Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sagada's Crystal Cave

Before you start reading this post, sorry the photos are not good quality because of our
cameras and it does not justify the beauty of the cave and our spelunking experience.
But hey, I am still posting this because I am proud of this experience!

CRYSTAL CAVE is not advertised as much as with the other caves. WHY?
They want to preserve the place from tourists/people giving damage to these wonders.
The guides would still guide you here but they prefer very small group as it's less disturbance and the tasks here are very hard compared to other caves in Sagada.

The guide rates are pretty high.
At first, I did not understand why but after the experience, the work that needs to be done is worth the cost.

Our entrance point is near the Sumaging Cave.
We're at the entrance of the cave with our guides. Ratio is 1:1




We started at 5:00pm at the entrance but really started the
spelunking at 5:30pm because they had to lit the lamps.
The guides said regular time to finish is around 6 hours or more.


We started with small spaces.


Then this took us some time.
 The guides were busy working on the ropes.
Take note that even if the ratio is 1:1, it's not as if you'll be holding hands with your guide the whole time.
So much work preparing and dismantling the ropes, assisting the guests and support if anything happens.


We were lucky because we were the first ones to use the harness provided by Kuya Erwin Quiore. This was exciting.


Our first time to rapel and it was this high and it was such a great experience.
For you not to get scared, you just have to learn to trust your guides.

These are the rules I just created based on my experience.
Number 1 rule: Trust your guide.
Number 2 rule: Follow everything they say. 
Number 3 rule: Don't explore on your own.
Number 4 rule: Stop asking if you're almost done with the activity. Kinda irritating.
Just enjoy and let time worry on its own.


Then the spaces became bigger.


Our guide looked tired already he he he


There was a reason why the guide on the above photo looked tired. The photo below
we took after I got teary eyed at the start. I picked the best guides to do this activity and when I found out one wasn't coming, I got all self-centered and acted like a customer who demanded her rights as if it was the end of the world.
The guide surprised us when he showed up. When we were inside and had our moment while we wait for the others to rappel down, he said he was sick and the reason why he couldn't make it at first but still went because he heard that I was pissed.
  So that explains our eyes here. Fine. I felt guilty.



Moooving on . . .  as we continued . . .
The sick guide was leading the group and he did pretty well.




We saw stalactites . .



. . . and stalagmites.






It was just lovely!!! This is my favorite.

stalagmite stalactite

Our guide explained in a low voice about stalagmites and stalactites.
We can't make much noise as it will be disturbed.



I tried very hard to just giggle and whisper here hee hee




A stalactite is a type of speleothem which is a secondary mineral that hangs from a ceiling of a limestone cave. It is a dripstone.
A stalagmite is the secondary mineral that grows from the floor.
They grow at 3mm (0.12inches) per year. So you can't touch them or make any noise that may lead to vibration and damage it.




So amazing to see these.



I enjoyed these quietly . . . no choice but to be quiet hahaha

stalactite

We then headed to the flowstone.





They are composed of sheetlike deposits of calcite where water flows down from the walls or along the floors.



They are the most common speleothem.

Crystal Cave

You can touch 'em. This is Ann's flowstone. hahaha (inside joke)

flowstone

Sagada

Sagada

Too many flowstone photos hee hee
It was just a beauty



Okay, I prepared for this. They said that there was a hole in the cave where the ONLY option is the snake crawl.They said the hole was tiny. I tried to lose weight for 3 months just so I can fit.
My fear of not being able to get out ha ha ha

I was the first one to do it and funny how it just took me really quick. Not because I was tiny (which I wasn't still) but because you just need a very flexible body that you can move inside.

I was surprised to see our guide with his camera on top as I went out. 
It's not that I was ready for it but I was having fun that's why I was all smiles.

spelunking

I just had to do another one.

spelunking

Mud was like very deep and we had to go into the waters at times. 
I was following this guide then it became deeper. 
I remembered my guide was taller than me.

As much as possible, we tried not to get really wet because we might suffer from hypothermia. This was almost near to the end though.

Spelunking

There are so much more but we failed to take photos because sometimes we were dirty and the camera would moist because of the cold temperature inside the cave.

My remembrance from Crystal Cave.
Our guides just smiled at it and said I should be proud!

Upper photo was from the snake crawl hole. I was using my hands to get directions so it hit the stones.

The photo below had another story. It was an accident. I thought I heard my guide who said I can slide down  from the rope but it turned out I heard wrong and I went straight down. The guides were very alert and he was able to save me from going more down.
Rope burn is what they call it. They immediately checked on my hands. The temperature inside made it numb. It hurt though when I took a hot shower after.


How dirty was I? That's how deep some of the muds were.



We were so hungry when we got back. Thank you my fellow blogger/traveler/friend, Breakaway Jan for making us a hot soup to keep us warm and nice dinner.


I'm glad I survived Crystal Cave. We were out of the cave at 9:30pm.
4 freaking hours!!!! WOOT!!!
We weren't about time. We were about just enjoying and surviving this cave.
I will do this again next year and share more photos and experiences!!! DEFINITELY!!!


I'm glad to have this great company of friends and guides.


You'll only get the best guides from SaGGAs!!!
I highly recommend them. They're more than the bank.
You're in GREAT hands with these men.
Not all guides can do this cave. Make sure you get the best!

Kuya Sotero Ngoloban
Kuya Benji Calpi
Kuya Erwin Quiore
Kuya John Justo


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16 comments:

nice photo and posts, may matatanong na ko...
spelunker addict here :)

i want to try this one when i get back to sagada :)

wow! hindi ko yata kaya yan. hehe. i love the smiles (napangiti rin ako) :)

you can do this lenfons! take one cave at a time!

Sino yun guide na may sakit pero dumating pa rin ?? Nice , gusto ko din matry toh ;)

Si Ben. Pero not sure though if he was really sick kase later I found out from the other guides that it wasn't true.

wow! gaano katagal whole experience sa crystal cave? :)

hi po! how much po sa crystal cave per guide?

Standard rate is 2500 per pax. But if you are alone, you need to get two guides.

I was there last September 2013 and it was a great experience. We stayed more than 8 hours inside the cave and one of our companion cried because she was afraid of the snake.

Awww...well going inside one has to be physically and mentally ready. :)

I wasn't really physically ready during that time because I didn't hit the gym for how many months nor did some running, that is why after that I got my whole body soars for 3 days and pain killers doesn't help. One of my unforgettable experience.

I bet it was an unforgettable experience :)

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