So it started with this random desire to go somewhere over the weekend. Next thing you know, we’re going cave exploring at Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak! Trust my coursemates to think of something like this out of the blue!
Things started off early on Feb 28 with (some of us) waking up at 7am and having a simple breakfast in UTP. After waiting for about half an hour later and realizing many others either haven’t woken up or haven’t eaten breakfast, those of us who were ready decided to make a move first to the destination.
Upon reaching about 9.45am, we took our time preparing the necessary gear to bring into the cave. Scrounging up the cash to pay for the entrance fee proved to be quicker than expected. On top of that, the remaining folks who weren’t with us earlier managed to reach in time for us all to enter the cave simultaneously.
The beginning of the journey was fine. We followed the main tourist path and admired stalactite/stalagmite formations, all the while looking for familiar images along the cave walls and ceilings. Among some interesting sights: the ‘images’ of a skull, a human face poking out of the rock, a turtle, and an eerie eye!
Everything picked up later though, when we were brought by the cave ranger off the beaten path. Traversing steep climbs and drops, we finally set foot in the freezing cold water of the underground river that runs through Gua Tempurung. The sand may have been prickly but the water was fabulously cool and clear!
One of the scariest parts of the tour was the slide. Actually, it was just a steep, smooth cliff face about 8-10 meters high. The cave ranger told us we had to slide down that cliff face to continue our journey.. then off he went, crouch-sliding expertly to reach the bottom with no problems!
The slide definitely made a lot of people think twice about the wisdom of embarking on this trip. Still, not one person shied away from dropping down that slide! I had a minor crash landing myself.. but I walked away unscathed, save for shaky legs! Now that was really scary!
After that, we had the relatively tame opportunity to climb down a small hole to the next part of the cave. Cue many jokes about people getting stuck in the small opening and needing to suck in their gut. LOL!
Then came the part we’d all been waiting for: crawling through the underground river! At this juncture the ceiling of the cave was below our waist, just slightly higher than the water level! Everybody had to get on their elbows and knees to get through this part of the cave.
I don’t think I’ve crawled so much since my baby days. Fortunately no major scrapes to report of! Although my elbows were sore for a good two days or so after that.
(This part of the cave was really dark too. Thank goodness for waterproof torchlights to help us see!)
The awesome part was about three-quarters of the way through, we entered this huge cavern. The river flowed all over the floor of the cavern, so we took the time to just kick off our shoes and lie back in the water. I swear even on the hard rock floor it was so comfortable! With some difficulty we later got off our collective butts and continued with the journey.
And just like that, after two and a half hours of traversing darkness underground we emerged victorious into the sunlight. Celebrations! We’d made it through one of the most memorable experiences in our lives. I have a feeling though, that this certainly won’t be the last experience of its kind for any of us!
To the remarkable and awesomesauce folks who came on this most rockin’ outin’:
bido, ijoi, matpi, anep, ishak, tirah, dayah, fasha,
sur, lana, rahmah, zetty, mira, mus, kme, aizat,
remy, syue, ojan, intan, jue, nooriza, nedy –
I can’t wait for our next trip!! ♥
P.S. Photo creds to zetty, remy and anep!