a stalactite. When the drops of water produced from the the stalactite falls onto the limestone cave floor below, it will form a cone of calcite which would eventually  become a stalagmite. Finally, after a long time, it becomes a column.......
This is an image of our group.  Our group is filled with plenty of adventurous people and we are hereby eager to explore Tempurung Cave.....   :D 

Forty - five minutes of exploring the first compartment later, we began our  exploration in the second compartment. This compartment is a compartment when we begin to step into the darkness and begin to experience the darkness of being in an unexplored cave. In this compartment, we have to start using our own headlights and torch lights. Here is where all the fun begins. Mwahahahaha...........  After so much of platforms, here comes our challenge ! As we got to a certain part of the stairs, we got out on real ground. Fun begins..

Now, we're talking a rock slide. Natural resource of fun! Well, I'll tell you all about it. It was quite fun but unfortunately, I cracked a rib bone and left thigh bone as it was solid rock and I slid down too quickly.Oops! Not so fun after all?

Wait... Do not be mistaken this is not an orange, it's what we call a flowstone.
Flowstones are rock formations that are created (or formed) by streams of flowing water on cave walls. Due to the variety of dissolved minerals (such as limestone)  in the cascading waters, the flowstones may appear in various shapes and colours. This one mysteriously appears orange and round.
This is a really confined area and I was first afraid of resulting in claustrophobia. Claustrophobia refers to the fear of being closed up in a confined space without a single sign of an escape or exit. People with claustrophobia as considered (or known) as claustrophobics. Also, if claustrophobia ever happens to you in a cave, there's no one to help you, you'll have to overcome it yourself.  Relax until your body loosens up and it'll eventually wear off. Upon this thought, I know I wasn't a claustrophobic and well, I didn't have any problem going through this confined space.

This stage of our tour was considered as the third compartment for our tour. In this compartment we will spend around one whole tiring hour of walking in the water and the darkness. Before we started this compartment, our guide told us to turn off all the lights to experience the true darkness of a cave. It was so dark that even when you place your hands right in front of your face, you couldn't see it. Actually, we can use dark adaption(just  the way cats see in the dark instantly. Unfortunately,we humans take a much longer time waiting for our eyes to adapt to the darkness). 
As we got out of the confined space, we heard the sound of water in an instant. The deepest experience of water in the cave was about hip-high. As I looked up I saw some bats hanging from above the cave ceiling. Hmm... I felt rather fortunate as bloodsucking bats only hover about in the night in South America and even then, not much. Most bats everywhere else are only insectivores and most probably herbivores. Phew....

These are  some  incomplete columns. In about a hundred years or so they just might be considered as real columns. Though these columns look a bit over messy compared to other columns that grow as beautifully as the one in the earlier image you saw  because the stalagmite grew slower than the stalactite.

After spending lots of our time stalking in the darkness and water, we finally reached an exit on the other side of the cave. I felt relieved and thought it was the end of the trip as I was too tired to continue any more. Upon asking our guide about the end of this trip, I almost fainted when he said the real fun's just begun and I would still have to last one more devastating hour in Tempurung Cave. Uh oh, low on stamina already. . . . . . . . . .

We captured an image of an evil, vicious and poisonous arachnid that we found upon arriving the other side of the cave. This spider is extremely poisonous. Our guide told us, once we are bitten by this spider we would only be able to live for 20 more minutes (probably though I'm not too sure). 

The spider is biting an unfortunate bug which most probably hovered too fast and fell for this spider's web trap and is now a juicy lunch for this hungering spider now...

As I began re-entering the cave for our final compartment of the Grand Tour and precisely entered another path. In this final compartment of real fun, I didn't know it would result as costing more stamina than the other three compartments summed up together but in the same way much more interesting than the rest. Mostly, this final compartment is all about crawling through tight places and crammed areas.

Climbing through very cramped spaces such as this one. I guarantee you couldn't get through it without crawling on all fours like a crocodile. It was quite challenging and probably after this, you will feel much relieved.

Cramped space 2- Harder compared to the first one, because this time the wall is an entire formation of stalactite and as stalactite can produce drops of water it can keep on dripping water on your head continuously. Which is rather annoying as it is already spiky. 

On our way out, we spotted this couple of big stalactites. What a beauty!

And..... we are out after being soaking wet, pain all over and getting a great experience from this trip to Tempurung Cave. Feeling tired after exploring cave. . . . . . . Need of sleep. . . . . . . . .  ZZZZ. . . . . . . . . . 

Comments

  1. wow your trip was INCREDIBLE! i've been to caves live in Tempurung in Victoria and South Australia but not like how you've explored it! the 4th part of the tour seems very challenging, i'm glad you made it!

    by the way are you alright from the slide?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm okay now from that injury but you should try exploring Sabah and Sarawak caves as the caves there are famous for their fun.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was a wonderful adventure.
    In the cave, wasn't it cold?
    It is cold in the limestone cave of Japan in summer.
    Your injury is take care of yourself

    ReplyDelete
  4. It wasn't so cold in this cave but in certain areas it is a bit windy.
    Anyway I'm fine now and I really enjoyed this trip.

    ReplyDelete

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