Saturday, 6 August 2016

Sat 6 Aug 2016. Around Skocjan Caves

Sat 6 Aug 2016. Around Skocjan Caves
Toast and baked beans for breakfast. BoyRob’s hip needs a full day’s rest so GirlRob will take the camera for company today on the cave tour, and canyon rim trek. UNESCO listed, and on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, Skocjan Caves and canyon are protected in a National Park. Gouged out by the Reka River, the system comprises numerous caves and passages, collapse dolines, natural bridges, and sinkholes. 
It’s the largest underground canyon in Europe, 100 metres deep, with a constant temperature of 12 degrees. Formal tour included 3km of steep, slippery trails, and over 500 steps. Highlights:
·         Tina Jama - silent cave, collapse chamber, gi-normous cavern on incline down.
Stalactites (Ceiling down - hollow), stalagmites (Ground up - solid), joined to make columns, pipe organs/ curtains to ground.
·         Great Chamber, hosting The Giant, an ugly bulbous monolith.
·         Great Hall, high up could see Silent Twins, stalagmites whose growth is keeping pace with each other.
·         Amazing wall hugging line high above ground around sheer edges marked by lights, surreal sight.
·         Sumeca Jama - water murmuring cave, stood on Cerkvenik bridge over Hankes Canal, a ravine water 540 mts below, water 30mts deep! A real vertigo hit!!
·         Flow stone pools, remarkably travertine in appearance, no longer active.
·         As neared Velika Dolina (collapsed doline marking the exit) couple of bats moved higher away.

Cerkvenik bridge over Hankes Canal

Flow stone pools

The cavernous  doline

GirlRob had rarely worn her Goretex hiking boots in the last two years until today – a bad move, her feet were on fire by end of tour! Hobbled up past Tominc Cave (where finds were unearthed of a prehistoric settlement) and the Big Collapse Doline and its view of cascading waterfall into pools far below.

Finally trod the last 200mtrs over a walkway near Natural Bridge to a cable elevator, where whizzed back to top for a well-deserved rest over lunch. The Karst Roll (prosciutto, olives and cheese) and hot chocolate revived her enough to tackle the final trail, the education walk along the sinkhole rim. 

The  164m deep Velika Dolina

Rising mist led to belief this was entrance to Hades

There was internet at info centre, took opportunity to look up availability of tickets for Zeppelin flight over Friedrichstrafen around our dates. Mostly single seats left, so booked double tickets immediately. BoyRob picked up his footsore but enthusiastic partner after her trek to the final viewpoint over sinkhole, village, and church. Wind picked up in arvo, very strong on open campground. GirlRob unearthed the knitting she is doing for grandson Fletcher’s first birthday.

Catching the afternoon sunshine


Replaced water in Ozzie's tanks at guesthouse, guessing its purer here from limestone karsts then some of our fill stops in recent months. Sat in our host’s charming courtyard for dinner. The son said they were hamstrung in their expansion plans – the government set number of pitches at each campground, and that the clerks who inspected the properties obviously weren't from the tourist industry. His mother was the cook, the spinach and polenta pinwheels were cute (but bland) with salad. The elderberry juice was colourless and tasteless - given the strong purple dye on the roadway from the berries we had expected something stronger. Furious wind still blowing, the cool outdoors sent us to bed early. 

No comments:

Post a Comment