This article was first published in SumpThink in October 2007
A wizzy wazzer, up this, down that, through here, wet there of a weekend!
15-16 September 2007
“Not that I don’t like water, but, I thought that you said that crash was a dry cave”, I said to my mum as I got into the water. It certainly wasn’t a dry cave, it was the opposite, there was water up to my hips! We carried on squeezing through holes, bridging over gaps, climbing up walls, climbing down them and getting muddy.
In Weta Passage my mum saw daylight through a tiny hole and my brother tried to squeeze through it. It was way too small though! I was thinking of going up to have a look, but I didn’t, because there were WETAS! LOTS OF THEM! BIG ONES TOO! To think that my brother crawled through them all, and only got to look at the grass and daylight.
Then we began making our way back. The hardest part was climbing up the slippery and steep slopes, which we could easily just slide down on the way there. Eventually, after lots of fun going up, down, through, under and over we arrived back at the water. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek, its cold”, is what was going on in my mind, but I never got round to saying it. Finally, we climbed up the ladder and out into the daylight.
My brother and I ran (literally), ran, back to the hut and even bet the van (just). Later that evening we practiced abseiling in the woolshed, ready for the next day.
Straight after breakfast we went to the woolshed again and did a bit more practice. I had got the hang of going up and down so I learnt some new things. I learnt to go down with the going uperer (the thing for going up) and to get past a knot in the rope. Then we drove off to do the real thing. Abseil into PT17.
“Can I go down”, “I can’t wait”, “This is gonna be so much fun”, “Is it ready”. That was me. I love abseiling! We started with doing a yoyo to half way. We went down half way then back up again. Then my mum and I went right into the cave. Mark was at the bottom already.
We went through part of the cave to get to the waterfall. I found it really hard to get through that first part. We had to bridge between two walls over the top of the river and the first bit didn’t have many foot holes. I had to hold onto a rope. After a whole lot of challenging climbing we got to the waterfall. It was definitely not how I thought it would look. I thought it would be a waterfall going down a wide cliff and we would abseil down beside it, but it was nothing like that. There was a small hole where the waterfall was going down and we had to go down in the waterfall.
I can’t say that I just went down with no fear at all, because at first I was too scared and we had to get another rope, but that’s not the point. The point is that I abseiled down the waterfall. Once I made it down I realised that it wasn’t actually that scary and we only had to go in the waterfall for part of it and the rest of the time we were next to the waterfall. That was the easy part though. Then we had to go back up the waterfall. It was a lot harder but it didn’t seem as scary because I had been down it and found that it was fine. When I got to the top, I was drenched in water to above my knees, because I had to use them to hold the rest of my body out of the waterfall. I was so happy I did it in the end and I still am.
Overall, I had so much fun and you will now understand why I called it a wizzy wazzerr, up this, down that, through here, wet there of a weekend.
I would like to thank Bob for organising the abseiling trip and setting up the ropes in the woolshed so he could teach us/ give us a recap on how to abseil.
By Tanja de Wilde.