Thursday, 5 December 2013

Majorca - Campanet caves, part five

Today, we picked up the hire car. It was a real bargain and we had it for three days.
One place we definitely wanted to visit were some of the caves on the island, of which there are many. there are a top five, number one being the caves of Drach. We had originally planned to go there, but after reading trip advisor reports, decided on the ones at Campanet.
We got there fairly early, and made our way to the entrance.

The grounds of the caves are really well tended and rustic. We loved these wooden fences.

Trees grew over the walkway and made for a beautiful avenue.

One of the reasons we chose this set of caves as opposed to the Drach ones was that you are not allowed to take photos as Drach, also several visitors had commented on the; ‘get them in, get their money, get them out’ mentality at Drach. I was looking forward to taking pictures in Campanet, BUT the guide (who was lovely) said the management had now decided on NO photos.
Well, they're the rules, but as it didn’t say that anywhere, I felt justified in taking some after paying to go in!
These caves reminded me of some we visited in the South of France. VERY impressive from the moment you walk in. As always, there was a great story attached to how they were discovered in the not-too-distant past.
Their claim to fame were the spaghetti (or straw - very thin) stalactites. They have the best examples in EUROPE! Also, they have the longest one at four metres. They said even they couldn’t understand why it wasn’t snapping off under its own weight?

All around the caves, which were done very understated and un-commercialised, were the most impressive displays of nature at work.

It wasn’t just one chamber – the whole thing was just amazing! Left to my own devices, I could have taken HUNDREDS of pictures, and I tried to explain to the guide that THIS was one of the reasons I had come after seeing other peoples pictures, but she just shrugged and said it wasn’t her decision.

But I went on snapping anyway......... (when I dropped to the back of the group).

The lighting effects were great too.

This particular rock was known as the Buddha. (but, to me, it looks like a rude finger sign!!).

This one looked like a femur, hanging out of the ceiling.
It’s amazing to think these things have taken close on three MILLION years to form – and here we were, looking at them. The change in rainfall etc, means that a lot of the cave is now dry, but some parts still re-start the process of formation if the rain is particularly heavy, so that means things are still growing, but at a very much reduced rate.

This gallery just took our breath away, even after all the other great things we’d seen this morning.

After what we considered a terrific morning, we re-emerged into the warm daylight
We had a coffee at the little cafe in the grounds and set off towards Lluc (pronounced 'yuk'), admiring the superb scenery along the way.
The twisting mountain roads are a joy to anyone who likes to drive (puts hand up).

The road wound higher and higher until we reached the Coll De Sabatia, a great favourite with the cyclist tourists, who seem to LOVE the tortuous climbs on this island.

For some reason, I wasn’t feeling great today. As we sat in the warm sunshine, Sue let me nod off. Whatever it was, it turned out to be only a 24 hour thing, thank goodness.
We decided to call it a day and drove back to the hotel. A relaxing afternoon was called for, so we just spent it on the beach, and even had an early night!

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