Sunday, 7 June 2015

Fastlane to Lagang Cave

After a second trip to the Mulu National Park in May, Lagang has become my favourite cave of them all.

- I visited the cave under the Fastlane tour (RM65 per person) by registering at the park HQ.

The sun was shining brightly when we gathered at the park jetty with Christian our guide.

After donning lifejackets, we got into the boat:

Remember to quickly sit down once you get into the boat. This is to lower your centre of grativy and to avoid the boat from overturning.

The water level was high after a few days of constant rain:

Christian assured me that there were no crocodiles lurking beneath the waters. The only thing we need to be careful of are the monitor lizards!

After about 15 minutes boat ride, we arrived at the jetty and we started our short walk into the forest:

Soon we arrived at the entrance of Lagang Cave. 

One of the things I like about this Fastlane tour to Lagang Cave is that we were the only humans around. There were no other tour groups. 

Unlike the other caves in Mulu, i.e. Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave where there were many people, we had the whole of Lagang Cave to ourselves. But then again, the caves that I mentioned are showcaves, which explains the large number of tourists.

Lagang Cave has a variety of nice formations protruding from the ground and the ceiling. 

Some of them looked like as if though some alien life is breeding inside and waiting to burst out (I should really stop watching all those alien movies):

This formation looks like a snake or hand coming down from the ceiling:

Does this formation remind you of a famous ancient monument located in Cambodia?:

Some parts of the cave had low ceilings. So if you're super tall, watch out for your head:

Christian did a good job in explaining about the cave and the animals that dwell within its walls (now I sound like a horror movie): 

I particularly like the story of the volcanic ash where many, many, many years ago (not too sure how long ago), there was a volcanic eruption on what is now the Phillipines. 

The eruption was so great that volcanic ash were spewn high up into the atmosphere and blocked out the sun for God knows how long.

I'm not sure whether this was the eruption that wiped out the dinosaurs but the volcanic ash reached far and wide to the Mulu caves and settled into what we can see as a white layer in the earth today.

Here's a close up shot of the volcanic ash: 

From this layer of volcanic ash, geologists are able to study the age of the cave and the history of planet earth.

This website states that the caves in Mulu are between 40 - 60 million years old.

So if you visit any cave in the Mulu National Park, you can safely say that you have literally walked in a monument that is even older than the pyramids of Egypt!

And sometimes you just have to let that sink in for a bit.

There was one point in the tour when Christian gathered all of us together and told us to switch off our flashlights and headlamps for a minute, just to give us an idea of how dark the cave is.

Some of us gasped in surprise because we were in complete darkness. 

Under normal circumstance, you would still be able to see some light when you close your eyes. But this time our eyes were wide open and yet we were in total and complete darkness.

The cave was silent and we could only hear the sound of the bats fluttering their wings. There was a certain calmness and stillness in the thick, black atmosphere.

No rock formations were destroyed in the opening of Lagang Cave for tourist.

To ensure that nothing is destroyed, the wooden walkways were built around the rock formations: 

 Looks like a headstone in a Muslim cemetery.

As I mentioned, Lagang Cave also has creatures that make the cave their home (now it doesn't sound like a horror movie).

We saw a few hunstmen spider ...

Pic by LvH

... and bats of course ...

Pic by LvH

Christian told us that snakes also live in the cave. But we didn't encounter any (thank God!). 

However we did stumble upon a snake skin that had been shed by a racer snake: 

We also saw a tiny white crab scurrying into a hole in the small river bed. The crab was white in colour because it does not get any sunlight in the cave.

The white crab reminded me of the pale looking Chinese girls back in Malaysia who refuses to go into the sun because they are afraid of becoming dark skinned. Go get a tan, you pussies!

If I go back to Mulu National Park, I'll attempt to do the Lagang Cave tour which is relatively more physically challenging. God willing ...

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