sign in a cave in Laos

25 September 2012

Merapoh 2012 - Croatia Malaysia speleo expedition, pt 1

The Croatia Malaysia Speleo Expedition to Merapoh took place 10-19 September 2012. Merapoh is in northern Pahang, just a few km from the Kelantan border. There are a lot of limestone hills in the area.

When the Croatian leader, Sinisa Jembrih, asked me for suggestions for a caving expediton, I suggested his team go to the Merapoh area, as very few of the caves have been documented. The Croatians linked up with Laili Basir in Malaysia, who organised the accommodation, food, transport and guides.

We stayed in the Taman Negara accommodation at Sg Relau at Merapoh. There were 9 Croatians, and myself, plus the Malaysians.
The first 2 days we all went together to explore known caves. Then on the following days, I did recce trips with Laili and local guides, whilst the Croatians surveyed the bigger caves. That way we had 2 or 3 teams working each day.

The first day we explored Gua Jinjang Pelamin, which the locals have already explored a few times this year. It has some nice formations, gour pools in the first section, then a stream passage, large chambers with lots of guano, and then a short swim across a pool to get to another entrance guarded by twin 16.5 m columns.
The cave fauna was varied - cave racer, toads, a terrapin, crabs, lots of bats and invertebrates such as scorpions, whip spiders, millipedes etc, as well as goat droppings.

The bat guano made some of the climbs very slippery

The next cave we visited was Gua Katak. This is a network of small interlinking passages, some of which have quite deep water.
And of course as the name suggests, there are frogs.
Both these caves were surveyed later in the week.

For dinner we drove the 7 km to Merapoh, and on most evenings visited Syukri's internet cafe to catch up on emails etc.

This is pt 1 of 8 pts of the Merapoh caves expedition.
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8 cave fauna

Also more photos of Gua Katak taken in Nov 2012.

On 2 Feb 2013 we extended Gua Jinjang Pelamin when we found a new entrance and this passage links to the main river passage. See blog Feb 2013.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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