Since the expedition I have not been back to many of the caves. In March 2013 I wanted to photograph the historical graffiti on the walls on the western part of Lanno.
There is officially no access now as a company is mining sand in the area. However my friend Hong talked to the owner and explained what we wanted to do and the man very kindly allowed us in and even led us to where we wanted to go.
I was amazed by the changes. In 2001 the area was heavily vegetated with secondary forest and it was hard to see cave entrances. Now the whole area has been cleared, and the land bulldozed right up to the hill.
Unfortunately this meant there were piles of mud in front of some caves. And other caves were being used to store materials such planks, pipes and fencing.
Quite a depth of earth has been removed -
Some nice notches and a keyhole passge have been exposed
I had forgotten that the 3 caves Selari, Pulau and Batu Nesan are all so close. In 2001 it had not been easy to see with the vegetation. Gua Pulau is now completely dry, leaving a dry island!
The water in Gua Batu Nesan is being pumped out
There are now good views of the blind valley to the north where there are plans to build chalets and a small resort. There are goats wandering around.
We looked at the graffiti. The earliest we saw was 1928. There is a lot from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, but nothing more recent. There are several Sikh names. I wonder if they were police during the Second World War and then the Emergency. The first set are taken in Gua Selari. The line Hong is pointing to translates as "may our comrades continue to strive".
There was some pottery but I have no idea how old it is
The main thing I wanted to photograph was the drawing of a soldier shooting a man. I wonder if this is from the Emergency.
I was glad to see that the cave register numbers we had put in place in 2001 are still there
Looking across the landscape
Register numbers :
Gua Selari Prk 18/15, Gua Pulau Prk 18/16, Gua Batu Nesan Prk 18/17.
© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission