Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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We settled for breakfast after being told off by the kitchen staff for being late and switched our minds to the adventure ahead. The warden who would be our guide for the day was most unimpressed by our lack of preparation. Her name was Serias and like those around her, she did not appreciate my joke of "You cannot be Serious?!" She sent us off to the store to buy torches whilst the amusing German family continued to ask questions about appropriate footwear.
We pushed hard for the cave, concerned by rapidly rising water levels
Back with the group (the Germans were checking that their footwear was appropriate for the next stage) we clambered back along the heart of the cave to pass piles of bat pooh. Made famous by David Attenborough and the Planet Earth BBC Documentary, the mountains of stinky Bat Pooh gave off an overpowering aroma. We were covered in the stuff, literally in the S@#T!
Exiting Deer Cave, apparently called Deer Cave because deer used to flock here to lick the salt water from the streams (that is before the guide’s father had been there to shoot them all), we continued to Langs Cave. After some top questioning by Charlotte (we have discovered that Char is the kid at school who asks questions when everybody else wants to go out to play. "What is the lifespan of a bat?" she asked, just seconds after the guide had told us that bats live between 20-23 years), we entered the fairy tale surroundings
It was then to the bat lookout to take our seats for the main event. The Bat Exodus has been the subject of a David Attenborough classic and we were all very excited about seeing this first hand. The weather at first did not look good, the cave entrance draped in cloud and the afternoon rain still a threat. But then the cloud lifted and after an hours wait spent eating crisps and biscuits and watching the Macaque Monkeys play around on the cliff face, we caught our first sighting of the bats. At first it was a wave of 100s of bats, rising from the dark background of the forested cliffs to emerge in a snake like formation against the clear blue skies. Impressive enough but then the wow factor multiplied. Like smoke rising from a fire the bats left the darkness of the cave to fly in their thousands above our heads and off into the jungle for their evening feed, between them ready to consume several tonnes of tasty insects. We watched in amazement for half an hour as the flying mammals continued to flow out of the underground chamber.
Content with our day’s wildlife fix we reluctantly returned to the dorm to freshen up. It was then another evening in the park café to play cards and try and order something off the menu which we have not already tried. The jungle adventure continues tomorrow with a morning stroll across the canopy rope bridge.
Miles Cycled: 0, still messing around underground