Apparently this is the mother of all the caves in the region and it’s definitely not for the faint hearted, as you can see from the pictures. It consists of two caves (Ronan’s Well and Robin Hood) that links up with each other via a narrow tunnel called “The Narrows”.
In preparation for this adventure, we met a girl who is an experienced caver (spelunken). She was the first one to mention this cave and she told us that we just had to keep going straight and we could not miss The Narrows and that the average time inside the cave is about 3 hours.
Following her suggestions, we kept on going for more than two hours through some very narrow passages. We had to literally squeeze our way through, bending in some seemingly impossible positions.
As we continued going deeper and deeper into the womb, the cracks and tunnels started getting narrower and narrower. Each new crack we completed we convinced ourselves that maybe THAT one was the Narrows.
Even the chambers started getting smaller and smaller. Some could not even fit my brother and me. For the first time on this adventure, uncertain thoughts started to surface. “How sure am I that this is the way?” and the scariest of all, “Could we be lost?”
THE WAY BACK
At some point, I could not turn my head to look back, nor expand my chest to take a breath. The cave decided for us. We had to admit that we were completely lost, running out of the water and couldn’t go any further, It was time to turn back.
Two and a half hours of struggle later, we saw an orange glow ahead. Painful, bruised and tired we resurfaced back to the fresh colorful outdoors. The sun was just about to disappear behind the horizon, giving us enough light to get back to the car. Smiling out of exhaustion and relief, we made our way down the mountain and back home.
A few months later, we returned with the girl who mentioned the cave to us, and we completed it.
MORE INFORMATION ON KALK BAY CAVES:
Ronan’s Well is one of about 85 caves found in the Kalk Bay’s mountain range. Hiking up the mountain there are signs directing you to some of the more popular caves. Most of the caves are small and suited for beginners, and the hike alone is beautiful through the Cape flora with views of False Bay.
Take the train from Cape Town to Kalk Bay, then climb up to Boyes Drive and find the sign indicating Echo Valley. This will take you up the mountain with numerous signs directing routes to the more popular caves.