Hungary 2011 - a cave diving weekend in a hydrothermal spring
Four cave dives in the dark, hidden heart of Budapest, the Cave "Molnar Janos"
The entrance to the cave is hidden between the ruins of an old Turkish thermal bath and a green, completely duck wheed covered frog pond. The cave entrance itself is locked and covered with a solid blue metal door. Climbing down few steps, you find yourself in an narrow water filled slot, leading down to the entrance restriction. Our guide was one of the early explorers - Zsolt Gyurka.
Location: Molnar Janos is located in the second district of Budapest, at the Frankel Leo ut, closed to Margit hid
Parking and DIXI chemical toilet are available and raising comfort. The gate to the entire site will be locked during the day.
Maximum Depth: appr. 90 m, exploration is still in progress
Certification: minimum Intro to Cave Diver, diving medical, DAN or similiar, no instruction allowed, certification card need for check
Accessibility/ Entrance: simple, ropes for holding stages in place
Permission: local guide required, video needs separate permission
Time Slot: daily after registration, weekends are quickly overbooked in wintertime
Filling: air, Nitrox available, we had overnight delivery from Gyurka Zsolt
Cave Structure: The cave heading west beneath the city of Budapest and expands about 5 kilometer. It remindes of a three dimensional spider web in three floors. After passing the restrictions at the entrance, rooms and halls changing between nice baryt cristal decorated rooms in black and white and clay filled tunnels .
There are two different temperature levels. The fuzzy, sulfuric surface water goes down to 10 meter depth and has 26 degree celsius in summer. Under a pretty thermocline is the fresh water area, aprox.20 degree warm.
The cave lake is connected to the surface entrance of the speleological area. For visits special permission needed.
Besides the cave lake exist some other gas filled chambers. Warning! The "air" is not breathable!
Our Dives: Using set of doubles with Nitrox 32 and 80 cft stage cylinder 32 percent we pass the entrance tunnel. In three meter depth begins a meander of "minor and major" restrictions. They are good to pass through with doubles and stages. (Be aware of a lot of clay!) We follow the main line down to about 33 meter. In some areas you find a lot of percolation. The dives times ranging between 50 and 90 minutes depending on usage of gas of your stage.
Specials: Molnar Janos was quite accurately mapped. A lot of line was deployed, guiding you through the nice and interesting parts of the cave. Air filled canisters hold the thick guide lines (10 mm static rope) in place. Huge arrows marking the exit. After some discussions we followed our very experienced guide Balazs Elteto, and were not using private markers. We were consuming only the gas of one stage, the set of doubles was for bail out. Our maximum penetration in the dives was about 400 meter, so we accepted this often used practise of gas management.
Summary: Very beautiful cave - we have to come back to see more of this!
Last but not least: Thanks Zsolt Gyurka for your great organisation, support and guiding!