I’d taken a break from my 54km bike ride just before the halfway point to take an extra 2km roundtrip detour up a very steep hill to see something that was worth my quadriceps nearly succumbing on the way there. The Cango Caves.
The temperature was much warmer than I was expecting – much warmer than the crevices I was familiar with at home – but then I just tell myself: “Oh right; I’m in Africa” and that always seems to be a good enough reason. It’s my Canada-fied take on their “T.I.A.” you could say, but it means the exact same thing. This is Africa.
Yes it is. And it’s freaking awesome.
The tours are guided, and it’s just as well as the jovially-humoured guide not only explains what it is exactly that you’re looking at, but offers stories as well. Stories about how they come up with the name for certain formations as well as a little history about the discovery of the chambers which, to put it quite simply, are quite big. Even claustrophobes would have been at ease.
The first chamber is more like a cathedral made all the more impressive by the acoustics when our ever-interesting guide turned out the lights and sang to us in Afrikaans. It was worth recording. I wish I did.
Instead I got pictures.
It’s hard to appreciate the magnanimity of the caves without actually being inside them, feeling like a pea in the bottom of a dumpster – a very aesthetically pleasing dumpster, that is, with natural rock formations that have been hundreds of thousands of years in the making – but it is as much the finer details as the size that makes them so intriguing. Here are a few of the shots I took that don’t and can’t do it justice…