This post has been written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt. You can take part by following this link: https://scvincent.com/2017/03/16/thursday-photo-prompt-deep-writephoto/
Silly Willy visits the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn
We set off. We had to climb down some steps to get into the first cavern called van Zyl’s hall. I stopped in surprise when we walked into this cavern. It was enormous! Even Willy stopped talking and stared and stared. The guide said that the hall is over 90 metres long, 50 metres wide in some places and between 14 and 18 metres high. Dad is 1.62 metres high so that is really high. It was warm in the caves which surprised me, I thought it would be really cold down under the ground, but it wasn’t. There was a funny smell which I didn’t like. Our guide said that the smell was because there were bats living in the cave. I was worried, I don’t like bats and I didn’t want to walk into any. Dad said that bats are nocturnal. This means that they sleep in the day and are awake at night – thank goodness.
The guide told us that this cave was named after a local farmed called Jacobus van Zyl. People thought that he had discovered the caves in the 1770’s. He also said that there were no records of someone with that name living in the Oudtshoorn area at that time so it is a myth. As we walked through this massive hall, the guide switched on the lights as we moved forward and switched off the lights behind us. I made sure I walked quickly and stayed with Dad, I didn’t want to be left in the dark. I hoped that Mom was watching Willy. The guide told us that during the 1960’s and right up to the 1990’s classical music concerts where held in this big cavern. It was found that the heat of the people’s bodies and the carbon dioxide from their breath was damaging the stalactites and stalagmites. People were also breaking off some of the rock formations and taking them as souvenirs so the concerts were stopped. I play the piano and thought it sounded really fantastic to play in an amazing place like this.
We moved on and came to a thick column of rock called Cleopatra’s Needle. It was so wide that Mom and Willy could stand side by side in front of it to have their photograph taken. Dad also took some photographs with Mom, Willy and I standing in front of this rock formation. The guide said that Cleopatra’s Needle is nearly 10 metres tall and took 150 000 years to form. The Cango Caves were formed over 20 million years by rainwater seeping through tiny cracks the limestone belt where they are found. The rainwater eventually dissolved the limestone and the caves appeared. I thought that was incredible – 20 million years, I can’t even think of such a big number.
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