Mesiu Cave in Bukit Raja - Jambi - Dhavers


Thursday, November 01, 2018

Mesiu Cave in Bukit Raja - Jambi

Chamber of Mesisu cave.
200 million years ago this place was the ocean floor. At that time, coral animals gathered into reefs. At one time a great collision between the plates of the earth lifted this ecosystem into the land. Incredible, tectonic power and making this place into hills then stood a pile of limestone named Bukit Raja.

Go to Mesiu Cave
Field pants, long-sleeved shirts, thick socks, and boots became our uniform. Today, our group of researchers is going to Bukit Raja. Bukit Raja is one of the hills in the region of Bukit Bulan. Bukit Raja was chosen because of the highest and broadest hill to be the object of research.

After breakfast, residents of Napal Melintang Hamlet were waiting by the side of the road. They are local people who will help our research. They will be guides during our trip and become people who master our research area. Without them, we don't understand anything.
Bukit Raja.

We walked along the path. Gardens, rice fields, fields, and forests are the roads that we have to travel. Our first goal is the mouth of  Mesiu cave. This cave is one of the dozens of caves in the Bukit Bulan. Mesiu cave was chosen because it was one of the samples of our research which still maintained its condition.

The distance from the transverse hamlet to Mesiu cave is about 2.3 km with a travel time of 45 minutes. The path we passed was not easy, because the contours were up and down. For residents here, they are used to this kind of terrain. For newcomers like us, we must manage our energy well.

Finally after 3 climbs and 4 derivatives we arrived at the banks of the Katari river. The small river with clear water, and fish swimming. Our boots run on the surface of the river. We walked along the river.

In the Mesiu Cave
The mouth of  Mesiu cave is still around 50 meters above us. We had to enter the bush and make a path. We must be extra careful, with the poison leave (jelatang bulan/Laportea sp). If exposed to feathers from these leaves will cause itching and burning.
Entrance of Mesiu cave,

After struggling to climb, we finally arrived. The sweat that poured out immediately turned into cold water. Out there, the temperature reaches 32 degrees Celsius. Once inside the cave, the temperature drops to reach 21 degrees Celsius.

With a headlamp affixed to our helmet into the cave tunnel. A large building with a single roof/chamber is in front of us. Hundreds of bats seemed surprised by our arrival carrying light. Simultaneously these winged mammals fly.
Chamber of Mesiu cave.

I did not linger in the cave. I immediately did my duty to study the vegetation in front Mesiu cave. I will record all the plants and identify them. I was assisted by several local residents who understood wood and plants here.

The Poisson leave/Laportea sp.

On the other hand, I glanced at other friends working with their knowledge. Geologists look cheerful with hammers that hit rock surfaces, anthropologists chat with local residents, archaeologists play brushes and magnifying glass to search for ancient objects.

Here all branches of science collaborate to create big data. To answer questions about the past, what is learned today for the future. The sound of breath that is heard and the droplets that are remembered, which is definitely our heart, body, and soul present here for science.

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