Report 1999


Prior to leaving Ha Lang a small team, Martin, Anette, Steve and I went to cross off a few likely looking areas on the map. The first to be looked at wasthe source of the main Ha Lang River.After a few missed turns in the jeep we managed to persuade a woman and her small child to come with us and give up working in the fields for the day. Through the normal communication difficulties and asking for the source of the river we came to a small rocky outcrop in the middle of a ploughed field. This we were assured was where all the water came from although it was completely dry with no discernible entrance. We decided to move on and look at some more possibilities. A long walk looked likely over the next couple of cols.Unsure of what we would find and whether it had been looked at before, a small amount of dissent was apparent.

On the walk over we picked up a few followers and arrived in a small village. This area had a lot more water and was already planting rice whereas Ha Lang was still very dry. Following the riverbed we came to a couple of entrances and decided to look at the larger one first. We were told that this didn’t go anywhere and we ought to look at the other as it went through the hill. For completeness the first had to be looked at but it choked very quickly with huge tree trunks and other assorted vegetation. This meant that the other should take us through the hill.

The cave was a small dry stream passage with some decorations, obviously an overspill from the main choked drain. After a very smelly descent through what would be a sump in wet weather we did surface into another a valley. Time being short we didn’t venture further to look for more entrances but returned to our interpreter and the trudge back over the cols. After discovering a very pleasant 700m through trip the walk wasn’t as bad as first expected!

Fiona Mackay

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