Monday, November 29, 2010

spelunking in minerve

on one of our days off during our stay at the chateau, our hosts let us borrow a car and take a day trip to the tiny cliffside village of minerve.  this fortress village rests at the edge of the gorges du brian overlooking a section of the river cesse just before it tunnels underground.  the water was well below the surface by the time of our visit, enabling us to walk through the enormous cave that is open at both ends.

the stone buildings of the town are almost indistinguishable from the cliffs

we found a little goat path that ran along the incredible gorges du brian

jenny standing in front of the entrance to the cave where the river cesse cuts beneath the rock.  during this time of year the water runs below the surface but at other times visitors would not be able to explore the cave without getting a little wet. 

though the cave is open at both ends, it is nearly pitch black inside
luckily we had head lamps with us and were able to do some exploring

this photo is taken using flash so in reality this area is very dark.  there were little caves branching off of the main chamber that could only be reached by climbing 

again taken with flash.  at this point jenny reminded me that the nearest hospital was about 100 kilometers away

this should give the folks at home some idea of the scale of the cave
we found a second, slightly smaller cave a few hundred meters down the riverbed that was open at both ends as well

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