Once every year there is a big cavers' gathering: Hidden Earth. I've never gone; it's all about caves an not about mines, and it seems to involve an awful amount of drinking too much and going to bed too late. Not for me! But this year I did get a nice preview.
One of the YUCC guys we had been underground with the day before would give a talk there, and he wanted a try-out. Matt and Gary were happy to host, and Laura and me were invited. And I was pretty shattered after the very late caving trip, but I went anyway. If you are very tires, what better to do than sitting on a couch, looking at pretty cave pictures, while fondling a large cat. Which is how I pictured the evening. So I went!
The bad news was that there was an amazing amount of faff going on, and I was only home at 11.30 again. I had left directly after the talk!
The good news was that it was an amazing presentation. They spoke of this year's YUCC caving expedition to Montenegro. I have never done expedition caving! It was interesting to see how that sort of thing unfolds.
They had pitched a camp somewhere in the mountains, and had combed the surroundings from there. If they found something they checked it out; bolting pitches and widening potential squeezes with hammers and crowbars. They found hundreds of metres of unexplored cave! And the presentation was full of lovely pictures and amusing anecdote. And there was indeed some cat-fondling involved int he watching. So I was dead tired by the time they were done, but I was glad to have shown up. I have a much clearer idea of cave exploration now!
Toby has learned something too; to keep his hands of the cat. His pre-dinner fondling resulted in him having to do his presentation sniffing, snotting and coughing. He forgot he sometimes is allergic...