sign in a cave in Laos

7 February 2013

Merapoh 2013 Pt 2 - Gua Guri, Ara Babi, Air Mata Dayang etc

On 3 Feb we went to an unnamed hill in the Gua Hanuman and Gua Hantu Menari area. The first cave we found, Gua Guri was named after an earthernware bowl we found in one of the many entrances.

The cave is quite short. In the first entrance was a jaw bone, probably monkey
and an insect 'house'

We continued round the hill, next was Gua Kulit Musang, only about 20 m long, half walking and half crawling. The name comes from the grey markings on the walls.

From here we found several entrances with interlinking passages so we grouped them all under Gua Ara Babi.

In the entrance passage Juki spotted some tiger footprints in the mud, probably mother and cub.

In the left hand passage we found a dead wild boar, first time I've seen one (dead or alive) in a cave.

In another side passage are some thick roots on the floor and some roots going from floor to roof. Of course the boys couldn't resist climbing them!

There were roots even deeper in the cave, these ones are on the floor -

The main passage ends in a pretty grotto. Another passage had some ant "tunnels" on the floor and walls.
Some other inhabitants -

Further round the hill was a passage with some large bats, unfortunately 2 crashed into us, so were photographed. They are Hipposideros, probably diadema.

In another section was the remains of an animal, some of the bones were already calcited into the floor. Maybe a porcupine.

After lunch we went to see Gua Air Mata Dayang.

We did the dry section of cave, then at the far end Juki got into the water and had a look but there was no ongoing route. When we got back to the main entrance I decided to go for a swim to explore the lake part of the cave as no one has done this yet. Juki followed me, filming at the same time. We had to swim the whole way, I don't know the distance, maybe 50-70 m. There are lots of bats inside and the chamber ends with no dry way on, so maybe there is a route underwater. See video.

From here we drove round the hill to look for more caves. The first site wasn't actually a cave and we sunk up to our ankles in grey mud.

Next was a cave full of bats and some fish apparently not normally found in caves, ikan sepat, so the cave was named Gua Ikan Sepat.

In the next hill we found had a lake in the entrance and a deep section with a nice blue colour, so we named it Gua Kolam Biru.

A nice ending to a good weekend of caving.
See Part 1 Feb 2nd.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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