Legend says that in a battle between two tribes, one succeeded in trapping the other in a narrow spot and killing all the warriors from this tribe and threw their bodies in a cave. So many lives were lost that nobody in those days had a system to count them. So the cave was given the name of a tree with supposedly 500 leaves, the highest number known, hence being called The Cave of 500 Leaves or Rimarau Cave.
There again, the tour started with a short trek through the amazing Makatea. This time, we were more cautious and covered ourselves with insect repellent and actually successfully kept the mosquitoes away.
After passing through the thick jungle, we reached a huge mound of fossilized corals with a giant Banyan tree on top hugging the rock. Even when we had climbed up, we only saw the extremely narrow entrance after the guide pointed it out: it was hidden among the tree’s many airborne roots.
We slid into the cave with a ceiling full of small stalactites, so we carefully watched our heads. Inside the guide pointed his flashlight at a few skulls and bones in various corners which were not spooky at all. The guide explained that the water entering the cave eventually will wash all the bones into the deeper abyss of the cave, hence the little number of bones remaining.
The inside was interesting but the best part of the excursion was the hike to get there and disappearing into this tiny entrance.