Spelunking or caving is not a sport for the faint-hearted, and especially not for the claustrophobic. Depending on what kind of cave you’re visiting, you might have to crawl through tight enclosed spaces, climb up steep cliffs, be lowered into the darkness, or even swim through underwater caverns. Star2.com visited two caves near Gopeng, Perak. Yesterday, we featured Gua Kandu; today, we head to Gua Tempurung.
After visiting Gua Kandu, we departed for the spectacular underground world of Gua Tempurung, also in the state of Perak. Unlike Gua Kandu, Gua Tempurung is a wet cave with a clear stream running through its bowels.
At certain points of our journey, the ceiling got so low that we had to crawl on our elbows and knees along the bed of the underground stream. Finally, the tunnel opened out into a vast cavern where the ceiling was so high that we could not see the extent of it. Here was where the going got tough as we trudged uphill along a precariously narrow ledge just above the trickling water below.
The caves were alive with insects and invertebrates we had not set our eyes on before … giant spiders the size of fists, albino millipedes, and strangely-shaped crickets which scurried away into little nooks and crannies as we approached. I was thankful for my cap which protected me from being showered by guano from bats resting in the high ceiling overhead.
Our native guide smirked in amusement as we, the unseasoned explorers, oohed and aahed at the spectacular underground crystal fairyland with unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites, still in the process of being carved by Nature, the master craftsman.
We came to the musical chamber where nature’s 24-piece band played out loud and clear as our native guide struck the stalactites and stalagmites with a flat stone he picked up from the stream bed. An array of musical sounds rang loudly and clearly, resounding throughout the huge cavern.
At the huge main chamber, we were struck with awe by Gua Tempurung’s very own Statue of Liberty, a majestic limestone lady rising out of the depths of the rock. Further in the chamber, we chanced upon a lonely couple in loving embrace. The unique couple and the statue had been naturally fashioned out of solid limestone rock.
It was finally time to journey back, unwilling though we were to leave the enchanting underground world. Drenched in perspiration and wet from the underground stream we had to wade through, we were an unsightly bunch as we trudged back to the entrance. The souvenirs we took home were absolutely nothing from the caves but unforgettable memories of our adventurous spelunking.