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Letter From America

Sue Lord's Latest Missive With Slight Editorial Mods

Greengates School
Apparto Postal 41-659

20th March 1977

Dear B.E.C. Members (Home Section)

This letter ain’t going to be easy as a little kitten keeps attacking me and the paper keeps on flapping (in the breeze) as I lie here on the lawn, soaking up the sun.  Talking of lawns, my diary recalls that a year ago today was a Belfry working day and some of you fine fellas (I think that’s right - omitting Hannam & Co who didn't even get as far as leaning on a shovel) set about the levelling of the Belfry 'lawn' whilst I sat idly on Batstone's bike, in its days of service, doing my tapestry and occasionally making the odd cup of tea.

Anyway you'll gather that the weather's great now - too nice to go caving.  We were due to go off at 6.00 this morning for two days, but last night was the annual rugby dinner and - well, you know how it is.  Actually whilst the speeches were on we said with a sigh how different to a caving club dinner some singing whenever the band stopped - but that was the French club and I only understood the polite words! - no silly games to amuse the young and needy (? Ed).

Last weekend we had a lot of success out at Cuetzalan (the usual area in Puebla State) we get a lot of enthusiasm from people wanting to tryout this daring new sport, but our best convert by far yet is a beautiful and intelligent Mexican senorita who is over the moon about it - she is going to buy a wet suit in the D.S. at Easter (any volunteers to make up a foursome when we tackle some of the wetter caves) - anyway, last weekend we went back to my favourite find - Chicicasapan - a fair stream sinking into an impressive cliff-bottom entrance, which continues somewhat like a cross section between Swildons without its pots and O.F.D’s traversing passage, except just 3ft above the stream (guess I'd better leave the descriptive writing to Pete the way I'm rambling on).

Anyway, whilst surveying aside passage (a terrible habit we've caught from the Americans - but as there ain't no pubs here we've plenty of time for it) we found our way into our first find of old dry passage and at first glance it seems really promising - such excitement!  We are aiming to explore about a km of new passage each weekend we go - we're only working in an area of around 1sq mile and there’s enough to keep us going for another year at least yet.  Get over here some of you and help us out.

Many thanks to Chris for the letter and congratulations to the T.T.T.S. - just don't fallout with the Farmer till after we get back for our holiday next Christmas - we're really excited that the merry Mendip Hills still have the odd something up its sleeves - did anybody ever go back to Pete & Jeff’s push in G.B. or is that left till Christmas for us too?

Don't think we'll quite make Cobbett's wedding, we're planning to join with Boon and those (expletive deleted) 'hippes from Austin' as he calls them, either in Chiapas at Yo-Chip (ah well) or on the Hualtla Plateau at San Augustin which recently 'went deep'.

In the last 6 weeks we have had many visits from people going south which really cheers us up but 'bugs' the neighbours.  After getting in from a party at 3.00 am the other week, an Austin group took our 'any time' invite literally and called for ½ hour at 4-30am.  Boon amused us for 2 days and set off down south with a pot of fried beans to last him to Chiapas and £1 a week for food.  He came all the way down from Calgary with a friend in a 50 Datsun.

Good to get the December BB with the great literary masterpiece by Sue Jordan in it and we still need lots of help out here with a few English type caves (boulder chokes and pitches) which are holding us up because of lack of backup.  Come on out and see.