Anahulu cave brought new life to the word cavernous. Rather than tight claustrophobia-inducing passages, the deeper we went, the larger and more impressive the spaces became, lit only by the light of a single torch. After what felt like an age, we finally reached a dark pool. I had no idea how far below the surface we really were. “Swim?” the boy asked. Realising I serendipitously had my towel with me, I decided the strange opportunity was too memorable to refuse. He balanced a light the size of a toaster on a rock, and I began to carefully slip into the water.
The boy said something I couldn’t hear, and then disappeared back up where we came from. The water was freezing cold, and the small light barely pierced the cavernous dark. My ears become hyper sensitive to the sporadic sound of water droplets falling from the tip of each stalactite, and the squeaking of bats I was unable to see. In that moment, my greatest fear was the light going out, and being completely alone in a pitch-black underground lake. But I was glad my nerves didn’t completely get the better of me, for the boy soon returned, and I felt a sense of achievement when I swam back to the rocks and began the journey out.