It rained all night, so we were more than a little apprehensive this morning. Last night I signed up for four tickets for the three hour "Adventure tour" and agreed twice that there was no possible way I'd ever get a refund. The guide said the park was at the end of an active logging road, whichwas scary enough without the wet conditions (in 2004 I burnt out my brakes descending a logging road at Cody Caves near Nelson BC.) But we gritted our teeth and went for it.
In the end, this was a very wide, tame logging road and we arrived early and without incident. We were greeted by our guides Kate and Nate and joined up with 4 other spelunkers. They gave us some helmets and lights - the helmet came in handy several times - and we began a 1km hike to the Riverbend Cave.
Riverbend was fantastic. We learned about how the crystals formed over thousands of years, and how they could be destroyed by touching them (our oily hands stain them grey and stop the formations from growing). Riverbend is only accessible via a guided hike and we were grateful to have the chance to go through them.
In all we toured three caves. This was not your overdeveloped cave with lights and handrails - we were scrambling over and under huge limestone boulders, squeezing through cracks and stepping across underground rivers. It was a good workout and a little spooky at times. But the whole experience was absolutely exhilarating.
The two other caves allow self guided tours but I really recommend signing up for the guided tour. Kate and Nate were experienced, knowledgeable and helpful. I wouldn't know where to start if I was on my own. Well worth the expense, and horne Lake caves is well worth the effort to check out. Go There!