An adventure into Xanadu

The forecast looked like it was going to be acceptable, so our plan to do the Cairns Catacoombs - Kubla Khan - Xanadu round trip was a go. There was just one problem: we couldn't find the entrance to Cairns.

I had been taken there a few months earlier, but I obviously wasn't paying much attention because when we went to where it should have been nothing looked familiar at all. We poked our noses down a couple of holes, but they all seemed too tight or didn't go anywhere. After an hour we gave up and decided that no problem, we would just do it backwards instead!

So off into Xanadu we went, noting that it had obviously flooded quite recently as there was debris everywhere. After removing a few logs from the entrance we were in! After wasting time looking for Cairns we didn't spend any time mucking around in Xanadu and headed straight for the great wall and down to the bottom of Cairns. We spent a few hours exploring the bottom of the cave, had a chat with an eel swimming around in the sump and took a quick stroll down the great crack. After a brief lunch stop we decided to head for the surface. Unfortunately the cave had other plans for us. Having only done the trip in the reverse direction, I recognised nothing in the entrance maze of Cairns, and we rummaged around in the small crawlways and rock fall for over an hour trying to find a way out. At one point we even found daylight, but it was up a dodgy 5m climb and though a 5m slightly uphill squeeze. I got stuck half way into the squeeze, and even though I might have managed to get through with more perseverance there was no guarantee that rest of the team would have, or the bag.

At this point we were only two hours away from our due out time, so the decision was made to bail back out the way we came. We put our skates on, and made it back around to the Kubla Khan entrance in 45 minutes, plenty of time to get back to Punakaiki and call of the hounds! Now to go back and do it properly...

| September 25th, 2017 | Posted in Storytime |

Leave a Reply