Things we learnt caving

Budapest Adventure Caving, Caving Under Budapest

My trusty travelling partner is much braver than I am. This has led us into a lot of ridiculous situations, with him hanging over the parapet of cathedrals to admire the view and me desperately gripping onto the stone walls and trying not to throw up as the world spins.

On our recent trip to Budapest I thought I would take the bull by the horns and book an adventurous activity that we could both enjoy- adventure caving!

My theory was sound: I am frightened of heights, not depths. As far as I was aware I was not claustrophobic (although there was an occasion I sent myself into a spin when a dress got stuck on my head). “I’ve got this in the bag” I thought.

After making contact with the fabulously helpful and friendly staff at Caving Under Budapest the tour was booked and off we went.

Several things I learnt quite quickly: 1. Everyone on our tour, bar me, looked like a serious gym bunny. 2. I do not rock a boiler suit like I had hoped.

Caving under Budapest, Matyas-Hegy Caves
The unfortunate reality of the boiler suit

Taken to the caves we were told to make our way down a 10m ladder into the Matyas-Hegy caves. “FML” went over and over in my head until I safely hit the bottom.

Once we got into the tour we were climbing, crawling and belly sliding through the narrowest spaces. I can honestly say that I did enjoy it, although my bum was firmly clenched the entire time.

This was not a tour for the feint of heart. There was a lot of sliding, scrabbling and swearing. But it was super fun.

The Death of the Sandwich was my favourite part- A 15m length of cave where you slide on your belly and drag yourself with your arms. The name gives it away- the cave is so narrow at that point you become “the salami in the cave sandwich” as our guide cheerfully informed us.

Caving Under Budapest, Matyas-Hegy Caves, Adventure Caving
Considerably braver trusty travelling partner showing us all how it's done

It was all going so well. So smoothly. I was feeling surprising athletic, really getting into it.

Then I got my arse wedged.

I considered my limited options: 1. Panic. 2. Accept that I live in a cave forever now. 3. Sulk. 4. Pitifully whine for help.

I decided on a healthy mix of #3 and #4.

The instructor could not have been better at extracting me from the hole that was marginally too small for my sizeable backside. We took a different route and joined the rest of the group a few minutes later.

Towards the end of the tour we stopped for a rest in a cave called “The Theatre” and turned all of our torches off. That was an incredible moment of absolute darkness, where your eyes play tricks and you think you can still see the outline of the rock around you.

By the end of the 5km tour my trusty travel partner was bouncing off the walls and could not wait to go again. I was exhausted; a bit battered and could not wait to grab a beer.

bruised knees
Only I got bruised as the athleticism just flows from me

If you’re into doing something a bit unusual on your holidays then I couldn’t recommend this highly enough. We went with Caving Under Budapest and a 2-3 hour adventure caving tour was an incredibly reasonable 7,000 HUF per person.

Wear clothes that you can afford to get dirty and go wild!


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