Sunday, October 20, 2013

Into the Depths Of the Earth

Hey all,

As promised, today's blog is about the wonderful caves we visited on our last weekend.  Belo Horizonte has quite a few mines and caves in the vicinity, and while many aren't set up for tourists, we found a circuit nearby with some amazing and beautiful places.  
 
Holes in the ground?  I guess some people may see them that way, but for me it's a step into the depths where art and beauty is all around you.  I've been to caves all over the world and each time I step inside, I'm never sure what exactly I'll find.  It's like walking into a room and being totally surprised how it's decorated.

And since I believe in a little less talk and a lot more action, let's just head straight to the pictures, shall we?

This first few are from the Gruta Rei do Mato, (Cave of the Forest King) a cave less than an hour away from Belo Horizonte.  It was a beautiful place with some of the most interesting formations I've seen in a cave.  Stalactites, stalagmites and columns clumped together in some amazing ways.  Check them out below.






This formation is called, as you may guess, The Ice Cream Cone.  The guide and I giggled about it, and decided we'd have a sweet once we were done with the tour.  But she told me to go ahead and give it a taste now and tell her what it was like.  LOL


The second cave is called Gruta de Maquin√©.  This cave, a little less than a half hour away from the first one, was one of the biggest cave complexes I've ever investigated.It's known for formations in the shapes of different animals, and while it was fun for our guide to tell us about them (he spoke only Portuguese, so his telling included a lot of charades and sign language) we felt he was reaching on several of them.  LOL  Ready to see?  Enjoy!

The Cave Entrance

The following are some of the formations found in the cave.  There were so many I couldn't add them all.  Just know each and every one of them was beyond amazing.




This one is known as The Pachyderm.  Can you tell why?  :-)

Another cool thing.  This area of the cave, some of the formations were so thin you could shine a light through them.  But right next to this piece of rock would be an area you couldn't see through.  

This formation (above the guide) carries the name, Niagara Falls and it's easy to see why.

This was one of the most beautiful cave lakes I've ever seen.

You can see how big this main chamber is.  Our guide looks so tiny in this huge room.

This cave is also known for it's cave paintings, thought to be done by indigenous people dated 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.

But overall, it was one of the prettiest caves we've ever been in, plus the guide showed us some really cool tricks.  In one area he'd knock on the wall in different places and the tones would be completely different.  Sounded like a beautiful xylophone.  I was amazed.  And apparently in this cave they found bones of prehistoric animals.  Very cool. 

Anyway, I hope you liked the pics.  If you want to know more about these caves, go read up one them at the following sites.

Gruta Rei do Mato - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruta_Rei_do_Mat
Gruta do Maquine -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruta_de_Maquin%C3%A9

Take care and I'll see you again on Thursday for the last installment of our Amazon trip.

Hugs,

CJ England









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4 comments:

Phylis said...

Those are so cool CJ! Just beautiful! Yep. Jealous again. lol Are they as pink as the pictures look? That very first one in the cave that has some that look like animals made me think of some leviathan coming out of the water.

Ray said...

The third movie reminded me of the cocoons in one of the Alien(s) movies. The caves have the same way of making you see things that clouds do.

I love cave paintings. On a cliff above the Columbia River near Vantage, Washington there were very many petroglyphs that Dad took me to see when I was young. Later when I was in the Navy the glyphs had been carefully moved to a display area inside the power house at Rocky Reach Dam. Had they not been moved they would have been lost forever.

CJ England said...

Hey Phylis,

Not to the naked eye. Jonathon said it's the LED lights that make it look pink. The second cave gave off a more normal look.

CJ England said...

Clouds and caves, Ray. You're right!

That was the first cave painting I'd seen by "prehistoric" man. I'd seen Native American ones, but never like these. I went there specifically to see them and this was the only one available to the public.