sign in a cave in Laos

7 December 2012

Ceremony Cave & others, Gunung Tempurung, Perak

Gunung Tempurung is the southernmost limestone hill in the Kinta Valley, Perak, Malaysia. Gua Tempurung is a well known show cave. Gunung Gajah is connected to Gunung Tempurung and there are a few caves in that part of the hill. However I have never looked for caves north of Gua Tempurung.

So when Kevin Pearce from the NZSS emailed me about 2 caves he had visited in 1989 I was curious to find them. In early Dec 2012, accompanied by Hong, we went to ask the guides at Gua Tempurung and one of them led us to the approximate area.
Over the course of the afternoon we found 4 caves. One of those I think is Ceremony Cave which the NZSS guys surveyed, but their 2nd cave description didn't match any caves we found.

The first 2 caves were rather small, each about 10 m long. The 1st cave -

Walking to the 2nd cave, Gua Kulat, we passed some nice tree roots -

There were various types of fungi in the cave and also outside. After I climbed up to what looked like a cave above, but it was nothing
The next cave was the best find so far. Miners Cave has been dug for tin. The main chamber is about 40 m long and at the top is what looks like a rest area with seating and the remains of a fire.

A lower side passage has been dug for tin. The floor is very muddy -

Looking in and out of the entrance
From there we walked back to our starting point and climbed up a cliff to a cave about 14 m above. When we got there we realised there was a much easier path up from the other side! I think this is Ceremony Cave that the NZSS visited.

The cave is on the corner of the hill.

There is a lot of graffiti. A smaller passage leads off and has been dug -

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

4 December 2012

video of Croatian caving expedition in Merapoh

See video by the Croatians of the Croatia - Malaysia Scientific Caving Expedition September 2012.

See my blog photos.

Whip spider mother and babies

This is my first sighting in a cave of a whip spider with babies. Whip spiders or amblypygids are arachnids.
ambly = blunt, and pygi = rumps
Unlike true spiders which have 8 legs, with whip spiders the first pair of legs has developed into long whiplike feelers that are three to four times longer than the remaining three pairs of legs.

Having been caving in Merapoh a few times  recently, I have noticed that there are a lot of whip spiders in the caves. They are of the genus Stygophrynus.

It was very exciting to see this mother with her babies on her back. After the eggs hatch, the babies climb onto the mother's back.

This is a close up of the young. The pink 'strings' are the legs of the babies. The babies are newly moulted and are not yet fully pigmented and sclerotised.

The whip spider was seen in Gua Hanuman in Merapoh.

See more pictures on this site.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Merapoh 2012 Nov, Pt 5

On the 2nd day, we tried to find Gua Jebuk, but didn't find any caves after a morning of searching. We had parked at an orang village and the men there said there were no caves.

After lunch we went to some un-named hills on the east side of the road and had better luck, finding some nice caves.

Gua Sungai Babi had lots of pig footprints in the mud. There were sacks of guano. A small river went through the cave.

We then climbed up the cliff using tree roots to haul ourselves up and walked into probably the largest cave on the hill.

The chambers were huge, cathedral like. We named it Gua Hanuman. Guano had been extensively dug from the cave and there were dozens of sacks still in place, more than 10 years old.

There are the remains of a wire cable outside, used for getting the sacks down the cliff.
There are some nice formations inside the huge chambers.

 Yellow nuggets!

This is the rock that looks like the Hindu monkey god Hanuman

This is the Hanuman statue at Batu Caves -
We saw a mother whip spider carrying her babies on her back. This is the first time I have ever seen this in a cave . See more on the whip spider.

A nice series of stal and a calcite water urn !

 Back at the entrance
We went on to the next hill. Found a nice river cave, the river cuts through a corner of the hill and has created a great phreatic passage. We named the cave Gua Hantu Menari, as the silhouette looks like a friendly dancing ghost.


                                 the smoking ledge !

 bird nest

The last cave of the day was Gua Patung Kembar. Habli's photos -

See previous day, Bukit Katak.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission