Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Bloody Guts

So last Wednesday I saw a side of Ireland not many people see…namely underground! That’s right, I went caving (with the OPC). All nine of us met at the boathouse near campus at 6 o’clock. We gathered all of our gear: suits, wellies, hats, belts etc. We then drove for about an hour and a half to the Burren. I must say, the roads in Ireland are VERY small, so it can be a bit scary when you are riding in the car, and another car is headed right towards you. We arrived at the burren around 8. Basically we were in the middle of nowhere at night. We got all of our gear on, which was harder than you would think (mainly because I was given two right boots…). I got the boot issue sorted out though (and was called crazy multiple times in the process).

Don’t I look snazzy?

 After finally getting into our gear, we began the trek to the cave (it was about a 7 minute hike from the road).

The cave was way cooler than I imagined. We climbed down into it, as opposed to walking into it (which is what I imagined we would be doing). There were many narrow parts, where we could only walk sideways, and other portions where we had to crawl and crouch. We even had to crawl over and under a few waterfalls.

At one, point, when climbing up a waterfall, I slipped (though luckily, and talented caught myself with my elbows). This, along with all the squatting, caused me to pull a muscle in my lower back, which made the return hike though the cave a little painful. Overall, the caving experience was awesome, and I look forward to hiking through more difficult caves later in the semester (with rope work even!).
Me crawling through the cave (courtesy of Barbara, who was next to me throughout most of the experience)
Me climbing over some rocks in one of the chambers in the cave
By the way, the cave was called Bloody Guts (Cullain 2) because of the iron in the rocks, which caused red streaks

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