Here’s one for the books. No, I wouldn’t call it spelunking. Not even caving per se. In my book, it’s pure and simple curiosity and blind courage that found me at the mouth of SUMAGUING Cave in Sagada one late afternoon and mindlessly saying “yes” to this adventure. After all, so many of my young blogger-friends have blogged about it. So, I was naturally curious. AND ….. adequately challenged. šŸ˜Š

 

 

 

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The Descent.

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Directional Sign to Sumaguing Cave

 

 

I’ve been to many caves and had my fill of stalagmites and stalactites. You can say I didn’t have much by way of expectations. My only concern is to get out of it before nightfall as it was already 4pm when we began our descent. James, our guide, looked nonchalant seeing there’s a not-so-young adventurer in his group of 5 pax. I looked around and concluded I must be among the oldest, if not THE oldest, with the curious lot of caving enthusiasts that late afternoon.

 

 

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Interior Shot. Traffic Inside the Sumaguing Cave! Sagada.

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That headlamp was a brilliant (pun intended) idea!

 

 

The cave was packed with youngsters who shared the same not-so-brilliant idea with us to spend the long weekend in Sagada. The crowd meant long waits as the group of descending first-timers wait for a line making way to climb up and out of the cave. The extended waits made me rethink my intentions. And as I pondered, I knew this was more a challenge rather than a sightseeing adventure. One look at our guide James competently balancing a lamp between his thigh and left hand while offering his right hand to me, and I knew I just had to get this over and done with.

 

 

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More Traffic Down Below, Inside the Sumaguing Cave.

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Getting All Muddied Up Inside Sagada’s Sumaguing Cave

 

 

I was ready. With a headlight and gloves, I made my way down. The initial descent was over slippery rocks. I felt more confident when we did away with footwear, gripped our soles over rocks around pools of water, and slowly, carefully dipped our toes, then our entire legs in cold waters. All the while, I refrained from asking James how much further we should go let I lose heart. I knew the options were quite limited. James had to go with the group and should I choose not to continue, it’s either I go with another group climbing out or I wait for our team. Besides, I was actually growing confident myself, even excited!

 

 

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No Way To Go But Barefoot Inside Sumaguing Cave

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A Natural Beauty @ Sumaguing Cave

 

 

This rock cavern gave me a most memorable souvenir when I stubbed my big toe as I nearly slipped climbing up. It was nearly 7pm by the time we got out of the cave. But that was not really the exciting part. Nor was climbing up a rope. From the cave bottom, our guide James positioned himself in a way where he can actually pull us up with one hand through huge rocks a la Jackie Chan. I grabbed his hand, made big strides up and over the rocks but couldn’t pull myself over! Knowing James couldn’t hold my full weight, I didn’t waste more seconds. One hand held by James, I straddled my left leg over the rock and……… ROLLED! Oh yes, even James wasn’t sure what I was doing! But….. I made it.

 

 

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Yee Haw! I made it!

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Now, Where’s the rest of my group? (Lost Inside Sumaguing Cave)

 

 

ROCK AND ROLL, indeed! Surely, that made my day. Aching calf, thigh muscles and sore shoulders, the pain remained long after my uber-dirty, muddied clothes were washed and dried. Oh my, what was I thinking then???

 

 

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Close Up Shot. Inside Sumaguing Cave.

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Cold waters inside the Sumaging Cave

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Cold. Slippery. At times, Slimy.