Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Budapesssscht: A lot of Eating, not a lot of Caving

Baked Duck with Ginger and Orange with Rice Salad

So after a full day of walking around I went to my hostel to chill out until dinner. Back in the hostel I ended up meeting an Aussie guy called Danny who had lived in Budapest before so we went out to get dinner at this local place he knew about it. I ended getting Baked Duck with Ginger and Orange with Rice Salad with the Hungarian beer Dreher. Then we went bar hopping to some awesome bars around Budapest drinking beer and wine.

Dreher, Hungarian Beer

The next day I ended up having to change hostels as Home Made was fully booked. I ended up lugging my huge suitcase for a 20 minute walk through the streets of Budapest. Then when I arrived at HomePlus Hostel and was exasperated to find there were more stairs and no lift this time. Thankfully Andrew, the lovely owner, carried my heavy suitcase up the stairs for me! The hostel was very chilled and laid-back with a lot of great people to talk to.

Andrew suggested a few activities for me as I had spent the past few days sightseeing already. One of the activities, Caving, sounded awesome and it was set to go ahead that afternoon. So I paid up (it came to around $20AUD) and went down to meet the rest of the Caving group down at the Bus Station. I found the group and met some very lovely people amongst them were these cool Canadians Mel, Lindsay and Evan. It took us a fair bit of waiting and 2 buses but we managed to get there in the end.

We changed into our climbing gear, complete with suits, helmets and lights. Evan’s and my suits looked like someone had rolled around in mud and let it dry; it was so filthy with caked dirt. Lindsay and Mel’s suits looked like they was brand spanking new and fresh! So we set off down the track into the cave, while our group leader Sven explained what we should expect. We heard that one of the girls in the group in front of us panicked as soon as she was inside and had to leave, we all felt so sorry for her as we were all pumped to go in.

Totally cute caving gear

There was a huge buzz of excitement before we got to the cave door, where Sven told us that we should expect quite a temperature drop as the cave was consistently around 10 degrees all year round as opposed to 30+ degrees we were experiencing outside. He opened the heavy door and ushered us all inside. Immediately we felt the cool temperature and darkness envelope us, with only meagre torchlight from our helmets to guide us. We started to walk single file and suddenly had to crouch to walk further into the cave. This was a bit an attack on my senses I had no depth perception, I was suddenly cold and it was extremely dark. We walked a little bit further down and I felt the panic rising up inside of me. I told everyone that I didn’t think I could do it.

I never knew I was claustrophobic, I guess you never know until you are put in a situation like that. We were down there for a few more minutes and Sven said that if I didn’t think I could do it now, well it was only going to get worse down there, where there were some spaces that were so tight that you had to go through sideways between the rocks or you had to get down on your stomach and commando crawl under. I really wish I wasn’t such a chicken shit and just did it, but I just couldn’t. Once I walked out of the cave door I exhaled the biggest sigh of relief!

I eventually caught up with the girl who walked out earlier who was with her friend and she felt exactly the same as me, she didn’t know she was claustrophobic either. We ended up catching the buses back to the city and I got some Indian food on the way home to make myself feel better. Thankfully Andrew from the hostel said I could get my money back if I didn’t enjoy the Caving which was very sweet of him.

Butter Chicken with Naan Bread and Raita (not very Hungarian I know!)

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