Wednesday, July 6, 2016
After a long drive in Morfor's new Ford, we had reached the mountains, humongous slabs of bare rock jutting into the clear blue sky, with only sparse brush covering the top halves. Villages crept up the mountains as far as the trees did, as we wended our way through an ever rising road. We'd often spot single homes far up the rock, and Morfor's would wonder how they got water up there. We spotted a structure far up a mountain, it was the entrance to the caves! The caves were flanked by the inevitable cafe and gift store. The gift store, however, was filled with minerals, far below the cost in Portsmouth, so Max picked a few choice pieces. Prices in general were cheaper than prices in the states. While we waited for the tour to begin, I tried to remember our trip here nine years ago, but surprise surprise, the details were a bit foggy. Finally we were off! After a long, man made tunnel, we stepped into the immense cavern and a sense of awe washed over us. No one spoke for a god minute. I chose not to speak at all, and try to take it all in. The beauty within was greater than any human could ever produce. Sweeping expanses of stone here, tiny bubbles of rock in this corner, a group of stalactites surrounding the hole where the bats roost, monstrous stalagmites, looking like melted rocks heaped on top of each other, but the coup de gras to me was a giant stalagmite by the side of the cave. This structure was reminiscent of early Yes album covers. Bulbous pools of rock spilled over in hundreds of tiny rock rivers to the pool below, and spilled yet again, over and over. A huge dome of rock sprouting out the side formed a helmet-like structure with many small rivers flowing down its face. All this was on the ground floor! As we walked deeper, we discovered more and more features. Up above was the natural cave entrance, the rusty gate barring it covered with graffiti. When it was time to go we climbed into the Ford and struck forth to new adventures. Maybe this blog will help me remember better this time.