Wednesday, December 07, 2005


A while back i mentioned going rock (wall) climbing with Cindy, finally we managed to do it again last night. It was great fun, but for some reason ( maybe the heat) it seemed harder than I remembered...the good thing about climbing though is that if you are around bette climbers ( which I always am) they teach ayou all these cool techniques that make you even the impossible seem worth trying. anyway we climbed for a while and there were quite a few people there (like eight) a few of them regular climbers, cavers know the type! Anyway they talked the rest of us into going with them on a caving expedition, right then at 9 oclock at night, out to a beautiful Gorge nearby Armidale. Seven of us went and it was a spectacular night for it, warm and light and the air smelled sweet and soft.
We collected helmets and headlamps and ( I couldnt believe i was doing it), climbed down a tiny crack between some rocks into a cave. For the next hour ( at least) we struggled climbed and squeezed through little cracks into bigger caves ( formed by fallen rocks.. I dont think we were ever more than a few metres below the night sky. The fresh water from the river was flowing through much of the caves and there were lots of beautiful small waterfalls. For the first couple of minutes I felt a bit claustrophobic, and one of the guys told us this story about how when you panic you swell up and get stuck more easily, and about a friends of theirs who got stuck and they took turns slapping his face until he broke out of his panic and could climb out (!!). I didnt really want that to happen, I spent a few minutes not panicking ... and I was happy to find that I really enjoyed the challenge and the feeling of exploring all the little caves ( even though there were slimy wet rocks). The air was cooler inside and wet on your face. Little guppies were swimming in the torchlight. I few times I couldnt believe they really meant we go through that little crack sideways, or lying on your back ( they told us it was an 'easy' cave). About half way through we all squeezed through this tiny little horizontal crack ( like caterpillars) using your shoulder blades to move along, to turn around and up ( it was like being born!) and in the cave we came to we found a backpack,it smelt bad but had a beautiful knife, maglight,water, a stubbie holder and clothes in it... maybe we all entertained a thought for a second about coming across some poor stuck person (!!). It felt like the Goonies. Dripping water and flashlights and theories flying about the little cave. We took the bag with us.. but is remains a mystery....

Anyway eventually we surfaced without any further incident. Wet and grimy , bruised and (me anyway) very pleased with myself, to lie on the rocks in the warm air and look up at the incredibly clear skies and stars.

It was midnight by the time I got home. Today I can hardly lift my hands above my head. But I dont mind. I am proud of every one of my bruises.


Blogger Wamut said...


8:17 pm  
Blogger Catalin said...

Oh, I can hardly stand to even hear about it. I admire your spontaneous spirit and your ability to take pleasure in what would be torture for me! Narrow spaces really freak me out.

The backpack really gives me the heebie-jeebies. Were there no signs of a person around? No identifying or traceable materials inside? What did you do with it?

12:02 am  
Blogger Wamut said...

hey sophie,

did you guys think about taking the bag to the police. just in case you know?

12:38 pm  
Blogger Sophie said...

Well, there has been no resolution on the bag, though we thougth it would be much easier to climb through without it and possibly someone just got sick of carrying it. Maybe they meant to come and pick it up later and forgot (or decided it wasnt worth the effort). it really was an easy cave and there were quite a few exit points.... I will let you know if I hear anything.

9:49 am  
Anonymous bulanjdjan said...

You write beautifully Sophie. It's such a joy to read your blog.

12:16 pm  

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