Thursday 22 April 2010

Speleologists do it in the dark

Ok, so I spent this afternoon on my elbows and knees in the dark with a guy called Dan who was showing me the way to do something entirely new - which I'll be perfectly happy not to have to do again, thanks, though it was certainly a novelty I'm pleased to have tried.

I was at Capricorn Caves, north of Rockhampton (cattle town, with not just one, but four, count them, giant plaster bulls) where, after a sedate wander through and ending up in the inevitable Cathedral Cave where we listened to Enya in the dark, admiring the perfect accoustics, I got down and dirty with Dan. You wouldn't believe the holes we crawled through, up and down, on our stomachs, round corners, pushing and straining. Look, sorry about this unpleasantly extended metaphor, I can't seem to shake free of it. Anyway, it ended with a snake. (Damn! Sorry.)

There's a distinction, you know, between a venomous and a dangerous snake. The brown is the former, not the latter, I was pleased to hear. That made all the difference, of course. But in explaining that the brown will retreat, as this one did, led Dan on to explain how the taipan, which is both venomous and dangerous, will attack people, chase them, launch itself through the air three times its length (of up to 2 metres) to repeat strike. And do you have taipans here, I asked with interest. Pause. "No-one's ever seen them in the caves," Dan replied carefully.

Australia, eh. There's nothing like it. (PS: I didn't get a photo of the snake, so here's some equally repellent Queensland fauna.)


the queen said...

Consider yourself lucky to get Enya. We got Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."

TravelSkite said...

When Dan and I passed through again later, it was Phantom of the Opera. More swelling organs. Oops, sorry.


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