sign in a cave in Laos

25 September 2012

Merapoh 2012 - pt 5

Sept 16, first we went to Gua Bekong, which is the large hill on the left of the road when driving into the National Park. Checking the map -
We saw bear footprints by the cliff
The first cave, Gua Bekong Kechil, is very short, but quite well decorated.
We walked back following the cliff. Saw a tree root that is covered in calcite
Next we climbed up a very steep gully. A couple of the boys went to the top, but found no caves. So back to the base of the hill and to Gua Tulang.
This is a very short crawly cave.
We found what we thought were fossil bones, so gave the cave the name Gua Tulang.
After discussing this with 3 scientists, they think it is bovid teeth - a wild cattle molar.

We then went to Gua Lima area and to Gua Lima Kampung.
The hill is very small and the cave is very short, just a network of tunnels
We looked at another hill before going for lunch. We then transferred to bikes and went to Bukit/Gua Padang Kawad, where we made the best find of the expedition!

The locals knew of a river cave, which had waterfalls, and no one had ever reached the end. It was supposed to be a 40 min walk, but we went wrong, walking up a large river, and then having to back track almost to the start before finding the right route.
Someone spotted a large bone - it was the first of several elephant bones that we found that day.
After trekking up various rivers, we reached a resurgence, the entrance to Gua Hari Malaysia. It was 16 Sept, Malaysia Day, so an apt name for the cave.
The cave is beautiful. It is an active river cave, and there are formations everywhere. There were frogs and toads near the entrance as well as a cave racer. There were lots of bats inside, some quite close to the water, and the walls were covered in slimy guano.
We came to an area where the roof lowers towards the water level. We could hear a waterfall beyond, so the boys sent me through to check it out!
We soon reached the waterfall. We could not climb it without ropes.
We all found the water quite cold, so made our way out, exhilarated by the find.
Some helictites
On the way back through the forest, the boys found 4 more pieces of elephant bones, all widely separated.
A one worn out shoe!

See more on Gua Hari Malaysia.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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