Jenolan Caves

Crying Happy Tears

October 15, 2015

I was sitting in Jenolan Caves staff lunch room, looking for inspiration for an article. What can be more inspiring than romance?  So I asked sentimental cave guide, Geoff, to tell me his best marriage proposal story. 

His face lit up and he said, “Well, I was taking a full Lucas Cave Tour - around 60 people - and when I got to the Cathedral Chamber, that’s where I always mention marriage proposals.” 

He led the group to the immense ladder, which stretches something like 50 metres way up to the cave roof.  He said, “Many a man has climbed this ladder and popped the question, so is there anybody here who would like to give it a go?”  

He said to us, “I didn’t really expect anyone to say anything. Sometimes I pick out a couple, and I say to the guy, ‘Ladder’s open! How about you?’ But blow me down, this bloke calls out, ‘I’ll do it!’ 

“So I made way for him, and he climbed a couple of rungs up the ladder, and in front of everyone, called out, ‘Emma, will you marry me?’ 

“And I heard a voice in the crowd reply ‘Yes!’ 

“I’ve never experienced anything like what happened next.  Their 2 kids were so happy they stared jumping up and down and crying happy tears.  The couple got all teary, and when I looked around, EVERYONE was crying.  Then I started crying too!”

Something about the Jenolan Caves inspires marriage proposals. But in the course of their work, cave guides have to take such unexpected things in their stride.  So, around the lunch table, after this touching tale, other guides brought out more cave proposal stories. 

Anne said, “This young guy had let me know at the start of the tour that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend.  So, when we reached the most romantic spot, at the Crystal Basin, I gave him a ‘look’.”

Here, Anne laughingly demonstrates her ‘knowing look’, then said, “He handed me his camera so I could capture the moment.  But before I was even ready, he was down on one knee.  His girlfriend just looked irritated and said, ‘What are you doing?’. 

"And, he just gazed up and came back with the classic line, slow and with feeling, 'Darlin’, don’t ya know?’  It was just so sweet!”

Then there is the amusing story of one of our newer cave guides who had been told about the Jenolan marriage proposal phenomenon, it had not yet happened on one of her tours.  Then one day she was taking a group through a cave when a young man held out his video camera and said, “Can you take our photo?”

She assumed it was going to be the typical tourist pose, until he suddenly sunk down on one knee in front of his girlfriend. 

For the benefit of her lunch room audience, our guide threw up her hands and gave us her most dramatic look of shock-horror.  “I had no idea what was happening!”, she said. 

Years from now, when that couple views their treasured video, we hope they remember to delete these regrettable words of a very flustered cave guide, “Oh my ***, what is he ******* doing!”

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