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26th December Still not much to report... Dunks and I have spent another week sitting on our arses in Chengdu. Mark and Matt have been doing a sterling job trying to get the diving gear out of the clutches of Shenzhen customs with precisely zero success. There is a story here but it is so long and boring I will save it for later!

The diving gear is now (hopefully) on its way back to Hong Kong to facilitate Plan B for getting it across the border... meanwhile Dunks and I are heading up to Wulong on the bus and hoping to finally get underground in a day or 2!

Matt has kindly given me a snorkel for Christmas so at least we should be able to get our faces underwater. Caaaaves...

19th December Duncan Collis and I arrived in Chengdu on Monday 15th to find, as expected, that the diving gear we had tried to ship in from Hong Kong had so far failed to arrive - stuck in Customs in Shenzhen. The first four days of expedition have therefore consisted of much hotpot eating and beer drinking, while we crash on Matt Ryan's floor and exchange jolly emails with the Fedex people in Shenzhen.

Plan A had been for the three of us to spend a few days in Zhongdian, exploring the upstream sumps in the resurgence cave "Shui Lian Dong", explored by Dunks, Erin, Chris Densham and Rich Gerrish in 2004 ('the bottom of the deepest cave in the world'?), and then to go on to Wulong to met Mark Smith (HK), Rob Garrett, Pete Talling, Fleur Loveridge, Tim Guilford, Lou Maurice, Rich Gerrish and a couple of Rich's friends for above- and below-water exploration in Houping (nr. Wulong). However if the gear doesn't show up soon we are likely to just go straight to Wulong.

Must get back to my book, oh and maybe another cup of tea... -Hils