Caves

Blombos Cave

What is it that fascinates people about caves?  A few weeks ago I saw the adventure movie Sanctum about some cave explorers that were on an extended expedition to Borneo that were spending weeks at a time underground.  Heavy rainfall on the surface caused flooding underground and the plot thickens as they are trapped by underground rivers that swell with heavy rainfall.  Their way of entrance and hopeful exit is blocked by underground passages gorged with water.  Let me paraphrase here, “Oh no, what are we to do?  Are we going to die down here?  It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s wet, and I want to go home, but how?  Maybe we can swim our way out, since we have our scuba equipment; anyone have a better idea?   We are all expert scuba divers,….. well……., except for her.”  I’ll let you see the movie for yourself to find out what happens.  Supposedly the movie is loosely based on a true story.  If that is true then the word loosely is getting more stretched all the time. 

I choose to see the movie.  I felt compelled to.  I like adventure movies, and I like documentaries on caves.  I also like to scuba dive.  I wanted to support Hollywood if they are going to make films such as this.  I actually liked the movie, but then again I am a sucker for these type of flicks.  I scuba dived through a cave once.  It was dark and I was not comfortable doing so.  Fortunately, my cave dive was only at a depth of 110 feet and lasted all of ten minutes.  Enough for me, I just don’t like diving in situations where I cannot come up if I chose to do so.

Caverns of Sonora

Blombos cave

I have visited a number of caves open to the public and I always enjoy the experience.  The Caverns of Sonora in southwest Texas have the most unique formations I have ever seen.  It is a small narrow passage way as the guide takes you on the tour.  I sort of like that confined felling, what I think most spelunkers experience.  That is about the extent of my desire to be a true cave explorer.  Well defined trails with someone guiding me.  However, the big one, that is Carlsbad has such large trails that you do not need a guide.  I especially enjoy Carlsbad since it has a two mile walk inside the cave as you traverse downward.  An elevator brings you back up.  It is a great family adventure.  Spelunk  is a cool word that I do not hear much anymore so I wanted to take the opportunity to use it print.  Speaking of cool words, how about Blombos Cave?

artifacts from Blombos Cave

My daughter was helping me find interesting places of adventure in Africa to place on the game board of TreasureTrove and when she found out there was a place called Blombos Cave, she insisted we include it in the game.  In reality it is an archaeological dig that investigates an early civilization on the southern tip of that continent.  It is interesting not only to archaeologists but also anthropologists.  The findings seem to indicate that one of the earliest known human settlements was located in Southern Africa.  A large stash of utensils and artifacts have created an intriguing site of exploration.

 

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