sign in a cave in Laos

6 November 2012

Merapoh 2012 Nov, Pt 3, Gua Panjang etc

Day 3, we found an excellent cave in the morning, Gua Tahi Bintang at Gua/Bukit Panjang.

The day started well as we stopped to ask a couple collecting rubber and they pointed at the hill directly where we were standing. And when I saw the registration plate of the man's bike, I knew
it was a good omen.

The cave is very interesting geologically. Layered rocks at the entrance -

The first large chamber had a slope of 'diamonds'. The predominant colour was red.

There were some nice stals. The walls were an amazing mix of coloured layers.

We went down to the next chamber, the floor was slippery mud and we were all slipping and sliding. Habli took these 2 photos -

This passage ended in a muddy lake.
The meteor shower -

 Is this a snake track? -
 This ceiling is so red
Sticky silk threads of fungus gnat larvae -

Cave fauna - bats, whip spider, cricket

At the side of one passage was a porcupine toilet. They are neat, using the same place as their toilet -

As we were looking at it, one porcupine ran past. It is  Brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus macrourus).

Further along we realised its mate was hiding -

Outside is a short separate part of the cave.

There were long insect (wasp?) nests attached to stalactites and straws, the brown colour -

 Porcupine foot prints -

After lunch we climbed a steep hill but found no cave, only a large 'amphitheatre'.

The others climbed another hill but found nothing.

We then went to a small hill just south of Jinjang Pelamin. There were several passages short cutting through the corners of the hill and one that went through, Gua Lorong Pusing. This was only the second cave we'd seen with graffiti.

See also Day 1, Gua Tekong etc  and Day 2, Kubang Rusa and Kalong.
© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Merapoh 2012 Nov, Pt 2, K.Rusa & Kalong

The first day we went to Gua Tekong. 2nd Nov, day 2 of our 3 day caving exploration we went to Kubang Rusa. This is a small hill.

We walked to the pond, the kubang rusa, where the water presumably comes from a cave with entrance below water level.

We climbed up the hill quite a way but only found one cave. There was a snake skin at the entrance.

The cave was just a single chamber descending steeply with no way on. At least there were some formations and a large nest.

Wonder is these dropped as a result of blasting -

We climbed further up the hill but found nothing. Just an interesting insect, a  millipede and a large tree!

 This is where we went -

After lunch we went to Bukit Kalong, where in Sept we had explored Gua Kalong. This time we looked at the other side of the hill and found another very nice cave, Gua Sisik Naga. It was similiar to Gua Kelong as it had a lot of the black bands.

There was a large wedged boulder above the entrance. Habli took the first photo of us bravely standing under it!!
Looking up at the boulder
Juki knew the cave as he used to collect guano from here many years ago. Now there are virtually no bats. But we did find Nemo -
 Cougar head? -
Thanks to Dr Tony Waltham for telling me these wavy beddings are called stylolites (irregular suture- like boundaries developed along bedding planes). He said the black is probably just impure limestone.

These squiggles reminded me of music -

 Looking straight up at a bell hole -

At the end was a lot of religious graffiti, the intention might be good, but it's in the WRONG place.

 Habli took these photos -

The chamber is probably about 40 m long. There were lots of bottles scattered throughout the cave, used by the guano collectors for lights.

From here we went back to Gua Tulang to look for more fossils. We found these bovid teeth in Sept -

 This time we found a couple of small pieces of loose fossils

To our untrained eyes, it was hard to know what was possible fossil and what was just polished rock!
We found a shell embedded in some rock -

See also Day 1, Gua Tekong, and  Day 3, Gua Panjang etc.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission