Turkey 89.

There were three Red Rose members on this trip, Jim Newton, Phil Luff, and Dick Wade. The major discovery is dealt with by Phil. Getting to Turkey was easy, once we had overcome the vagaries. of our wonderful privatised bus company, who didnít know that Ulverston existed, and severaly routed Jim and I. The trip was enlivened by the comings and goings of its members, two aircraft, landing within ten minutes of each other, and a car took the bulk of the trip out. One week later one carbourne chap returned, replaced shortly after by an airbourne member, then Jim and another returned to the UK after a fortnight, shortly followed by the exit of the car carrying three members. We moved from Antalyia to the vicinity of the Kirkgozler system. Here we revisited two small well decorated caves, containing plenty of human bones. A shaft was discovered near the camp site, this was some eighty feet deep but sumped. Later in the week the major shaft was found. We stayed here for about a week and apparently overstayed cur welcome, being investigated by the army. It was thought by the locals that we were taking treasure from the caves. Speaking of locals, several photos were spoilt, there were the well dressed cavers, with a shirt sleeved, unlighted, flip flop shod Turk among them.

Having escaped Turkish goal we passed back to Antalyia for R&R, sampling the sybaritic delights of the Peace Pension. Here one member made his mark, in a typical lager loutish fashion by spewing all over, and maybe in a German tourists rucksack. This after being guided to the towns only pub. Next day we set off for Kocain Cave, another of last years attractions that some of us had missed. We arrived at the cave entrance in pitch blackness, after an entertaining walk up to it, a walk of some two hours over some of the roughest and sharpest limestone I have ever come across. The first night was enlivened by the, somewhat loudly expressed opinion of one lad that something was eating him alive in his sleeping bag. The next day we visited the cave, a truly massive arched entrance, where you didnít realize the size until figures going into became smaller and smaller as they progressed. Some way inside, there were the remains of Roman cisterns. Despite the size of the cavern it soon ended; the major caving attraction being a 100ft stalactite.

Back to Antalyia, an overnight stay and then off to Pinagodzu cave, an old stamping ground of Jimís. This journey over a hundred miles inland was enlivened by its last leg. It being market day we used a local bus to the nearest point to the cave. This turned out to be crammed to the roof, and above, with humanity, livestock, alive and dead, and implements. It made your average how many bodies can you stuff into a telephone booth look a bit sick. The last bit of the journey was made in the same bus, an experience, as it traversed right angled bends and such like, bordered by healthy drops to the side.

When we arrived at the cave we found that a French party was well entrenched. They had set up a camp, tents and gas stoves and things like that. We showed them how it should be done, bags strewn on the ground, and a good open fire for cooking. Strangely enough we found out later that we were eating a far better diet.

The cave is guarded by a duck, and a hurricane force wind blowing through it. The passage. then continues with several cascades, sporting. It continues with a higher level passage to a pitch, past which the French were pushing the system. There is one side area spotting crystal Ďstarburstsí.

The second time I went into the cave it was to find and photograph these. It was not to be. first on the way I climbed one of the cascades, only to be washed straight down it again, as my companion carried on blissfully unaware. Later he was having trouble with his lamp, so we dropped down to the stream and repairs were made. I have never seen a carbide light explode before, but that was the end of that trip.
We noticed that the entrance to Pinagodzu had been drilled, could be that entry to this system will be barred in the future.

Next day we returned to ó guess where. Then, within the next day or so Jim returned home, the shaft was descended by some of the party, and thereafter a weeks tourism began. the party scattered, East and West.

Although only two shafts were found on this trip there must be many more caves to be found in the vast areas of limestone. Perhaps a better time to visit the country in search of caves would be in the wet season when the behavior of water running off the mountains could be observed.

Dick Wade.


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