OUCC: News from China

8th July 2000

From Chris Densham

2001 China news contents

Other Expedition reports

OUCC Home Page


Hi All,

Greetings from China, have had a right strange time after a month looking for caves but finding more banquet opportunities with the Communist Party town bosses. The deepest we have managed is a cave in Jiang Kou about -300m deep and 1.5 km long and still going wetly. We got too scared of the flood potential, seeing flood debris half way up a 100 m shaft, with the way on a narrow canal at the bottom, taking lots of inlets and the roof getting too close for comfort. Otherwise, we have been on lots of magical mystery tours courtesy of our Chinese minders.

Unfortunately most places we have only been allowed to stay a few days. Turned up in a new area a few days ago, and suddenly the 4 of us were guests of honour and had to do a routine for the concert about to begin. They wouldn't let us abseil off a balcony (thank god) so we had to sing "on Illkley Moor Ba't 'At" instead, infront of various Communist Party worthies and 150 or so others. At least they clapped at the end.

Shame all the caves and dolines there were shite/blocked. We have been on the Chinese telly quite a few times, for some reason they think we might find them a show cave to make lots of money but of course we haven't. The press conferences were a right laugh. This did not stop us for nearly getting arrested just now for one of us taking photos at night just outside the door of where we are staying.. Apparently this is illegal and so now we are in trouble...

good job I (hope) to fly to touristville Guilin tomorrow. Hope caving is starting again in Britain, and good luck in the Picos. I may just turn up for a week or two.

Cheers, Chris