The much awaited for Gua Kandu trip finally arrived!
Hubby’s sister brought the entire family for an eco-adventure trip to Gua Kandu over the weekend. Gua Kandu is a limestone cave in Gopeng, and was previously used as a communist base. According to our tour guide (Kent and Along from Adeline’s Villa), the legend says that the name Kandu originated from a local boy who went inside the cave and never came out… ever. He warned us about sighting of the boy in cave, which of course sent jitters up our sleeves. LOL.
There was 13 of us in this whole trip, and 11 opted for the Gua Kandu caving experience.
Its a real experience from the start…we were transported to the cave in a 4 wheel drive, all of us standing behind the open area like a herd of cows. I suddenly understood what it was like to be cow… hahaha … But the scariest part is that the road leading to Gua Kandu, which is a single lane road with two way traffic. At times the vehicle has to swerve to the side in which the valley is right on the side…probably the height of a 5 storey building! It took about 15 minutes for us to arrive at the entrance of Gua Kandu. On arriaval, we were presented with helmets by our tour guides which really made us look like porcupine. Hahaha..
It rained the day before, so the road up Gua Kandu was very slippery and muddy. Its a trail with ropes and lots of branches you could hold onto but it is still pretty scary at certain points. Its a steep hike up and absolutely not suitable for small kids and the elderly, unless they are capable of the climb on their own. After a 10 minute hike up, we finally reached the entrance of Gua Kandu and were given a briefing by Kent, our guide. We switched on our headlamps and were whisked into a small entrance which was really really dark. Hubby bought us very brightly lit headlamps so it was really helpful. We were asked to walk in a line, and Along (the tour guide) was the last in the line followed by hubby and me – prior to that hubby was already freaking me out with some gory stories. Inside the cave, we were shown stalagmite and stalactite formations…plenty of them. According to Kent, it take 100 years for it to grow 1 inch! We then stopped by a chamber… which is a huge area that you could really sit down and have a meeting and Kent told us that there are reportedly some 360 chambers in Gua Kandu and only 9 has been explored. Below are some pics I took in the cave, many are not very clear because of poor lighting.
Overall, the inside of Gua Kandu was a combination of wet, dry and dusty. At times, the Gua Kandu entrance is so small that you need to squat and sometimes it is so huge you can’t even tell how high the cave’s ceiling is. The helmet is very handy because I knocked my head on the cave’s ceiling a few times. Our guide also asked us to switched off all our lights at one of the chamber, just to experience how it is to be in the cave without lights. Its pitch dark that you can’t even see your own hands! Its quite eerie!
When we finally reached the exit of Gua Kandu, its again another climb down a steep slope. Because of the rain the day before, it was really slippery and most of us fell at least once during the climb down. Our guides, Kent and Along was really helpful throughout the entire journey – Kent could speak English very well, is very knowledgeable about Gua Kandu and could pull humor along the way to help ease our nervousness while Along helped us in most of our climbs and made sure we were all safe and sound.
My next post is about our stay at Adeline’s Rest House and some pics on the bridge that got submerged because of the heavy downpour.