Finally, we reached the cave entrance, a bustling place with several tourists groups. My mate needed his cigarette break after a three-hour jungle trek, but unfortunately for him, it was not allowed in the park. We then presented ourselves at the entrance for the boat ride going inside the cave. Numbers were called out and the boat filled in. The 45 minutes ride inside was a real treat. There were many unusual rock formations which the boatmen-cum-guides named, like giant candles, the cathedral (with figures resembling like the holy family, or some saints) etc.
Then at some point, we arrived at the “market” where stalactites were shaped like giant vegetables, giant jellyfish or octopus. It’s dark like the night inside the cave, so the boats were equipped with a small battery powered spotlight light on the different rock formations. The boatman jokingly said that when somebody falls into the water, nobody will ever notice and that we have to make a headcount upon our return. I wonder where Batman went as we haven’t seen his Batmobile. The underground river is full of bats and of course bat-shit (err I meant guano, lol) and so it reeks. Sometimes water drips from the cave ceiling, and so we were instructed to keep our mouths shut when we look up, else it will be filled up with who knows what.
Then it was time to find a boat to share going back to Sabang since hiking again was not really an option. Besides, it was already past 3:00 p.m. and slowly getting dark. The boats were all hired by the other tourists for a round trip to the cave. Luckily, some guests decided to brave the trails. Though I doubt that it would be hard to find a boat to share with since there were many which have only at least 3 or 4 people in it. As you drive back to the village, you have the fantastic view of the lush green and karst mountains, the beaches. It was a joy to relive the memories I had of my college days during our research at the park.
In the evening we had our sumptuous dinner at the restaurant of Dabdab. Btw, Dabdab literally means to fire-up (the cooking or grilling) in the local language.