Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fenian Caves Track: a tale of two viewpoints

[Michele] Like all good stories, today's tale comes with two very different view points.  The tale is about a 4 hour tramping adventure along the Fenian Caves track outside of Karamea, New Zealand. The differing viewpoints belong to Will and Robin.

The first part of the track was an old bridle path used for gold mining back in the day.  The second was a much more rugged track that went past two caves and through the 100 m long tunnel cave.
Yes, this really was the track!

What were some highlights from the first part of the track? 
[Robin]: I thought that the trees were very pretty in the first part.
[Will]: I liked he beautiful scenery and all the great photo opportunities.
[Michele]: You took some nice photos.
Will captures a NZ icon

When we first turned off the bridle path and onto the rugged track, what were you thinking? How did you like the path?
[Robin]: This is going to be fun scrambling over the uneven trail. It was really fun.
[Will]: I was kind of thinking, wait is it going to be like this for a while or will the path change back. I was nervous because I was carrying the camera but I persevered with care.

When we saw the first cave what were you thinking and what did you did?
[Robin]: Thank god we don't have to go through that!
[Will]: Oh, wow! I can't wait till we get to go through one.  Then I scrambled in to the cave, hopping on rocks and avoiding stalactites to get some cool photos.

What was your first reaction reaction when we got to tunnel cave, the one that the track goes through, and we saw that there was no optional track around the cave.
Robin: "No no no no no no no no no!"
Will: "Wow, cool, I wonder how long it is?"

What did you do?
Robin: We went into the cave. Daddy was with me and mommy was with Will. Each group got a torch. In my group Daddy had the torch and he was in front of me.

intrepid explorers.

Robin: Daddy and I went into the cave first. At first, I wasn't too scared, but then we had to almost crawl and I started crying because I thought that I would never get out of the cave and I though that I would be trapped inside.
Will:  The cave was very fun. At first walking through the cave was easy but then the cave started getting deeper and darker and I realized that the torch that mommy and I were using wasn't very strong. It was very hard to see where we were going.  We tried calling out to Daddy to let him know about our torch but he couldn't hear above Robin crying.  So we kept going. Mommy and I both slipped on the rocks into water; especially mommy, who doesn't have have good balance in the dark.

Robin: After the crouching part, there was a steep drop that we had to climb down. It was especially hard since the rocks were muddy and slippery. I did not like this part AT ALL! I was already upset and this part didn't help.  After that, the cave widened and when I looked up between some stalactites I saw some glowing blue dots. I pointed them out to Daddy and he said that they were glow worms.  That made me feel better - they are so cool! They look like stars.

Will: We caught up to them at the glow worm cavern.  We turned off our torches and watched the glow worms for a while. It was really cool!  Then we shined our torches on the worms and we could see the mucusy thread that they dangle from to catch bugs.

Robin: At the glow worm cavern was could see the end of the cave and that was reassuring. I felt better when we got out and everyone gave me high-fives because they were proud of me.  But then I realized that we had a long walk back to the campervan.  Also I got stalactite mud on my favorite hat.

Will: I was glad to be out of the cave and proud of myself for getting through it.  Ten minutes later though, I wanted to do it again, but with a better torch.

Would you do the Fenian Caves track again?
Robin: No way!
Will: Now that we have bought a better torch, definitely!

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