Actually managed an early doors start, leaving near 11:00 hours. Quick faff in Terrys Nova to see if it was still a shite one donkey town. It was. Looked at some monsters from the deep in the local river and pulled Shrimper Webb away from a spot of tickling. Then off to the cave.
Major sights of beauty included a pig-rendering plant and a load of cockring factories. Parked up in some Bill Hickey dirt road complete with rusting hickmoblies, then off to scurf south central for plenty of get some action.
Went down the cave. I'll let someone else write about it, but the precise view is that it was chocker full of mud and shite and not the prettiest cave in Portugal like those French pig dogs said.
Found the gaping hole and leapt down (rope attached) to battle the foul creatures that awaited. Gorgeous phreatic shaft led to a super-choss-fest of a vertical nature. Enjoyed rigging except for the constant shower of gravel and general shite raining down on me from above.
Algar de Gralhas 7
Steve fell for the usual PISS trick which this year played on his biggest fear, water. We spent ages winding him up about a deep lake at the bottom of the pitch in which he would have to tread water whilst he undid his Stop. After the difficulties in the Ecouge in 1999 he wasn't too happy about this and demanded his muckers find a solution. Into our head popped a cunning plan to fit him with water wings, thus rendering him bouyant whilst he thrashed around unclipping his descender. He fell for it hook, line and sinker, but took it very well !
The shaft popped out into a large chamber well decorated with big stal. Various passages led off so Thuggo and I had a look down the biggest and most obvious. Very pretty indeed, until the call came from Bloomster that Webbo had found some mud for us to crawl around in. Apparently it led on to caverns measureless, so SRT kits off for top thrutching action. The crawls led to some prettyish chambers, nothing stunning though, certainly not worth missing the Lomba for !!!
Whilst waiting for the others to prussik up the shaft Webbo and I went for a look down the passage Olympio the Portuguese cave beard told us was death on a stick. In fact we found a big old passage full of mud with a very white ceiling.
The cave was right next to a quarry which blasted everyday at 6pm, thus at 5.40 when I was still at the bottom I thought it might be a cunning plan to get out. So, I pussiked and de-rigged at top speed, but found myself 10m or so short of the top when the blast went off ! Fuck me !! What a big bang, especially scary when hanging on a 10mm thick bit of nylon.
Back at the ranch all was quiet. The five brave PISS boys were well and truly creamed after the monster mud fest. In the boots of our cars lay the fetid piles of batter coated kit. We sat heavy in our seats just able to sip our tea and chew on some bolting bread. Then it came..............
The knock on the front door confirmed our worst fears. Yes, we were having another uninvited visit from Mad Bob McMad who had luckily brought Christine and CJ with him. Bob crashed he way in " Alright mates?," he bellowed. Not anymore thought the Pendle boys. Seeing that we were eating Bob quickly rolled one of his stinking roll-ups so as to blow smoke over us.
"Wot, no drinking on the go", cried Bob, making a big "glug, glug" gesticulation with his gnarled darkie killing hands. Being polite chaps we gave the old soak some vino and tucker and let him persuade us to buy him and his family a 15 course chicken dinner at the local inn, instead of letting us have nice restful final dinner together.
What follows is the scribbled memory of a tired and hungover man. It was a night of madness, but none more mad than the thoughts of batty Bob.
At the bar Webbo senior played it like a wise man and sat on a table with Christine, shop keeping/villa owning combo Lourdes (dressed in a Frank Spencer outfit) and Miguel, all of whom were capable of adult conversation.
Stevie "Big Moaney" Bloom, Weaner, Victorian Dan and I got the pleasure of sitting next to the mutton chop loon. As the beers were scuppered Bob regaled us with some of the following:
1). After telling Bob about bats in Portuguese caves Bob retorted with an anecdote from Africa (for a change) where he invented a sport of playing tennis with giant fruit bats. Apparently the buggers would get in to his house when he left the door open, so Bob would go round and twat them with a tennis racket cos bats can't see the grid. If you hit them hard enough their heads go right through. Weaner pointed out that perhaps he should have shut the door, but Bob pointed out, "Well they choose to come in...." Oh and cricket bats are no good. They're better for dispatching darkies by hitting them under the left ear.
2). Africans heads are so thick that bullets from Bobs rifle wouldn't pass through them.
3). That we'd better ask Miguel to open up his local shop (at around midnight) to sell us some port as there are no shops of any sort at Lisbon International Airport.
4). When he shoots - he shoots to kill.
5). How he had to pump 7 shots into some africans who stole his chickens, but they wouldn't die so he sent his rifle back to be checked. Normally he can hit any target from up to 1000m away.
6). The best way to stop a snake from attacking you, cos the buggers will hunt you down, is to put your hand out in a "stop" motion. That way they can't get their fangs in.
7). How when he was out in Angola he was shot at so went over the border to fight the bloke who tried to kill him. When asking Steve if he was out in Angola, Steve replied "No Bob, but I read about in a newspaper..............."
It all got a bit beery and blurred, but I'm sure that we sang out little hearts out for no particular purpose. Dan played entertaining tunes on the gui-tar, Steve drank and ate crisps continually and we were utterly pissed if I'm honest with you dear reader. Because of the very strict drink drive laws in Portugal we pushed the car home. In a clever ploy we spent a further hour cleaning the house, singing cheerfully to keep our spirits up. A few hours kip and round came buggerluggs Bob to rifle through our bins and steal the tip we had left for our hosts. I felt we should have left a bigger tip for Lourdes, who kindly spent most the evening fondling my leg and flashing her gypsy eyes at me.
After such a hectic night it was a nightmare packing and getting ourselves to Lisbons shop-less airport for our 11am flight. We all drove to Departures and dumped the kit leaving Bloomster on guard, not a good idea as he tends to wander off in a complete daze, and returned our cars. Thankfully there wasn't a tyre tread inspection on our car, as we had stripped them somewhat with our entertaining handbrake turns.
Cheap port and fags were purchased in the airport shops and an uneventful flight home saw the PISS 2001 boys back on home soil, knackered and muddy, with plenty of minging kit, but happy.