Life of Bear

Caving – Bear Style

In the spirit of the new year, I have tried to embrace new things, do something everyday that scares you (like drink full cream milk)….blah blah all that new year resolution stuff that you tend to forget about by February (which is today! oh yay!)

Last weekend, I really had the chance to push myself out there. We went caving. I  am EXTREMELY claustrophobic, arachnophobic and ophidiophobic (fear of snakes – don’t worry I had to google that one!). So the idea of climbing into a dark, small hole, where snakes and spiders are almost guaranteed to be setting up house, was clearly a challenge for me.

The hike started at Echo Valley in Kalk Bay and you basically walk uphill for about 60mins until you get to Boomslang Cave (yes, that is the ACTUAL name of the cave, forgive me for not immediately diving into a cave named after a poisonous, lethal snake).

We reach the cave and the entrance is probably the size of a mini-bar (usually refer things in terms of alcohol related metaphors). Seriously. Panic ensues.

All the other girls bravely venture into the dark. Most of the boys were too scared to go inside. I don’t know how to interperupt this – the men were either extremely intelligent, or the women were exceptionally stupid. Either way, I couldn’t sit outside and NOT go in after climbing uphill for an hour. So I adjusted my headlight (so RAD, I felt like a miner) and entered the cave, following the glow of Mazzle’s white sneakers… (not so white anymore).

my god it was dark. and cold. like the kind of cool, soily smell where you know snakes are sleeping/spiders spinning webs to catch their prey of unsuspecting hikers/people leave bodies to rot because no one will find them.

The mini-bar entrance turned out to be quite large compared to the tiny tunnel up ahead. I would compare this to a champagne flute. One had to literally drop to ones stomach and belly-crawl across the floor. All I could envision was the stone caving (ha ha funny pun) in around me, forever burying me in a cave with bugs. aaaaaargh. getting the heeby geeby’s just thinking about it!

But.. after about 20m’s, the tunnel opened up to the AWESOME big cave. it was SO COOL and I was feeling rather chuffed with myself. It turns out the cave went on for miles underground, with us spending about an hour inside, just exploring different caverns and tunnels, winding in and out.It was pitch dark and at one point, we turned off our torches and just enjoyed the silence of the cave (cue: drip, drip, scuffle, scuffle OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT TURN THE LIGHT BACK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) .

We came out on the other side of the mountain and gazed down on Fish Hoek from above. Someone made a reference to the Land Before Time. We all laughed. It was magic.

Really great day out, good excercise and a personal challenge to myself – all met within one afternoon. Topped off by 3 HUGE beers at the Brass Bell afterwards. Another perfect day in the Life of Bear.