Friday, March 25, 2011

Going Underground

The Summer Walking Holiday that Pyrenees Mountain Adventure offers includes a free day when there is no guided walk planned and clients can choose how they wish to spend their time. Something out of the ordinary is a trip underground caving. Inside the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Nature Park there is the Fontrabiouse cave system which can be visited. 

For those who like their cave tours a little more adventurous and athletic, there is the Aguzou Caves just outside the Park boundary.

This is less touristy than Fontrabiouse with the cave system in a much more original state. No artificial lighting has been installed. Numbers are strictly limited to preserve the fragile eco system. Group size is small and the tour takes the form of a 1.5km/1 mile underground hike.

You will need to wear the caving overalls and head torch that are provided and if you choose the full day tour, a climbing harness as well. The tour leader who will look after you is the very knowledgeable and enthusiastic Philippe.
The different parts of the cave system are aptly named: Hall of Flowers; Room of Chaos; Room of a Thousand and One Nights; Room of the Queens Crown. 

As well as an impressive display of stalactites and stalagmites,

of which there are some enormous examples,

The Minaret is 6m/25ft high

there are also some smaller, finer treasures.

Calcite Triangle

Bat Skeleton

Coral Aragonite


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