Hitting the tourist trail

A week’s holiday from school – hooray!

Anthony has arrived from the UK for a visit.  He attempted to cut his costs by disapparating –

but unfortuntely couldn’t manage it without splinching, so had to resort to a more mainstream form of travel.

We visited the Batu Caves today – a holy Hindu site guarded by a 42.7m gold statue of Lord Murugan –

– with a large bubble machine in front giving him a bit of a disco vibe.

His backside was nearly as impressive as his front.

The souvenir shops would rival Lourdes for their imaginative reworking of religious images … no table lamps shaped liked the Virgin Mary here,

but these pictures have flashing lights all around them AND they play music.

We had to climb 272 steps to reach the main cave

which is a huge limestone cavern

with monkeys scampering around everywhere.

This one was optimistically going through someone’s old lunch bag –

but didn’t find anything to its liking.

And one particularly belligerent animal was sitting inside the shrine itself and refusing all efforts to shoo it away.

There is also the Dark Cave at Batu


– home to hundreds of bats, rare spiders and various other creepy-crawlies, so we put on hard hats, grabbed a torch and joined the tour.

Our guide showed us pictures of all the creatures we could expect to see –

and took a fiendish delight in frightening us more sensitive members of the group

We saw centipedes, millipedes, spiders and rats – but the bats were invisible, we could just hear them squeaking high up inside the caverns.  Apparently the whole ecosystem inside the caves depends on bat poo for survival, so I hope they are aware of their enormous responsibility.