Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The beauty in the darkness.

There's nothing like a bit of time spent inside 100 million year old caves created from an ocean which existed 400 million years ago, to give you some perspective.  

We saw rocks that fell a million years ago.  

A tree that was wedged in a flood 100 years ago.  

When we're gone, the rocks will still be there, and so will the tree.  

The caves are so beautiful.  They are artfully lit, cleverly illuminated for spectacular effect.  Yet they sit in pitch darkness most of the time.  

All that beauty, sitting in the dark.  Forming over aeons.  Drip by drip.  

When the local farmers first explored the caves in the late 19th century, they did so with candles and magnesium flares.  I'm surprised they didn't all take a long drop into the creek bed.  

These days there are ladders.  Plenty of them.  Ladders up, and ladders down.  Rusty old ones and sparkling new stainless steel.  

Ladder full of cave explorers.
Sarah took multitudes of photographs.  Like, millions.

Sometimes we had to squeeze through narrow spaces and duck through low tunnels.  Not so great for the claustrophobes among us.  

And then, we'd find ourselves in enormous caverns.  Fifty metres tall.  Stalactites and Stalagmites galore, shawls, straws, columns.  After three tours in two days, we were up with all the jargon.  

Time has a different meaning in the caves.  And so does beauty.  Profound aren't I?