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Report - Les Catacombs Paris - 21st to 23rd November 2008 (Manhole Entry)

sixxfingers

Original Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Myself and Tims set off from a £48 return flight with Ryanair from East Midlands and Oxygen Thief & Madmax set off from Southampton, hitting Paris at the same time around lunch on the Friday.

Some obligatory kissing of cheeks as we all met at Gare du Nord Station, a quick change of clothes, time to fill the stomachs with energy and we are off... Onto the Metro to a rumored entry point that we had not used before! After confirmation, it was true... My first Manhole entry to the Catacombs! I couldn't wait!!

We kitted up in broad daylight, with a few strange onlookers... checking out this foreign legion who walked the streets wearing waders! A plan was quickly hatched (excuse the pun) and we briskly walked round the corner to our new found entry point...

One by one... we were in like bullets being load into a gun... Dropping in turn quickly down the 30m shaft. Decending into the darkness that becomes 'Les Catacombs'.
Looking up the shaft, you feel as if you are kissing goodbye to the world... and for that next period of time - you are. We stashed our civvies in an alcove within the rock, re-organised our back packs... and we were off. Heading South, this time off the map towards some amazing new stuff I hadn't seen before.

We took it quite a few of the usual sights as it was Tims Catacomb virginity being lost here. Including Val De Gras, The German Bunker, a few ossuaires (bones), a lot of rooms around Bezance... a couple of top of the wader water trama's that where so so close in disaster! Also meeting up with a group of very young French lads who were attempting it for the first time... with a a couple of torches, trainers and a clipboard and a black piece of paper - drawing there route on the way!! Stopping only when we had to to take on board food and water. This trip OT had found some great new crawls, which were to say the least... very tight! Including a nice short-cut into Val De Gras.

All in all... you cant beat the Cata's for that ultimate explore... It has everything all rolled into one.
Climbing, post-holing, tunnels, rooms, secrets, art, water hazards, history, danger, excitement... the list goes on and on! I could never get bored of this place and constantly want to go back for more! Plus you can stay as long as your body can take it, sleeping there is an experience in itself... and has to be done.

The Catacombs have to be done... and if you haven't done it yet - you must!


ENJOY A FEW OF THE SHOTS...

Not Specified...
One of the shafts up to the surface...
IMG_3352.jpg


Porte D'Arcueil
Checking the map...
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A Southern Aqueduc
The Inspectors Stairs...
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A Southern Aqueduc
The Inspectors Coat Hooks...
IMG_3309.jpg


A Southern Aqueduc
The Inspectors Plaque...
IMG_3319.jpg


A Southern Aqueduc
The Inspectors Plaque...
IMG_3313.jpg


Salle Page
The now vandalised statue...
IMG_3295.jpg


Lanterns
Tims takes a few shots...
IMG_3290.jpg


Le Plage
Setting up...
IMG_3328.jpg


Le Plage
OT takes five...
IMG_3332.jpg


Le Plage
The Beach...
IMG_3336.jpg


Bezance
A bite to eat...
IMG_3343.jpg


Bezance
...and a chance to shoot some of the amazing artwork...
IMG_3348.jpg


Escalier de la Sante
A view of the class grate under the Paris Streets...
IMG_3355.jpg


Tombe De Philibert Aspairt
Reading the Map...
IMG_3359.jpg



MORE TO FOLLOW...

That was just for starters! I treat this trip as more of an explore than a photography trip... plus the chance to get to know more of the French who make the Cata's there home. Oxygen Thief and Paulo999 on there many trips over the last few years have made a great bond with quite alot of these guys... So after our trip from Friday afternoon till Saturday afternoon we where invited to a secret location on the outskirts of Paris to meet up with some of the top catafhiles in an abandoned quarry!!

All we had was a time, a grid reference and a clever way of finding the location within this quarry under a part of Paris. After half an hour of following the information we had been given... using our torches in the blackness of this vast place. We all turned a corner... and in the distance down this huge passageway, you could see orange light and the soft sound of music. But as you approached the music became louder, there was a smell of food cooking on the bbq, candles where on on the surrounding rocks, laughter the much needed smell of beer... and most of all the very warm welcome we got given by the Catafhiles that have such a passion for the Catacombs!!!

It was like the ultimate explorers piss-up... and these guys made us seem so welcome! Many thanks to you all... you know who you are!!
And after many stories over many, many beers and some great food, some wild antics... it really finished out weekend off to a tea!!

Many thanks again to OT & Paulo for organising the weekend again and a massive thank you to the French guys too... Ox, Rug, Dirty Skeme, The Technician, Jo, Slonge, Nomad, Ount and many others - Thank you.
 

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