Storming out, "no prisoners" as Nobby put it, the old git was on form, until at the start of Wonderbra bypass I lay down, for that last crawl, and then was suddenly seized with an "I sleep here, Mr Fawlty" lassitude. But the trips down Dollimore series are getting seriously long. Someone pointed out, on the way back, that from the present end of Luck of the Draw, it's two and a half hours before you leave "OUCC territory".
Wierd. The pushing trip to beyond the southern limit of the cave, the one that should raise wild excitement, the great going draughting lead: we were fed up. No formations, no big stuff, no side passages, just this mud floored and occasionally mud-choked crawling, walking, rift. 79 survey stations for about 500m. On and on and on. Getting a bit smaller, smooth-water scalloped walls rather than breakdown, always heading at about 160 degrees. Into the unknown. The great blank on the map. Grumbling, muttering, complaining.
At 7pm we called it a day. Actually our new bit was quite a pleasant stroll on the way back. The main drag of Luck of the Draw (the northern kilometre), seemed to go on for ever. It has a really fine pretty chamber, and lots of white floors that we must protect as best we can as soon as possible.
On drawing up the survey and putting it on the map, I find we
are within 200-300m of giving someone in Blaenavon a nasty surprise
by popping up out of their cellar, well, or bog. Luck of the Draw
is well above the level of the main stream at Riflemans, and the
bit we did on Saturday definitely looks like an inlet. I doubt
that the passage at the end will intersect the main stream system
or the Into the Black / Big Country stream, which presumably runs
somewhere over to the west. But you never know.
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