We surfaced in Baargeld Cave.
For those reading who are already in Nadada, or are thinking of visiting, check out Baargeld Cave. Although we have travelled to more spectacular places, this is the most beautiful. Carved into the side of a huge cliff, the jungle clambering down on either side, this diamond-like blue rock inside provides more than enough illumination. Water washes around the inside in a mini lagoon no bigger than a scout hut.
One sucker on a tentacle poked above the waterline. This provided an exit for everyone on board to dive into the pleasingly warm pool. The Butter Mouse floated on the surface, dead for now.
You may know about the sound and temporal qualities of the cave, but research is no preparation for real life. You go in with all these preconceived ideas of what the echo will be like. I am sure there are plenty of scientists who have tried to work out the reason. But inside Baargeld Cave, they melt your brain.
Jean-Michel swam over to the side, and shouted his lecture. He started with a brief history of the cave, its discovery in the 1920’s, and how the first visitors thought they were under a spell.
Within minutes his words fell out of synch with his voice. Soon everything he said was ten seconds behind. The cave walls ignited around him, and shone with a blue glow. Sparks of electricity jumped between the ceiling, and though I worried about what would happen if they hit the water, none ever did.
Jean-Michel kept the crowd going with songs on a a ukulele he drew from a sling on his back. The notes on his guitar stayed in time, his voice was a good few notes behind his lips. Waves bashed against the rocks at the front of the cave, the noise following well after the next one broke away.
When sound returned to normal aboard The Kandinsky, it took a little while to adjust. Putting a mug down on the table made me jump when the knock followed directly after.
Later the squid dropped below the water, and emerged for the last time on the shoreline of the jungle. We disembarked once again, and watched our transport transform. With a huffing noise the tentacles and suckers pulled in on themselves, rolling into a rubbery ball. Fur sprouted in orange and black, and paws grew outwards in four places. Teeth and eyes emerged, with ears and tail. A roar signalled boarding time.
Off we went into the jungle.