Posted in Travel

Israel Day 25: Cave Spelunking

It was time for us to say goodbye to our kibbutz and head out for our next adventure, which, as it turned out, would leave us feeling a little blind. I’d been in caves before, but never have I had an experience quite like this one.

We began by going on a hike. It was a simple hike, more like a stroll to get us to our destination. We arrived at the cave in high spirits, giddy and energized. We found the entrance to the cave and filed in. As the light of the sun began retreating, I realised nobody had any kind of light source. We went into the passage and were welcomed by complete and utter blackness, so dark and all-consuming that it felt like it was pressing in on our eye sockets.

We didn’t feel like we were in any danger though. There were no stalagmites or stalactites to pierce ourselves on; in fact, the air was filled with the buzz of our excitement. It was thrilling to be somewhere so completely dark. All my other senses came alive as my eyes took the backseat. We moved slowly and felt around ourselves, using hands and words to find our way around. We went through a narrow passage and came out into an open cavern.

Our only flashes of sight came from the lights of our cameras as we snapped pictures blindly. Looking through those pictures is pretty amusing: nobody knew what they were pointing their camera at or who was pointing a camera at them, everyone was making faces and looking completely caught unawares. What I saw of the cave is only through those pictures; in real life all I saw was black.

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Of course, we had a guide who knew the cave by heart and didn’t need light to know where she was going. She led us through the twists and turns, across puddles, up rocky steps, and, my favourite part, down a tiny hole in the ground.

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Our day of darkness was incredibly fun and one I won’t forget for quite some time, even though I can’t actually picture it in my mind beyond a pit of black. Cave exploration is one adventure I could do again and again.

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