Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Potholer Rambling

Today we did some potholing. Same town as the train, but out a bit. It's called a 'gouffre', and the entrance consists of a wide gaping hole on the top of a cliff. Having parked the csr at the bottom of the cliff, we walked up the steps to the entrance (on the outside of the hill), paid our 9.50 euros and then climbed down the 450-odd steps (metal, very steep on the inside of the pothole) down to the bottom of the open bit. Thence down Agee more steps along a cave, and finally, in the total dark, but for a few lights, at the water's edge. When it was our turn, we hopped into our boat (dinghy-sized, flat-bottomed) with 8 other people (including the ferryman) along this amazing underground river. Water had been falling around us (and sometimes on us) in curtains. Some wetness on us, but no discomfort. The water in this river was a cool 12 degrees and as clear as a really clear thing (it was really clear). Stelagtites everywhere, including a really huge one that had a name. A French name. Cannot remember the name.

The ferryman handed us over to another guide at the end of the river, who took us for a walk along, up, down, in and out of the risty-twisty caverns and then back to the boat. While the ferryman made a good attempt to inform those of us who only had English, the guide made no such effort. When I commented on this to Dear Jude, the French lady sitting in the boat next to Jude said that his French commentary was indecipherable to her, so there was no reason to feel left out. To his credit, this young-ish (35-y-o?) guide spoke in a most animated way and when I was at the front of the group, made sure that I caught his eye and nodded and laughed in all the right places. At least I made HIM feel happy! No tip from any of us four, though.

Appazzas there are creatures living down there: a blind shrimp and a teeny-tiny crustacean (2mm) that you couldn't see, even if you could see it. Which we didn't. There were also some little ferns growing, but only directly under the artificial lights that enabled us to see in this otherwise pitch-black environment.

Another fabbo Ramble, believe you me!

So long for now!

The Ramblers


  1. ???????????????
    finding it hard to follow this one.....
    well only the bit that starts with "you walking up Elizabeth and Pierre.....
    Are they reading this blog?????
    Were u cut and pasting or just trying to see if I'm concentrating and hanging on your every word?? which of course I am

  2. I agree.. regarding who's request??
    who are you inviting to my home of all homes and hearts?

  3. You are quite right! There is a response to a request for a house exchange that I had copied. It has inadvertently been copied into the blog. Can you fin the feral insert and then ignore it? That would be great, and much more forgiving than I deserve. Sorry, I shall seek out a way of eliminating the irrevant material. Many thanks to Graz and Georga!

  4. Edits completed! Should be OK now.

    Abashed Rambler