Wednesday, January 7, 2009
While Christchurch sweltered in the summer heat, BamBam and the Tiny Dynamo and I explored an underground cave, complete with rushing subterranean river.
My favorite phrase from the gubbment's website: Please observe the warning signs about entering the cave - it has claimed lives. You must be properly equipped if you plan to walk through the cave.
We had jandals and shorts and one flashlight between the three of us. Most of us survived.
The limestone cave twists and weaves for about half a kilometer underground. The water is cold and strong, the rocks beneath the surface rough and punishing. Lots of places, the going was tough, but there were no helmets, guideropes, safety barriers or anything else. You slip, you whack yourself on the rocks and try not to be washed away.
A lot like writing, in a way. Of course, the cave is a lot easier to navigate than a seat-of-the-pants plot-- all we had to do was keep crashing upstream until we hit the waterfall at the end. ;)
Just downstream from the waterfall (near the end of the walk) is a beautiful wee lagoon, calm and deep and perfect for a swim, if you can stand the temperature. (having the body fat of a nine year old child, cold and I don't get along...) Of course, coming back to the city to find the tar melting on the roads, an icy underground river didn't seem so bad.
Today, I'm pleasantly banged up and lightly bruised.
It was awesome.