Spelunking (def) The exploration of caves for recreational purposes or just for fun. Spelunkers do not collect scientific data. Spelunkers are bot trained in advance cave exploration techniques. People who enter caves with the bare minimum of equipment are said to be spelunking. Spelunkers do not venture to depths beyond 300 meters, or lengths beyond 2 kilometers.
So what went into the mind of a claustrophobic/acrophobic's person like me to dare this kind of risk? Fun and experience. I really haven't the slightest idea of what's gonna happen. But as they say, what you don't know won't hurt you. So why bother myself of countless thoughts less I experience it?
My first spelunking happened inside Bayukbok Cave. We hired guides as all of us are first timers. We have to pass a very spiky yet short trail. And the not-so prepared me suffered a lot. I might be full-geared, from the outfits down to the gadgets but not with the shoes! I am wearing a pair of chucks (it's name is Chuckielyn!). Chuckielyn endured the spiky trail, mud, sand and water.
To get inside the cave, we have to pass a narrow passageway and climb down by means of rappelling. Rappelling is one activity I hate doing the most. I don't have control over my body weight and the thought of falling scares me to death. But I don't have a single choice but do it. My hands and legs were literally shaking. That was just the first part. And I was told there's more to come.
The more we go inside, the more the air gets cooler and the area darker. Reminds of the movie The Descent, a group of cavers who went down on an unexplored cave, met and devoured by creepy creatures! Yikes! I am pretty much comfortable and sure that we won't experience it. That was just me and my imagination.
Another activity inside that almost made me faint was the makeshift ladder made of bamboo and rope. The ladder's consist of 6 steps. Short as it may seem. But the climb will definitely eat the most of your time. You have to push your body up amidst the shaking of the ladder.
Climbing and crawling combined. An experience where your flexibility and endurance get tested. The main objective is how to get out. There's no turning back once you're inside. Eat your fear or let your fear eats you.
I did not mind tracking the time it took us to explore the cave. I simply had my eyes feasted on the beautiful and sparkling stalagmites. Wander the wonder of nature. My mind's also focus on the my steps and the body movements as one false move will lead you to deep down nowhere. I did not mind getting bruises. I did not mind stretching my arms and legs. I just want to be out.
This is one experience I won't forget. My first spelunking experience, my first rappelling, my first to see crystallized rock formations. I've also met new faces and made new friends. I must say I want to try this again. I am now looking forward to my 2nd spelunking experience.
Little by little, with the help of these outdoor activities, I get a hold of my fears. I am slowly battling them. In due time, who knows, it will all be gone.