Author Topic: Morelanzarottying, Thursday 5th & Friday 6th June 2008  (Read 2542 times)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Morelanzarottying, Thursday 5th & Friday 6th June 2008
« on: June 06, 2008, 08:50:22 pm »
Cueva Tahiche. Day 3. Thursday.

Menacer was on a technical support session and so I was at a loose end, deciding to task up for a solo mission to locate and check out Cueva Tahiche, a short cave somewhere on the side of a volcano. Not having the correct documentation for driving also meant this was going to be a bicycle trip, a GPS navigation exercise and a caving trip all wrapped into one. Heyho! – not realising at the time that the outward journey was entirely uphill I set off oblivious. Soon got hot, though.

The cave is a long long way away up on the side of the volcano in the distance....

After some sweating and a brisk pedal workout, I reached the side of the volcano and stabbed at some buttons on the GPS device until an arrow pointed up the hillside saying 159 metres. So I stumbled across the cacti and sharp stuff, and then wandered around for a bit pretending to look like I knew what I was doing. No one was watching me but it made me feel better about things nonetheless. I soon tripped into it, and stashed the bike in the entrance depression before donning my helmet and light combo and descending into t’darkness.

Yer tiz!

Not a long cave, mark you, a bit like Aveline’s Hole but all the more interesting as it contains no prehistoric archaeology. Plenty of future archaeology, though – clearly something of a favourite amongst the Lanzarote Chav contingent. Took some pics and then clambered back up to daylight and then dropped down the other tunnel which was far nicer after the detritus had been passed by – some neat white chambers soon closed down and that was that for this little mission. Headed back t’surface, grabbed the bike and whizzed freewheeling style all the way back to base in time for a swim.

Lava stalactites

White chambers


Day 4. Jameo Gente/Prendes.
This is a gert long through trip requiring some tackle, i.e. ropes etc.. We had packed a rope but lacked the other bits of kit, as an oversight, to make use of it. Nevermind, we decided to have a look-see anyways. Found a dusty dirt track and somewhere to park before cactus bashing over the blankscape until the humungoushole was located.

Birds fly startled. We startle too. An easy clamber down the dry stone walling staircase and we kit up and enter this lava tunnel. Finding it pretty, a photo is called for.

Menacer then mentions there being some kind of pitchy thing and we instantly see a deep hole right in front of us! Yikes! – probably 8 metres and nicely round and sheer. The tunnel just drops into it. Ahead, however, is a lava bridge and it’s either a 4 metre jump – which is impossible! – or a hairy-scary traverse along a wrinkle of lava on the left hand wall. Clearly not being insane this was instantly dismissed by me so I watched Menacer and she tip-toed along it instead, putting me to shame! I enjoyed a break while she furtled off ahead, soon returning saying there was another pitch. So, we decided to leave – returning to the car and driving off some distance back down the main road before parking up again and trudging off across the spiky desert and relocating our first cave of this holiday but instead of going downflow, we descended into the pit and headed upflow instead, hoping to link up after something like 1,200 metres with the pitch Menacer found earlier

This was the Jameo Prendes to Jameo Gente almost Through Trip!

Beginning simply enough with a fixed ladder and then stonking great passage, with some easy going interspersed with some not easy going over boulders.

By far the biggest stuff we’d seen so far lay inside, with passage dimensions around 20 metres x 20 metres in places, stretching off ahead in hundred metre legs, superb mineralisation, gypsum formations and a variety of boulder obstacles all set amid the usual echo-less silence and warm humidity to which we have become acquainted. Menacer’s light was going dim, a Petzl Gloom, and after a change of batteries (nicked out of one of the slave flashes), she could see and progress become more enjoyable and slick. Ages passed. We arrived at a step down to a small side tunnel when the main passage choked, and a hearty gale signified more joy ahead... this soon became a large clamber up a steep slope and then a fixed rope with knots tied in it.

The belay looked sound but the rope itself led down a freehanging pitch of about 7 metres and getting back up looked like a jolly pickle in the making. Undeterred by such thoughts Menacer once again said “I’ll be back” and then disappeared into the gloom while I took some pictures and had a relaxing break – M returned with news that the “free climbable” pitch she had found earlier after the “traverse-o-doom”[tm] was ahead. Lots of humming and hahing followed and the tossed coin determined that we would just retrace our steps, taking photos and enjoying more caving, rather than risking some pitchiness, sans SRTLite[tm], and a long surface hike which would be dull and duller.

So it was that hot caving took precedence and photos marked the return journey, taking something like (no watch!) 2+hrs all told, and equating to about 2km of boulderhoppitying. Emerged to the standard sandblasting and some water at the car.

Lunch and an ice cream followed. Since it was still overcast, sunbathing wasn’t an option so we decided to continue the day’s caving with more caving and set off to Cueva de los Verdes (which is a showcave but we weren’t plannin’-on-a-payin’) where we parked and then wandered up the road for a mile or so and then another cross country tumbleweedstamping. Here we reached Puerta Falsa and began the through trip to Verde – a naughty-naughty thing to do as it involves breaking into the showcave and pretending to be a tourist at the other end, hoping not to get caught (but taking sufficient money to buy a ticket and our passports in case the police got called in!).

The passages were even bigger than the stuff we had seen earlier and this was by far the most impressive lava caving I’d witnessed all week – gypsum everywhere!

The dimensions of the tunnel are impressive, too, guestimated at around 30-40 metres high, 30 metres wide and hundred metre legs-a-plenty. Huge boulders and fabulous views in, yet again, echo-less conditions. Humid and silent.

After about an hour we find the passage ahead fenced off with signs warning of death and the usual pestilence for those foolish enough to not run away shrieking. A hole has been cut into the fence low down on the right hand side and we rummage our way through and daintily tip-toe amid an array of wires and othersuch man-made thingummies. Up a dicey twin storey concrete ramp/steps, held in place by magic and luck, and then a high level gallery with some stooping, lots of bones and broken pottery – (“proper” archaeology, this time, none of that Tahiche nonsense) – and then ahead in the gloom we perceive electric lights,.... the showcave beckons! Hush hush, we change out of our dusty caving grots and leap into our clean (ahem!) tourist-u-like gear, stowing helmets, lamps, camera kit etc into my backpack. We wait hidden in the dark as distant voices grow closer and then diminish and, once all has gone quiet, we pick our way across the boulders to join the showcave path, walking alongside huge water features, millpond-still, and lit with colourful atmospheric lamps. There is a music soundtrack – strangely enough, it has a lot of reverb on it, so for the first time while on this island, here we are underground in a chamber which sounds like it echoes!!! The pathways are deserted and we silently walk along, half-expecting to stumble into someone at any time, passing some deep fenced-off holes in the floor which lead to lower galleries, and then daylight spears our eyes into a squint as the exit steps are reached! – we merge into the small crowd outside as if nothing untoward has occurred, no-one batting an eyelid at us but with us both feeling very naughty indeed! We sn-word back at the car and finish off our water supplies, parched from the day’s missions!

« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 09:20:17 pm by cap 'n chris »

Offline Muddy Funkster

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Re: Morelanzarottying, Thursday 5th & Friday 6th June 2008
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 09:43:43 pm »
Looks great, can't wait. Who needs the beach, better not let the missus hear that one ;)


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