Complete blackness ahead of us and disappearing light behind us as we step forward. That is, until our guide turned on a couple flood lights that the tour company has set up inside the cave so people can at least see where they’re going. If you don’t know why I am talking about darkness in a cave, I highly suggest you read part 1 first.
Being in pitch dark is a thrilling sensation; it felt natural and unnatural at the same time. I was glad that save for the small crabs and frogs that we eventually saw under the light, there were no other animals living in the cave. After the guide dimly lit the cave, we continued walking through it. I was looking down most of the time to make sure my footing was okay until the guide shouted, “Look ahead!” This is what he was looking at, and moments later what we all did too:
The Light of God is what the tour company calls it. Cheesy but appropriate, as that is precisely the impression that it evokes. The scattered rays are created by a different opening on the ground above us that’s partially covered by leaves. Water was dripping down seemingly everywhere. We also saw a river stream running below where we were, but the slope to get there was too dangerous and slippery. No one cared about the river anyway; we were in awe, and mesmerized by the light that was shining on us. We snapped hundreds of photos and enjoyed being in one of nature’s best scenes.
We then visited the rocks. These rocks have been forming for ages, each line is thought to have taken 3-5 years to form by the slow drips of water that eventually shaped it into the way it looks. It’s interesting to think this rock has existed for so long, but have always been underground and never did once experience air above ground. That idea made it seem more pristine, and it felt wrong to be in such close proximity to something so prehistoric. More photos ensued.
After the peak of the sunlight passed through, we journeyed back to the cave opening. We were ecstatic, in disbelief at what we had just seen. We took turns getting strapped and being pulled up to where we started by about 12 men who have assembled up top from the nearby village to do the duty of bringing people up at the end of the tour. Here are is a video by Jeremy of the men pulling one of us up, and another of what it looked like mid-air while being pulled up. You can also see more amazing cave photos at his blog, Suka dan Duka di Indonesia. This outing is funny because it involved little physical activity, but that’s most mainstream outdoor activities in Indonesia. The tour company provided lunch up top. We heartily ate, still enthralled, and realized only half the day was over. Could it get better? Find out in my next post!