Horne lake caves

Port Alberni Travel Blog

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Danger! Yeah!

Moving day again! Only this time I had to pack up in the rain, which is always a damp and gritty experience. I bagged up all that I could whilst in the dry of the tent and made a run for the car, coming back to take the tent down and then I hit the road.

I'm often tempted to do some of the really touristy things but can rarely find the nerve, but having past some really cool road signs on the way to Tofino I thought I'd stop off and get a few pictures of them. The trouble being I never like being observed when doing said really touristy things. I left the car by the side of the road and wandered over to the road sign I wanted a picture of, just then a stream of cars erupted from both directions, I rapidly put my camera away and wandered innocently up the road the other way.

a sun star on long beach
More cars. Dang it, Ok look busy. Skilled in the art of misdirection I took out my mobile phone and pretended to be searching for enough signal to make a call. Great that worked, nobody suspected a thing. The traffic subsided and I took out my camera. *snap* suddenly another car full of tourists rounded the corner and stared me down as they drove past. I could swear I saw some heads shaking in disapproval. Abashed I returned to the car and drove on to incinerator rock.

At incinerator rock there are no incinerators, but there are rocks. The end of Long beach is dotted with a few large rock outcroppings, I took a few pics and wandered the beach for a bit before heading back to the car. At the end of the car park I met my friends from Germany: K and U. Picking up hitch-hikers is illegal in B.C, so at no point did I pick them up, they were far too heavy.
Cathedral grove - where they shot star wars episode 6!
We had of course known each other for years previously and we had arranged for me to be at that precise location, at that precise moment* in order for my fellow travellers to join me on a caving expedition.

We drove on to Ucluelet, to see what there was to see. Having seen that (its a normal looking island village with dreams of being the next big island tourist destination) we made our way back to the tourist info and picked up directions to the caves at Horne Lake.

Heading back across the Island we stopped in at Cathedral grove and took some pics and then I cheekily stopped in at a road side BBQ offering pulled pork. My fellow companions didn't partake of the available wares, instead opting to drool while I polished off a lovely pulled pork bun, yummy! Onwards to Horne lake.
a nurse log at cathedral grove
..

The caves are amazing, and cheap too if you only do the free public caves. We hired hard hats at the shop and hiked through the forest to the cave opening. All of us equipped with two light sources we headed into the cave. The entrance is a small room with a series of large diagonal rock divisions at the far end. Between these dividers you squeeze yourself through into the main cave tunnel. The cave is dark and cramped, with only a few places after the first 20 metres that you can stand up. It twists through the rock, roughly following the path of an old stream, which in places you can hear and see. There is a water fall and a ladder taking you up to a higher tier within the cave, Then towards the end there's a really cool room only accessible through a small hole in the ceiling.

We saw all there was to see and then piled back in the car for the final leg of the journey to Victoria, munching home cooked pizza en route (thanks S!)

tomorrow: down town Victoria

*The lighting struck the Douglas fur, sending the necessary one point twenty-one gigawatts of electricity into the flux capacitor, sending my ford focus back to 1985.

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Danger! Yeah!
Danger! Yeah!
a sun star on long beach
a sun star on long beach
Cathedral grove - where they shot …
Cathedral grove - where they shot…
a nurse log at cathedral grove
a nurse log at cathedral grove
suspension bridge at horne lake
suspension bridge at horne lake
my fellow cavers
my fellow cavers
a rocky ceiling
a rocky ceiling
the waterfall pool
the waterfall pool
the ladder, above a foot clearance!
the ladder, above a foot clearance!
a deep mysterious bit
a deep mysterious bit
the waterfall!
the waterfall!
me!
me!
Port Alberni
photo by: Vikram