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INTO... continued


II tried to pull the rope up but something was pulling it down or felt like it was stuck. I gave it a budge, felt it loosen, and hauled it up. To my surprise a ball of nylon with nasty fishing hooks were stuck on the rope like bird's nest. I took my Swiss knife, cut the entangled nylon from my rope, and placed it out of the way in a small crevice. I threw the remaining rope to the bottom, about 60 feet or so below my stance. the entangled ball landed with a thud on the guano coated cave floor. I continued down to the bottom chamber. There was a wide beam of sunlight illuminating part of the rocky bottom that sloped down gradually from a breakdown section. I stood, stared up, and felt like an "Illuminati", waiting to be beamed up by some alien god. But I didn't want to be beamed up yet. I looked around and discerned various chambers expanding in the dark. I tried cranking my carbide light but it didn't work. After fumbling with it for a few minutes, I figured there must be water inside the hose blocking the gas. No time to tinker with it. I switched to my Petzl Duo and checked the surroundings, expecting huge Pythons curled inside crevices. There were none to be found to my relief. Vie was down before I knew it and we proceeded to explore the inner chambers of Python Pit. Basil decided to stay topside as support.

A huge dark breakdown chamber on the west side housed the main bat population that roosted inside the cavern. They started shrieking all at once as soon as they sensed our intrusion. There were thousands of eyes staring back at us like fiery red embers in the gloomy darkness of the pit. Dark undercuts surrounding the bottom where amazing, a small coconut tree surprisingly thrives inside the cave despite the absence of sunlight and consequently, the much-needed chlorophyll in its leaves. Towards the northern side, fine silt and sand are piled up which gradually slope down into a running stream. We followed the stream east into another chamber but dead-ended into a sump at about 25 meters. The stream ran from east to west until it was siphoned by a couple of holes along a cave wall. A few small chambers are nestled along the roof and are filled with bats. Excited and disturbed by our voices and lights, they flew all over the place at dizzying speeds yet were able to instinctively avoid crashing into us. We stood there for a while until the bats settled down as they got used to our presence. We were hoping a chamber would open up to another passage but if it ever existed, we couldn't find it. Too bad, we would have been terribly excited to explorer a much more complex cave.
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