Description

I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Cango Cave South Africa

01 Gaelyn entering Tunnel of Love squeeze Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x768)

Entering the Tunnel of Love

I really enjoy crawling around underground and sliding through small holes surrounded by mother earth. Call me crazy. And yea, I know caving isn’t for everybody, especially claustrophobics. Not my problem. Just don’t take me to a crowded shopping mall.

02 Sunrise George Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x767)

After a great night’s rest at The Red House B&B in George I headed inland towards Oudtshoorn, destination Cango Cave.

03 Vineyard N12 N Outeniqua Mts Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x768)

The drive over the Outeniqua Mountains was fabulous (see previous post).

04 Cango Ostrich Farm R328 Oudtshoorn Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x862)

And the Klein Karoo is rich in vineyards and ostriches (another story).

05 Cango Cave map Little Karoo Western Cape ZA pano (1024x163)

Cango Cave offers two tours, Standard and Adventure.

06 Tight spots signs Cango Cave ZA (726x1024) (726x1024) 

Not too hard to figure out which tour I went for.

07 Cango Cave entrance Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (723x1024) 

I joined my tour group of about 20 people plus a very competent guide and we entered the 67F/18C degree cave for a 1 1/2 hour tour.

08 Throne Room Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape ZA pano (1024x576)

The cave formed in limestone deposited by an ancient sea about 800 million years ago followed by uplift 100s of millions years later.

09 Column Throne room Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape AZ (768x1024)

Artifacts like pot fragments, bone and stone points and ostrich shell beads, pictographs and hearths found at the cave opening indicate early hunter/gatherers used the cave up to 80,000 years ago followed by more modern herders.

10 Jacobs Ladder Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x766)

Walking over 200 steps on Jacob’s Ladder led us deeper into the cave beyond the typical “Standard” tour route and past some exquisite cave formations. Then the Tunnel of Love starts the challenge of squeeze as seen in the first photo.

11 Gaelyn in the Chimney Cango Cave ZA collage (1024x768)

But the Devil’s Chimney proved to be the trickiest. And some people didn’t do it and where fortunate that there as a loop back.

12 Arrow to Devil's Coffin Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x768)

After squirming through the chimney into a larger chamber I confronted an even smaller opening at the Devil’s Postbox where I crawled on my belly a couple body lengths and finally slid on my butt…

13 Gaelyn in the Coffin Cango Cave Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x768)

…returning to The Coffin, which is the beginning and end of the final circular route.

14 R328 S Little Karoo Western Cape ZA (1024x768)

This was an awesome cave and I saw a lot of places I wanted to crawl into, if it had been allowed. Yet the road called so I backtracked to the Cango Ostrich Farm where you’ll see me tangle with one of those bad boys in a future post.

12 comments:

Camels & Chocolate said...

Wow! Amazing photos of the caves! We didn't have time to go there, but we did go to Cango Wildlife Park, which was cute in its own way. People were cage diving with alligators there!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am loving all these posts on SA, I feel like I am back there visiting again - if only the weather was warmer I may be totally convinced :) Your picture of the throne room does not appear to be showing, or not on my computer! Diane

Jo said...

Amazing, Gaelyn;) I've never been inside these caves and if Grant saw your photos, he'd never take me now! Great tour! (((hugs))) Jo

Kathiesbirds said...

Gaelyn, you are a kick. I don't mind well-lighted caves but I don't think I would be crawling through those tight openings! It looks like you are crawling through a stone birth canal! Do you feel born again? :)

Diane AZ said...

You are fearless! It is gorgeous inside there, but it's hard for me to even think about crawling through tight spaces. Amazing photos!

Craver Vii said...

That's kinda neat. I think I would enjoy something like that.

Barb said...

Gaelyn - I would have had to wait outside for you!

Al said...

That looks awesome, although I'm not sure I'd be able to go through the small squeezes as I'm not a small guy!

Small City Scenes said...

Wow the cave looks amazing. I would love to go underground. It is starkly beautiful and such finds. amazing to being used 80,000+ years ago. I would do the squeeze though--well maybe. MB

Small City Scenes said...

Hi again GL,
About the new ferryboat. Actually that is one of the smaller ferries but still amazing. I think all the ferryboats are named after the first people or their tribal names. I like that too.
The ferryboats on the Edmonds Vashon run look really huge to me and the San Juan ones are!! MB

Ruth said...

Beautiful pictures. If I tried those openings I would be stuck for life. Good thing you are so slim and agile!

Firefly said...

This is a great post on the Cango Caves. When I was guiding I visited the caves very often, but I haven't been on the adventure tour in about... I can't even remember how long. I just know the last time I did it I cramped going up the Tunnel of Love and needed to be nudged and pulled to get my leg straight again. LOL>

Just for interest sake. Those fields you drove past as you went over the mountain (those with the poles and wires on the thrid photo), were hops. The climate in that valley before you hit the drier area is ideal for growing hops.

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