Examining the pit

« June 2008 »

Even with the added light from the window it was impossible to see how deep the pit was. There was a short, circular ring of stones around the mouth.

"That wouldn't be very useful at night if you were moving fast," commented David.

Mark was busy unzipping pouches trying to remember which one he had put his flashlight in the night before. Soon he found it and rejoined David. The light it produced also failed to reach the bottom.

"I vote we sleep in this room so I can go exploring while you poke the hole a couple more times."

"OK. I want to see if we can get any water from this. It can't be too deep."

With a comment about letting him know how far the pit dropped, David picked one of the room's three doors and left to explore the rest of the temple.

This time he moved considerably slower admiring the vast size of some of the rocks on the temple's outer wall. Most of the inner rooms were separated by walls of smaller stones, though equally as well cut. No two stones looked alike and it was a testament to the creativity of the builders. Occasionally there were the remains of a wooden wall that was added later and had been eaten away by insects. There were cobwebs and David wished he had brought his walkingstick but wasn't quite willing to go back for it just yet.

One of the rooms he came into had a bathtub with water running through it. The mineral deposits left behind made it look rather unattractive, but the existence of that room surprised David. It only took a couple seconds to realize there must be places to get cleaned up and to refresh oneself even in a temple such as this. The running water reminded him of the two cheetahs at the entrance and he resolved to find where the water came from.

That search ultimately turned out to be difficult as the pipes ran under the floor, so David returned to collect his walkingstick before exploring outside. He now knew he would have a nice, cold bath later on, so what was a little more sweat?

As he entered the room, Mark was just pulling a rope out of the hole in the floor with a decent-sized rock on the end. He had used a Monkey's Fist to secure it as a weight and had probably gotten the rock from outside. "You are enamoured by that -- is it a well? -- aren't you?"

"I can't figure out how deep it is. Dropping rocks doesn't make any sound. This," he said kicking the rope, "didn't tell me anything."

To be fair, there was a pile of wood to be burned in the room which indicated that Mark hadn't taken the entire time trying to learn the hole's depth. Not that a fire was necessary for warmth, but it was nice to have some of the food heated up. David pulled a short blowgun from his pack before grabbing his walkingstick.

They had joked that the blowgun was in case they met up with the natives -- that they needed a way to have a good gun battle. In reality they both knew that if they came upon one of the many jungle tribes that they would be easily outnumbered. The blowgun was really for catching food since it was impossible to carry enough for their month-long trek.

"Well, I'm going back outside and I'll try to find a sap-covered stick that you can light and drop into your pit. You're welcome to come, but then again you really should see this place."

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