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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - August 2019

Wow, thanks for that fantastic contribution @Cruzeroqueen 1 – I hadn’t heard about Gaping Ghyll, but your summary and that film clip bring it to life. What a perfect example of going ‘Underland’ – a deep time journey that exemplifies author Robert Macfarlane’s explorations in the book.

I am not renowned for being adventurous,but one year we were lucky enough to visitGaping Ghyll (sometimes called Gaping Gill) – the largest cavern in Britain – on one of the two occasions when members of the public, as opposed to serious spelunkers, are allowed access by means of a winch. So I couldn’t resist and was duly strapped in and
winched down to the Main Chamber – and it was amazing! A short description here:-

Situated on the SW slopes of Ingleborough at an altitude of 1300ft (400m) above sea level, Fell Beck ends its meandering course abruptly, and plunges 330ft(100m) down into the limestone plateau creating Britain’s highest unbroken waterfall. It lands on the floor of Gaping Gill, the largest cavern in Britain, known as the Main Chamber.
The Bradford Pothole Club has held a Winch Meet here for over 60 years, allowing members of the public and non-cavers the chance to visit this truly awe-inspiring underground scene. It is an experience never forgotten and many visitors return year after year, becoming familiar faces to be welcomed back as old friends. The cavern is floodlit, allowing the public and cavers alike a view not normally seen outside Winch Meets. It also enables members of the public to meet cavers and discover that they are surprisingly normal people with just a wild enthusiasm for all places underground.

The Gaping Gill system is one of Britain’s longest and most complex cave systems. As well as the Main Shaft the system has nineteen other entrances. All these entrances unite underground and the water running through the caves eventually emerges into daylight at Ingleborough Cave, the Show Cave passed on the walk up to Gaping Gill. The connection between the two caves was made in 1983 by cave divers negotiating flooded sections of passages called sumps, using breathing apparatus.

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Thanks @Hrrcath and @coldmariner for your interesting contributions to the thread for this month’s Silver Travel Book Club read. And what a fascinating book it is. The Wainwright Prize judges obviously agree, as Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Underland’ has just been announced as winner of the 2019 prize, ‘celebrating the best in nature writing’.

So keep those comments coming if you’d like to win your very own copy, and here’s a reminder of this month’s Silver Travel Book Club challenge:

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future.

What interesting things have you stumbled across on your ‘deep-time voyage’, whether above or below ground? Dig into the crevices of your own travel memories, and let us know.

At some point I’m going I want to visit the Carslbad Caves in the USA but one of the ancient constructs that we found extremely fascinating was the 4000 year old tomb at Newgrange. . Really one of the highlights of our trip to Ireland last spring.

Last Edited by coldmariner at 17 Aug 22:15

My visit to the pyramids at Giza and a trip to the museum at Cairo led to many hours of contemplation and a lifelong interest in the ancient egyptians and how the civilization evolved.

Manchester

Thanks everyone for the latest comments around this month’s Silver Travel Book Club title – ‘Underland: A Deep Time Journey’ by Robert Macfarlane.

@DRSask – I heard about the Tidal Bore when we were in the Maritimes a few years ago. It must be quite a sight…and well worth the unplanned detour! Closer to home (for us in the UK), I think there’s a similar phenomenon on the River Severn estuary?

Thanks @The-lone-traveller for letting us know about that mystical lucky rock in Greenland. Intriguing….

@LH – thanks for reminding us that there are so many fascinating ‘Underland’ places to explore, without having to travel too far from home.

Please keep those great comments coming, and here’s a reminder of this month’s Silver Travel Book Club challenge:

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future.

What interesting things have you stumbled across on your ‘deep-time voyage’, whether above or below ground? Dig into the crevices of your own travel memories, and let us know.

I find indigenous Australian rock art fascinating. You spend time reflecting on what the meaning is & what it means to everyone today.

I was fortunate to visit Malta some years ago for a work conference, it’s such a beautiful country. We had some free time and decided to explore the island of Gozo. The caves and cavern were absolutely amazing.

@AndrewMorris many thanks for my “Famous Castles and Palaces” book which arrived this week along with my freebie Silver Traveller plug adaptor…AND at long last…a 100% genuine Silver Traveller Bag !! Yay !!!

Last Edited by GreyWolf at 10 Aug 18:15

Just finished the book ‘Mythos’ by Stephen Fry. If you really want to experience anything Greek, read this as it’ll give you a real insight into how the ancients viewed the/their World.

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