Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Caving for the First Time
I still remember my first real adventure. It was October 1991. I'd found two caves on the Ordinance Survey map and decided to explore them, Victoria Cave and Jubilee Cave. Undeterred by the pouring rain I collected a box of candles from the hardware store. :-)
Heading up Constitution Hill and along a footpath I soon reached Clay Pits Plantation. A wild desolate landscape waited for me. Next along a track towards the caves. By the time I arrived darkness had fallen.
I explored the rightmost passage of Jubilee Cave. The candlelight didn't penetrate far, but I could see the cave was far from what I expected. Water trickled down the walls. It was muddy, wet and strewn with boulders. I'd been expecting somewhere warm and dry with a floor of fine sand!
Outside again I found my way through the darkness to Victoria Cave, a huge chasm in the face of the scar. I could only see one side of the cave and the roof was hidden in the shadows. I followed the wall. More water, more mud and two passages to explore - one very low, the other very narrow.
After leaving Victoria Cave I wandered completely lost in a marshy area before I stumbled upon some ruins where I decided to take shelter from the rain. :-)