Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cave Exploration inside the Rainforest of Manokwari Papua.

Finally we arrived at one of the caves in Table Mountain of Manokwari West Papua. I was not sure whether it was safe to explore the interior of the cave as we had just experienced an earthquake several days ago. If there was an earthquake again while we were still inside it, the cave might collapse and we might be buried alive. No, that's not how my story goes in this post. Yes, we eagerly entered it trying to explore anything that we wanted to know. It was very dark, wet and slippery. Besides the floor was not flat. I fell several times while trying to walk deeper into the cave.
InGa - a Russian traveler was holding a lizard inside a cave in the Table Mountain of Manokwari West Papua Indonesia
Mike, Inga, and Dima - the three Russian eco travelers, accompanied by Paul Warere and I (as local guides) spent around 30 minutes inside the cave. There were lizards, small bats and millions of mosquitoes buzzing around our ears. I regretted not carrying two big LED lamps from home. If I had brought them here our exploration inside this cave would have been easier. Next time, I would bring at least one LED lamp that could light up our surroundings for around 18 hours. I bought the LED lamps from a friend of mine for Rp. 200,000 each. At first, I thought that I would only use them when we experience black out in my bookstore but now I realize that such lamps are also important when I want to travel along this pristine tropical rainforest of West Papua.
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Back to the story of the cave exploration, while InGa was holding the small flash light and directing its light to the walls of the cave, Dima caught a lizard. He brought it closer to us and gave it to Inga. I and Mike took some pictures of this exotic animal. Inga asked whether she could hold a bat that was hanging on the wall. Paul (the local forest guide) in Manokwari said that she had to be careful with its teeth which might contain bacteria. So, InGa did not catch the bat. But she looked happy after holding the lizard. Then she placed it back on a stone to let it go. Mike also looked happy because he could take a lot of pictures from this cave exploration. We wanted to go deeper but Paul warned us that the amount of oxygen inside the cave was getting less in the deeper region.
When we came out of the cave, we realized that it was nearly dark. We had to walk fast if if wanted to arrive at the Penginapan Kagum (a hostel in Manokwari which is behind Xavier bookstore in Komplex Missi region of Brawijaya street) before sunset. This long journey to the cave inside the tropical rainforest of Table Mountain (Gunung Meja) of Manokwari is worthy of our visitation. It was a new experience for the Russian travelers as well as for me.

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There is another cave that is bigger than the one which we had just visited. Paul said it is located some one hundred meters from this cave but he had not been able to locate it again. Next time when he has re-found it, we will visit it and conduct another exploration with better equipment. Today these Russian eco-travelers had gone to Nuni that is located in the northern coastal area of Manokwari regency to conduct another exploration inside the vast and pristine tropical rainforest of Papua. by Charles Roring - contact email: lroring@yahoo.com and this is my cell phone number: +62 81 332245180.
Also read: Caving in the Table Mountain with Grietje