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Report - 4 days and 3 nights in the Paris Catacombs

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Oxygen Thief, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Sick has covered some real good detail in his report so I'll just do a lazy version. No surprises there.

    Did the usual Eurostar / Paris / Gare du Nord / Porte de Orleans thing. Found a dirt cheap hotel to crash in for the night...

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    ...and did our last minute beer, water and food shopping, and finally packed the bags ready for the next day.

    The first evening we met up with Rug and his friend, had some beers and a 'monkey brain', and not much sleep.

    Day One.

    The next day we were up early, and within no time we were at a regular entrance to the GRS - "Great Southern Network" - 300KM of tunnels under Paris. I've been here a lot, twenty something times, and it was Sicks second trip.

    Waders and helmet on...

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    ...a bit of a walk, and we were in.

    The first thing was to hide a bag with the food and drink for the last two days. No problem. We then headed South to the Passe Murraille. It's been damaged again, and somebody has sympathetically wrapped a bandage around him, it's quite symbolic...

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    A bit of a root around in the South, and we found an exit into another small network, Le Vanne Aqueduc...

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    It must have been a mile or so long, it took us half a day to explore it. This took us totally by surprise. We left our bags in the middle of a gallery - an hour away - because we simply had no idea it would be this big.

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    On getting back into the GRS, I looked at the map and saw the name of the district we had just been to, and errr, as if by magic pulled a map of it from my bag. Remarkably we had explored all but one gallery and missed nothing.

    The highlight was without a doubt the main stairwell for the inspectors...

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    ...complete with coat hooks, and the most amazing enamel plaque, the likes of which I hadn't seen before, but will soon see two more of.

    There was a well made room with carvings as well that was notable...

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    After leaving Le Vanne, we checked a few galleries in the South...

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    Plan B lol...

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    and ended up in Viandox, looking at the bones...

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    Then we headed West, to see if we could connect with another district. We couldn't, but I did get these pics through a hole in the locked manhole...

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    Well it's getting on now, and we move to Cellier to sleep...

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    Our room for the night...

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    This was the first time I had used pitons, usually it's Paulo that can be seen smacking his head as the piton comes out of the wall. This time it was to be us, two of us hanging on one piton...

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    ...no dramas though, it held up for the 12 hours, a solid nights sleep after a solid days work.
     
    #1 Oxygen Thief, Mar 18, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: 4 days and 3 nights in the Paris Catacombs - REPORT

    Day 2.

    Got up late, but we needed the sleep. Time means nothing here. It's always dark, and the natural rhythm can kick in if you let it.

    This day we're doing the East and the South East.

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    We looked in the basement of an old brewery...

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    We were able to walk around inside the old storage vats, wtill painted with a rubbery waterproof compound...

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    Onto a few other things, including the Library, burned again, we spent a few minutes cleaning it up...

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    Hmmm, what next. Mine Office, Minerolagy office, Class gallery...

    There's a new one...

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    but this is my favourite...

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    Moving on...

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    The Human Bomb room...

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    Next, to Montsouris, the BDM and KCP rooms, some old galleries with nice arches...

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    Well, we had done OK for time, so we decided to get out of Montsouris (it wasn't going to be great for sleeping in anyway) so we headed back for a resupply from the stash bags, and then a wander up North...

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    Tonight, our bed would be in the Pi room, in the centre of the network.

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    More beers, and some Cuban Jazz set the night off. Chilled. and Chilly.
     
  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: 4 days and 3 nights in the Paris Catacombs - REPORT

    Day 3.

    The North. We were well placed after a good day yesterday. We walked up to Carrefour des Morts district, a bit of a navigate in the lower levels, then on to the Feast Room...

    "Doing an Alias"...

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    Strange, we weren't even in the slightest bit phased by reading the map next to half a skull and a pile of longbones...

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    The the hard work began. We went to the far North West of the GRS, and then, right over to the East, to Salle Z and Feullantines shelter...

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    and then, up to the North, to eventually meet Rug and Co. in Montparnasse Shelter.

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    We weren't expecting much from the so-called Flag Room. But when we stepped out of the narrow tunnel, into the largest highest gallery we saw all trip, we were blown away.

    Two mint French flags and another large enamel plaque on display, but not showing off. It sums up the Paris experience for me. sadly, my pics don't do it justice...

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    We still had 3 or 4 hours to spare, and we were flaked, so we just found a tunnel and went to sleep on the concrete floor. And woke up 45 minutes later, freezing and uncomfortable. we had to keep walking to keep warm, so we went to see the Montparnasse shelter aka 'The Asbestos Room', FFS.

    Some funky graf...

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    At the bottom of the stairs, the aircon pipes...

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    At the top, here's the inlet and the pump...

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    Also, we could see out to the adjacent building, and a restaurant over the road...

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    Had a nose around, and waited for Rug. Clang ! and a manhole opened and closed, and some cataphiles turned up, and later on the same again and Rug turned up, with beer supplies!

    And just when we thought the night was over, we found it had only just begun.

    Beer and chat in Montparnasse...

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    We decided to sleep in Anschluz for the night, and went to see a few things on the way, in particular a very old part of the network in the North.

    First though, a bitch of a crawl...

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    and then Rug beasting the fucking life out of us. I admit by this time I was on reserves, physically at least. Mentally I was just drunk.

    Anyway, at last, Anscluz. Bonus - nobodies using the hammock mounts and it's quite quiet.

    Rug...

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    Rug said his farewells and we went to bed.

    Day 4.

    Only one thing to do today, and that's get the hell out of this place. Snag is, we're in the far North of the network, and we want to be in the far South. We didn't hang around though, no scenic routes, no sand crawls (we did that a previous day) however we still didn't get out until late afternoon.

    Next, back to GdN for a shower, steak, beer, food poisoning and finally, the Eurostar home.

    And it still hadn't ended. A quick bus journey from St Pancras and we were at Paulos, and ended up talking bollocks whilst destroying a bottle of Port. Thank you Sir.

    Finally...

    A big thanks to Sick, for making this work, and being cool down there. Mission impossible, possible.

    Rug, the usual top man.

    The other cataphiles, for the chat, beer, smokes, good times, and info.

    and Paulo, for letting us stay on Sunday.

    ...and anyone else who made this possible... thanks !
     
    #3 Oxygen Thief, Mar 18, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
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