Friday, March 14, 2008

WAY Down Under

FRIDAY: Up at 7 for 8am departure, breakfast with Peter, then he and Lynda dropped me off at Pete's family to meet the others. After coffee and checking out the chickens in the backyard, we divided into two cars for the ride to the Jenolan Caves. Amy Beth, Mina and I rode with Ivan, while Steve and Pete rode with Bob and his wife. Our carload had lively discussion all the way up to the top of the mountains, one part of which was Mina and I yammering on about horses we have known and loved. The other side of the mountains reminded me a lot of some parts of Colorado, and there were the horses and cattle to emphasize that similarity.

We had some time before our 11:30 tour of Lucas Cave so we had a coffe and snack before heading down under, Down Under. We also went in Oriental Cave, which was fabulous, lots of diversity and explained by a fabulous guide who clearly loves geology, the caves, and could tell a wonderful, engaging story. She reminded me of Jody Wilson in a lot of ways.

The variety of formations in the caves was spectacular, from giant shawls to crystal sheets to rippled surfaces and walls that looked like they were covered in popcorn or fuzz or any number of other textures. One woman gave an impromptu solo recital to show off the acoustics, and soon after there was a light and music show that was too short, as far as I was concerned.

Lots of up and down, and amazing to think of the early explorers swinging through there with their candles and hemp ropes and hob-nailed boots, discovering things left and right. I believe we were told the caves date back 135 million years ...

After all the spelunking, we surfaced for a late lunch and a sleepy drive back to Ivan and Margaret's house, where we played with their 2 gorgeous shepherds, Elvis and Jetta. The others left and I stayed behind until 7, when we all came back to Peter and Lynda's for a massive meal and great conversation. Ivan led last year's group to NC and, like everyone else around here, is wonderful. I can barely keep my eyes open now, so will close. Tomorrow is a day with our host families, so Peter is manning the nursery and Lynda's got all kinds of nice things planned -ciao for now!

1 comment:

linda said...

Hi Kate, I check you blog everday and have really enjoyed reading about Australia and what everyone is doing and the places they have been. It seems you have met the most wonderful people during your travels. I can't wait until you get home and finish filling us in on everything. Take care, stay safe.
Love, Mom "S"
p.s. glad to hear your eating so well :)