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

I love the Derbyshire caves and others nearby, as there is so much variety in them, from Peak Cavern in Castleton, to seeing early paintings on the cave walls with a guide in Cresswell Caves, to finding Blue John stone in the Blue John Caves, and floating along in a boat to see Speedwell Caves and of course Lead Mining has produced more underground caverns to visit in Matlock. I enjoy Macfarlane’s books and would enjoy reading this latest on the underground world.

Some years ago, I went on a voyage to Scooby Sund in East Greenland and the little red ship called the Explorer, we picked two local fishermen and a 11 year boy on route. On getting at a fork of the inlet we cam a cross a large red stone which seemed to be out of place to the rest of the land we could see. There was very thick ice and grey gravel with plenty of bearded seals, belugas and the odd Polar bear always with an ivory gull and fox following him. Apparently this rock is a drop off of the Ayes Rock in Australia, the locals state that is brings good fortune when they go fishing for Arctic char if you can SEE THE ROCK whilst fishing. We all wondered why does this theory exists.

@WendyEades, your story reminds me of seeing the caves in Nerja, Spain. They often have ballets and concerts there in the summer. Sadly we visited too early in the season to see or hear them in action. Gibraltor’s caves were also interesting.

An interesting thing we (an aunt, uncle and I) came upon by accident happened on a drive from Ontario to the Martimes in Canada. One option for our route to Nova Scotia was to take the ferry from Saint John, New Brunswick across the Bay of Fundy over to Digby. At this point my uncle told me he couldn’t swim and he got sea sick so he didn’t want to take the ferry. We ended up driving around the bay to Yarmouth which added three hours to the drive and another night on the road before getting to our destination. As luck would have it, we arrived at the Palliser Motel in Truro just in time to see the Tidal Bore. The motel is right on the Petitcodiac River and we joined the other guests as they lined up with their deck chairs to watch the tide come in and push the river back upstream in a big wave. It was cool to see and something we would have missed if we’d taken the ferry across.

Thanks for all the fabulous comments on your own ‘Underland’ or ‘Overland’ travel stories, to tie in with this month’s Silver Travel Book Club book of the month, ‘Underland: A Deep Time Journey’ by Robert Macfarlane.

@mexicanhat – gracias amigo for taking the time to share that wonderful anecdote from when you visited the tomb of Pacal Votan.

And @Noahsark – yes indeed, Victoria Hislop shone a very bright light on Spinalonga when she wrote The Island, with the TV adaptation making her hugely popular in her beloved Greece. It certainly sounds llike a fascinating place, doesn’t it?

@WendyEades – thanks for letting us know about those caves in Slovenia. And for letting us imagine your choir singing in the Cathedral cave. Magical!

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.

mexicanhat wrote:

mexicanhat
17:27 05-Aug-19
11

Out of my head in Mexico

I visited the tomb of Pacal Votan, in the Ancient city of Palenque, Chiapas a few years ago now. It was part of a pilgrimage. Pacal, an ancient Mayan king, ruled the city from 615 to 683AD bringing it to great heights.

His sarcophagus, was rediscovered by archeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier, amid great excitement. A plaster, or ‘Earth speaking tube’ discovered beneath the Temple of Inscriptions, leading the team to discover 69 steps, alongside it, which lead into Pacal Votans tomb. I couldn’t wait!

Here was my opportunity to see the tomb for myself. Ruz himself, in 1948 declared ‘he could feel the breath’ of the people who’d sealed the burial chamber in 692AD. After viewing the amazing burial chamber, as someone who’s very sensitive to atmosphere, I decided to tune in too by concentrating on my own breathing as I clambered, one step at a time, up the huge steps, to see if i could pick anything up too. Because there was a huge group of us we just had to keep moving, so I got really stuck into my self appointed task.
So much so, I barely took any notice of people calling down to me in Spanish,(unfortunately not my language) whilst gesturing wildly with their hands. I just kept coming, until I hit my head on a heavy plank, which was stretched out over one part of the exit.

Needless to say, the only thing i felt on that day as a nursed my sore head was was just plain silly. Doubtless any Spirits present were having a belly laugh at my expense along with our tour guide.

Wonderful story @mexicanhat !

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Out of my head in Mexico

I visited the tomb of Pacal Votan, in the Ancient city of Palenque, Chiapas a few years ago now. It was part of a pilgrimage. Pacal, an ancient Mayan king, ruled the city from 615 to 683AD bringing it to great heights.

His sarcophagus, was rediscovered by archeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier, amid great excitement. A plaster, or ‘Earth speaking tube’ discovered beneath the Temple of Inscriptions, leading the team to discover 69 steps, alongside it, which lead into Pacal Votans tomb. I couldn’t wait!

Here was my opportunity to see the tomb for myself. Ruz himself, in 1948 declared ‘he could feel the breath’ of the people who’d sealed the burial chamber in 692AD. After viewing the amazing burial chamber, as someone who’s very sensitive to atmosphere, I decided to tune in too by concentrating on my own breathing as I clambered, one step at a time, up the huge steps, to see if i could pick anything up too. Because there was a huge group of us we just had to keep moving, so I got really stuck into my self appointed task.

So much so, I barely took any notice of people calling down to me in Spanish,(unfortunately not my language) whilst gesturing wildly with their hands. I just kept coming, until I hit my head on a heavy plank, which was stretched out over one part of the exit.

Needless to say, the only thing i felt on that day as a nursed my sore head was was just plain silly. Doubtless any Spirits present were having a belly laugh at my expense along with our tour guide.

Love the Greek islands & after reading the book called The Island set in Crete I would love to visit the island of Spinalonga

goose1964 wrote:

goose1964
10:01 04-Aug-19
08

I’ve visited caves in the UK, Greece and Barbados. The ones in Greece were poignant as it’s where the local militia hid when the Nazis were in the local area. Although it was a big cave you had to be right on top of it to see it.

The Caves of Drach in Mallorca are very spectacular @goose1964 . Absolutely huge, and there is a large
lagoon in the middle where a small ‘orchestra’ played as they sailed along in small boats.

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

I’ve visited caves in the UK, Greece and Barbados. The ones in Greece were poignant as it’s where the local militia hid when the Nazis were in the local area. Although it was a big cave you had to be right on top of it to see it.

Bristol

Theres something about caves that is fascinating , i have visited some in gibralter where they have concerts, it was spectacular

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