I am thrilled to be able to bring you this Let’s Phlog Monday post after such a long Monday Phlogging hiatus.
Last weekend I had the good fortune to visit the Wombeyan Caves. A large network of limestone caves, the Wombeyans are located in the Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, about a 3 hour drive south of Sydney. It includes the Fig Tree Cave, which is generally known as the best self-guided cave tour in New South Wales.
The trip was made more exciting because it was totally spontaneous. A friend and I had been in the area for coffee and decided to use the afternoon to explore. After seeing a turnoff with a sign that the Caves were sixty six kilometres away, we decided to do the Thelma and Louise thing and just go for it (without the death plunge, of course). A mere two hours later we arrived after braving the (unbeknown to us) winding unsealed road. The drive was well worth the effort.
We chose to take a ranger guided tour through the Junction Cave, which is known for its colours, flowstones and shawl formations. There we met the Mango. John Mango was our ranger guide and he made the cave come alive. There are some people you meet and you can’t help but admire the passion they have – this was The Mango, a ranger of twenty years experience in the area who clearly had an affinity with nature and the beautiful formations that lay before our eyes. The Mango’s enthusiasm and dramatic (almost poetic) commentary gave the afternoon another dimension. Better yet, we had The Mango to ourselves as we were the only tour participants that afternoon.
As we wandered through the cave, The Mango played with the lighting to create the most dramatic effects. Looking at the structures, I marveled at how unique magnificence can be built drop by drop with patience and perseverance. All around me there were new stalactites and stalagmites forming, and reaching for each other. The drop before supporting the drop that would come after. And when the two “ites” meet a column would be formed. Mites and Tites reaching out to each other willing to connect.
One of the most magnificent formations was a large shawl, nicknamed, streaky bacon grandma shawl. The colours were amazing along with the horizontal layering effect. Each layer representing change in the morphology above the ground.
The area and the caves certainly had a mystical quality to them and we will be back to explore them further.
Drop by Drop
All of these were taken with a smartphone camera, no flash.
Have you ever headed off the beaten track on a whim? Do you prefer sponteneity in your advertures or would you rather pre-plan everything?
21 thoughts on “Let’s Phlog Monday: Patience and Persistence To Reach Magnificence”
I really believe the best experiences come from unplanned journeys. These pictures are amazing.
I share the same belief. You just never know where a road will lead.
Spontaneous experiences seem to work out the best, don’t they? Love the pictures and the commentary.
They certainly do. There’s something quite exciting about the feeling of being an intrepid explorer 🙂
Wow! I have missed your pictures, they are beautiful! I admire anyone who goes into a cave… I would love to, but am so claustrophobic I know I could not do it. As for adventures, I love spur of the moment adventures, they are the best! Thanks for this post and for showing me the beauty of a cave as I will never go into one freely… DAF
Thanks DAF, I’m glad I could bring them to you.
In my younger days I’ve done many of those spontaneous adventures. Not so much these days since we stay home a lot and my wife doesn’t so in so much for off the cuff trips. I’ve sneaked a few in on some of our road trips and she’s usually enjoyed them.
I love going into those big open to the public caverns. Fascinating. I’d love to see those you went to.
We are very fortunate in that we have several sets of large public caves quite close to home. Every school child has a trip to one of them at one point or another. I’m trying to teach my children to have a sense of adventure. Sometimes I just bundle the family into the car and just head off to see where the trip takes us. Everytime, we have ended up laughing and connecting and making memories.
I must admit that spontaneity is not one of my strong suits so I do like to plan trips away but not to the minute. My husband and I take turns on organising weekend getaways so that it is a surprise for the other half. I must admit that I get a little nervous not knowing what is in store but we always have a brilliant time together.
What a great idea about the alternate weekends. I bet you’re up for some great experiences. As I age, I appreciate spoteneity more and more 🙂
I love spontaneous trips, and have been known to drive hours on a whim for no particular reason.
Same… love the open road, listening to music and discovering new places.
I love spontaneity and I think I might start planning some into my schedule.
I hope you’re using pen for your calendar entry and not pencil 😉
I’m claustrophobic, but I have explored several caves. This one sounds marvelous, and the pictures are gorgeous. I especially love the bacon shawl, being big fan of bacon and shawls 😉
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
Ha ha Tina! Bacon and Shawls do have much to recommend them, especially together. One should always be suitably dressed for bacon 😉 Thanks for swinging by ahead of the Challenge, will stop by your place to check out your Challenge posts in April.
This is so cool. I am glad you did not end your journey like Thelma and Louise. Love the adventure and pictures. You get several ‘atta girls’ for this trip. Well done. BTG
Thanks BTG, as I get older I am learning the true value of a trip like this and of people whose company enhances the experience. Loved every minute!
I should also say I have a whole drawer full of head scarves for more Thelma and Louise moments. One day, I’m going to even have a moment in a convertible!
wow–gorgeous cave. I too love spontaneous explorations. You never know what surprises are in store for you. Thanks for sharing this adventure of yours.
I love adventures, hope to share many more… now, to find the time to have them. But now that my kids are gowing up, there is a whole world of adventures out there just waiting to had! By the way, I love your theme for the Challenge. Can’t wait to read your posts in April.