Report 1999

Article Index



Locals in Son Trach told us of a cave, half a days walk from Kilometre 10 on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.The cave was described as very large and contained water. With this information we employed 3 men to guide us.Several days later the 6 wheel drive truck trundled up to km 10, then turned off on to a very rough side track for a further 3km.

John Palmer, Howard Limbert, Deb Limbert, Mick Nunwick, Pete O’Neill and the three guides set off walking. 3 hours later we realised we were gaining a fair amount of height; although the cave was reported as containing water it was unlikely to be active. At dusk we finally arrived at the cave, after over 5 hours of quite arduous terrain.

Being tired and the hour late we decided to bed down for the night in the entrance chamber which was indeed large 20 x 20 meters, however the water turned out to be in static pools.The rats in search of our food provided entertainment during the night.

We were up very early the next morning and with the guides surveyed in, the passage dimensions grew to 35 meters wide by 20 meters high, but apart from drip pools was dry and dusty.The cave is a very old fossilised remnant and at 650 metres above sea level.The cave was surveyed to 424 meters ending with a blocking of stal, with no other leads to go for we decided to pack up and try to walk back to Son Trach before dark.

The route back to the Ho Chi Minh Trail was mostly downhill, however a rice wine drinking session at a river crossing with woodcutters at 10:45am, left Pete rather pissed.The Ho Chi Minh Trail was reached and although a long walk still lay ahead, at least it was free from leeches.We arrived back to Son Trach before dark, rather tired after two very long days.

Peter O’Neil


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