Friday morning Mike caught this sweetheart helping herself to the birdseed.
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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.
After a great night’s rest at The Red House B&B in George I headed inland towards Oudtshoorn, destination Cango Cave.
The drive over the Outeniqua Mountains was fabulous (see previous post).
And the Klein Karoo is rich in vineyards and ostriches (another story).
Cango Cave offers two tours, Standard and Adventure.
Not too hard to figure out which tour I went for.
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.
The cave formed in limestone deposited by an ancient sea about 800 million years ago followed by uplift 100s of millions years later.
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.
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.
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.
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…
…returning to The Coffin, which is the beginning and end of the final circular route.
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.
After staying over night in George at The Red House B&B (see previous post) I was off early to Cango Cave (will post about that soon).
The drive away from the coast into the Outeniqua Mountains was spectacular as I headed towards Oudtshoorn.
Outeniqua is said to be derived from a Khoisan tribe that once lived in these mountains and means "they who bear honey".
Sure was a sweet drive.
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Knysna, which lies in the heart of the Garden Route nestled in between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, looks like a town to shop in. The sidewalks outside all the boutique-looking stores were crowded and parking limited. Instead I went for scenic overlooks.
I wound my way along the Knysna Lagoon and ended up at the Lower Eastern Head overlook at the mouth of the Knysna River.
Wandered out on the rocks enjoying the sun’s warmth and the crashing waves.
A little path called me…
…for a view of the lagoon and light house.
This deep and narrow channel through which the sea pours in claimed the three-masted barque “Paquita” after her anchors fouled twice in 1903 and now the wreck draws scuba divers.
Next I followed a twisting road up to the top of the sandstone cliff and Upper Eastern Head overlook.
Across the channel on the Western Head is the privately owned Featherbed Bay Nature Reserve. Access is by boat or train to the restaurant and resort with hiking trails to the beach. Looks like a place to carefully watch the tide.
The last fully operational steam train in South Africa, the Choo-Choo, has provided views of the coastline and hidden valleys inaccessible by car as it chugs across the Knysna Lagoon and beyond for 42 miles (68 km) since 1928.
The Knysna Lagoon is home to the world’s only estuarine seahorse species but they’re so tiny you’re unlikely to spot one even diving.
Other adventures called so I continued west along N2…
…to George where I spent the night at The Red House B&B to rest up for the next day’s caving and more. Future post.
Me & Carson in Vicksburg, AZ 12/04
I’ve been living on the road in some sort of RV for 14 years now.
Carson in San Benito, TX 4/05
Most of you know I’ve just bought the newest and nicest RV of my life. And I’m loving it.
Mancos, CO 7/05
Yet it’s not easy to say goodbye to this old girl.
Carson in Yarnell, AZ 10/05
She’s taken me many places in the last six years.
Cave Junction, OR 4/06
Not new by any means. This 27 foot 1977 Wilderness has covered some miles.
Originally from Oregon, I had someone rebuild the inside to my specs.
I made it my own by covering the walls and flat spots with my
Yarnell, AZ 2/08
I learned how to hook up to her alone. OK, there may have been some swearing.
I never really learned to back up very well. But there’s a lot to be said for going forward.
Yarnell, AZ 11/08
I fixed plumbing leaks and finally paid to replace the water heater. In fact that job introduced me to Mike.
Yarnell, AZ 4/09
And we both lived in this small space five months last summer.
Grand Canyon NP North Rim 5/10
Now as much as I’ve grown comfortable I’ve also been looking to upgrade for several years. Guess now the time was right.
What next? She’s been bought by a neighbor who plans to make her into an art studio. I look forward to seeing this transformation.
And I really enjoy the view now that she’s gone.
In the bottom of the Grand Canyon along the main corridor rim-to-rim trail Bright Angel Creek joins the mighty Colorado River.
Taken on Grand Canyon hike 11/28/10
In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell named the clear waters of Bright Angel Creek in contrast to the muddy Colorado River and a tributary upstream he’d named the Dirty Devil.
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