I started communicating with James through emails. He religiously replied to queries hence, I easily trusted the company. We opted for this package because I heard that Wind and Fairy Caves were overly “touristy” that you wouldn’t anymore feel the REAL caving experience, therefore, I decided to take this less popular caves. We weren’t even informed about the caves’ particulars until the day itself. I think this tactic was good because there was this element of thrill and excitement, not knowing what exactly’s in store for us. =)
James picked us up at 9am with his Pajero. He introduced himself and told us about his personal story. It felt a little bit weird listening and looking at him because, where we’re at was an Asian country and the one bringing us around was a Caucasian man. He was knowledgeable about legends and stories which he subsequently shared every time we would pass by an interesting or important place/site.
We headed to their main office first at 10th Mile (45-1hr). There, he showed us 3 videos about Geology, Archaeology and safety measures while Caving. We were provided with Helmets with torch light, and a backpack with attached light as well. We rented out trousers for RM10, because on that same day, we were informed that we would be completely submerged into the water. We only thought, streams would only be around knee-level in depth, but we were wrong.
We then drove for another 30-45 minutes to our first cave, Gua Sireh, (southern part?) Near by the cave, we met up with another guide, Mr.Ekol, a 65 year-old man, who looked a lot younger than his age.
We started to climb ladders to the cave’s opening. He explained stories about the cave’s painting and at some point, he utilized his recorded voice to explain some constant information. He said it’s for consistency of delivering accurate information to all the groups visiting this cave ; which I think, was a reasonable approach. Information provided was very interesting and easy to understand that even a lay man like me could grasp.
We then started to go deeper into the pitch dark cave, near the opening, he pointed out one snake, resting atop a rock. I was scared that it might drop unto our heads. As we go into the cave, my heart started beating faster. Yes. I was scared of so many things, snakes, insects, bats, earthquake etc. but the longer we stayed inside, the more confident I became. I started having fun half way. The route required some rock climbing skills and a little bit of acrobatic because at some point, we needed to squeeze ourselves into very small spaces and accurately follow right-left leg-arm coordination to safely land deeper into the cave.
The rocks, limestones, and other formations inside the cave and the site of all the creatures were amazing. http://youtu.be/vHtpHfOSUo0 It’s another moment when I thanked God I was there. Sounds in every area varied from sounds of bats, hissing sounds of insects (or snakes?lol I’d like to think its insect sounds) and rushing water sound which was my favourite. It was relaxing just listening to it.
We then reached the end of the cave for us newbies, (if you’re more advanced you can continue and go further using 2 different routes which were both dangerous according to James) which they call the hell trench? (if I heard and understood it correctly…hell something?). We rested there for about 10minutes then headed back to the chamber’s opening using the same passage.
Next cave, Broken Jar, a relatively smaller chamber than the Gua Sireh. This was where we were required to submerge ourselves into the water. At some point, water level was higher than my height and the fact that I am a no good swimmer I wanted to quit upon reaching this point but James and Mr. Ekol were very encouraging. They were really determined to provide us with an unforgettable caving experience hence despite acquiring Noise-induced hearing loss from my loud screaming, they still helped us go deeper into the cave. James literally had to bring/carry us in ,worse than little kids, for us to see the nice view of the “inner room”. Chamber was short at about 250meters. After seeing the inner room, we used the dry option to come out.
James and Mr. Ekol then set up a temporary room for us to change and get dried up. After that, we stayed for a while for some photo opp since the view of the fields with the mountains as backdrop was just mesmerizing.
We then drove back to our Lodge. I was dead tired, I slept the entire trip back to the city.
***Special thanks to James and Mr. Ekol for the wonderful (and really scary) caving experience. I can truly say that my first time caving was memorable!=)
We then quickly bathed and went to the opposite side of the waterfront. We had to cross the river by taking this small boat. We had to pay 50cents since we went there before 10pm. There, we had our dinner. I ordered Goreng Kolo Mee and Nasi Goreng Seafood. Yes, 2 main dishes. After caving, I was starving, I can eat a horse.
After eating, we realized that, this is the place….the place…. The kek lapis Sarawak heaven! We saw people carrying plastics of kek lapis and we were curious and eager to do our own kek shopping, hence, after dinner, we went for free-tasting and hoarding of this famous keks.