Mark R, Simon B, Chris A, Chris H, Liz H, Robbie S, Gina M
Friday night saw the first ever arrival for the Buttered Badgers in Mendip. This strange horizontal place had us stumped from the off- seriously, who puts 3 caving huts within a stones throw of each other?! Once we had all found our way to the correct hut- the BEC’s Belfry, we were immediately impressed with the atmosphere. This is what a caving hut should be like- more stolen signs on the walls than you can shake a stick at and a roof decorated entirely with beer mats.
We had a quick game of ‘how long can Simon stay upside down for’ and went off to the Hunters, a great little pub serving good beer in nice surroundings. I particularly enjoyed the Badger Beer merchandise everywhere!
We awoke on Saturday morning and were brought tea in bed by Gina- what a star! We had a good breakfast and set off to do Swildons Hole- short round trip. Unsurprisingly, Chris’ car broke down (in quite a major way it turns out) but after some fannying around we got to the green and were changing in the barn. Not having a clue where we were going we relied heavily on Gina and Robbie to guide the way and this they did very well. The trip was superb fun, lots of scrambling up and sliding down smooth bedding planes and slithering through 4 ducks (which were apparently unusually low). Chris A was wearing his dad’s old 6mm diving wetsuit and suffered a little with the heat and some restricted movement caused by the suit being just a few sizes too small for him but he did well not to complain!
Before we even knew it we were at sump 1 and were surprised to see a small air space! I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being face down in the cool water and floating through with eyes shut, not having a wetsuit wasn’t a problem at all as we kept moving pretty constantly. We were out after about 3 hours I think and basking in the gorgeous sunlight. The pub over the village green in Priddy turned out to sell a cracking ale called Gem and did good food which we enjoyed for dinner before heading back to the hut where we spent a good portion of the evening looking on sympathetically as Chris fiddled with his clutch… normal weekend away activity now.
All in all a great trip to a new place and one which I will definitely visit again, we have 2 more huts to try out after all!
Robbie about to enjoy a slide.
Gina coming up for air after a duck.
Lizzie ladder climbing
Chris A doing his best to look cool whilst climbing out of a tree.