Mark R, Chris A, Simon B, Joe R, Sarah M (for about 3 hours), LUPC and others..
Friday night saw me heading up the M1 after work in the direction of Bull Pot Farm. Traffic was awful and the 2 ½ hour journey soon turned into a 4 hour journey but I was greeted by a large bunch of familiar smiling faces and an equally big group of unfamiliar ones. LUPC (Liverpool University Potholing Club) had taken about 6 of the new freshers up to the farm for a weekend of fun, drinking, caving and walking. Several BBPC members had also headed up to join in the festivities and I was headed up there for a Mulu 2011 Expedition meeting and piss up starting on the Saturday. Robbie and Gina were also up for the Mulu meeting and had brought a large pan of delicious chilly up with them for me to share Friday night. After the chilly and a chat to some of the Red Rose members, Robbie and Gina (mainly Gina) decided it was a good time to teach the new Liverpool crowd some ‘caving games’! people traversing, the pan and loop game, squeeze machines, bottle walking and table wrestling were all enthusiastically taken up by the older LUPC members and BBPC members, then some very, very old LUPC members who also happened to be there and then some RRPC members and eventually, some of the freshers!
It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people of all generations, ages and levels of experience sharing a beer and a laugh as people attempted to do very silly things for no real reason at all. The night turned into a bit of a party and went on well into the morning, everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves- so much so that Robbie actually asked me to share a bed with him and Gina- well, who was I to refuse!
Joe cooked up an amazing breakfast in his LUPC role which the rest of us hi-jacked (well done Joe- excellent) and LUPC and the badgers all went off to do Alum Pot. Shortly after, the rest of the Mulu team arrived at the farm and 14 of us all kitted up and did the Lancaster to Wretched through trip- great trip and fantastic fun with so many people but incredibly hot!
After the cave the Mulu crowd all headed to the Marton Arms for a quick pint then off down the road to Tim and Jane’s house where we enjoyed the most fantastic selection of curries and a great ‘Mulu for beginners’ slideshow by Tim. I still struggle to believe that I am lucky enough to have been offered the opportunity to go to such an incredible place with such a great, talented team of cavers- I really did feel very honoured to be there.
We went back to the pub for several more beers and then home again to Tim’s for yet more beers, finally going to bed at sometime past 3!
Jane cooked us another cracking breakfast to start the day and we all settled down once again in front of the projector for a talk on 3D laser surveying the Sarawak Chamber by Kevin Dixon followed by a chat from Tim about the aims of the 2011 expedition. He covered everything from what to wear to expedition fees and by the end I was starting to get a feel for the project and what to expect. I couldn’t stay too long so drove home for a badminton match in Sheffield armed with a copy of the 2009 Mulu caves expedition report for some light bedtime reading.
Yet another great, great weekend.