From Madras to Manila

Monday, August 07, 2006

Puerto Princessa Part 3: Sabang Underground River

Looks spooky, doesn't it? The Sabang river 'cruise' is an eerie, though fascinating, 1.5 km journey through the bowels of a mountain that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for being the longest navigable underground river.

[I am of course referring to the river, not the mountain. It would be rather silly of UNESCO to list a mountain as the longest navigable underground river]

The actual river goes on for another 6-7 km beyond the end point of the cruise but you need a permit, exceptional intestinal fortitude and a rather poor sense of smell to go on. And, oh yes, you'll need to shed the boat and a few extra kilos off your waist or else you'll just get stuck up an orifice - and being stuck in an orifice in any sort of bowel, even a mountain's, is probably not a good thing. That's probably why you need a permit in the first place.

This is where it first hits you - the cave is darrrrrk!
And full of bats.

And it stinks to kingdom come. Like the collective farts of a million bats that subsist almost entirely on bugs and rotting carcasses and go entire lifetimes shunning sunlight and any sort of fresh air.

Which is, of course, exactly what you are smelling.

[The bats apparently live on fruit, but I'm not buying that story. Where would the fruit grow in the cave, for pete's sake?]

Artist's rendition of the woosiness you feel when taking in your first whiff of eau d' bat.


  • Array --

    How are you, dude? We may have been out of touch since campus days, but if you're around in Manila next week, we may get a chance to remedy that! I will be in Manila on business for a day and a bit next week (Sep 20-21), which offers a fantastic opportunity to catch up.

    Let me know if you're around, and if you can make it at siddharth dot mathur at jpmorgan dot com. I've also sent a more detailed email at the yahoo address you listed on the campus alumniboard.

    [H2-Mid, Batch of 2000]

    By Anonymous Sid, at 11:28 PM  

  • The post is very nice & define clearly the destination, also the snaps are very nice. Your blog is very good, keep it up.
    Tucson City Guide

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 AM  

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