This article was first published in SumpThink in May 2005
A trip to Mahoenui seemed like a good idea, so Bob and I took my trusty RAV4 for a drive. This time we stayed in the Hanna's Farm Bach - wonderful accommodation, with plenty of room for all.
The first day was a trip to Ecch. This goes from near the top of one hill to the bottom of another. A quick look at the map uncovered the word 'Anastamosis'. No one knew what it meant, and the closest I could find on the net is:
created between tubular structures, such as blood vessels or loops of intestine. For example, when a segment of intestine is surgically removed, the two remaining ends are sewn or stapled together (anastomosed), and the procedure is referred to as an intestinal anastomosis.
Maybe itís a maze, but as I didn't go there I don't know. Maybe those who did could help.
Most of the party went in the bottom entrance (the one closest to the 'vast complex of anastamosis(approve sites)'), but Bob and I went in to the top entrance. It starts off with a stoop, then a crawl, then a grovel, before opening out into a rift passage, which can be walked quite comfortably most of the way, until it gets to the top of the waterfalls. At this stage we played with ropes and things, trying out options for helping me through caves.
Bob went down the waterfalls, and followed the rift to the main passage at Clff's Corner. After poking his nose down Chianti Straight, and up towards Bryants Pool, he returned and we exited, looking at a side passage on the way. While we were taking a picture at the grovel, Barry and Mike C called out to us. We called back saying we were OK, and by the time we got to the surface they had left.
Sunday saw us visiting a cave on the Hanna's property (Rau Roa). It was on the downhill side of the road, past a big Rimu tree. Amanda forgot to tell us about the stream that flowed into it, but fortunately her husband, who took Barry to the Rau Roa entrance also showed him this cave, and so we were given that info before we went looking.
It didn't take long to find, and so we went for an explore. It is basically just a series of rift passages that join each other at rght angles, with a stream flowing down the middle. Eventually it sumped, and so we returned to the house for lunch, and to pick up a couple more punters for a trip to Blacks.
This was a fun trip to the Graveyard (or penis farm if you're Jen) and then on to the Not Blacks link. Jen and Bob went in through the first squeeze, but when I tried to follow I didn't fit. So I came back and let the rest of the party through so they could exit the quick way. Bob then came and escorted me out to a full moon and a cool breeze. I got back to the house tired but happy.
To finish off, on Monday I joined a kid's trip through Maui. I got to take a few photos at the pretties before we swam our way out. Caving towing a boy behind you can get tiring, but again it was a fun trip.
For me, I visited four caves, three of which I had never been in before, so it was a very successful weekend. Thanks to Douglas for organising the trip, and to Bob for looking after me.