The only time I really remember being in a deep dark cave was when I was eight years old. We were up in Oregon in the middle of summer. The biggest impression that the cave left on my young mind was how very, very cold it was. Yesterday, Sunday, the five of us went on a hike to a cave only about 30 minutes away from Tirana. It left a greater impression than I was expecting.
The villagers have been working to improve the trail up to the cave. It was the easiest trail that I've been on yet, though there were some loose rocks at one point. Apparently, the trail used to be single file only. It was much wider after the improvements.
The cave! All I could think of was Harry Potter (and Tom Sawyer). We were told to expect bats. I had slightly convinced myself that I would run into Lord Voldemort too.
Florian constructed a torch so that we would be able to see more of the cave. It was a "bright" idea, though I was a little concerned because of all the fires raging in California. Of course, it was damp enough in the cave to never be a problem. The torch lasted about 10 minutes until it was dropped. Florian fell in a really muddy part and extinguished the torch. I was walking right behind him and you would think I would have been paying closer attention... When we were leaving the cave I duplicated his fall, but with more pizazz. Both feet slipped right out from under me and I sailed through the air. Luckily, neither of us were hurt. We had fun laughing about our flights (as opposed to our falls).
I let Florian use my camera because he's more of a photographer than I am. Here I am ducking because the bats were flying by my head.
I took the picture below and I do have to say that it's my favorite. Entela, Tracey and I have a very healthy respect for bats as shown by Entela and Tracey in an awesome duck and cover pose.
Ah...the creatures of the night! We were really up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. Tracey was able to give us geology lessons and I taught us all about bats. I think I began to get a little annoying when I started quoting straight from the books that I read to my students....
If you look closely at this formation, you can see what I saw (I had a blast looking for shapes and images). It's clearly a sea horse though Sarah and Florian saw a camel.
It was such an adventurous day! I want to be an explorer when I grow up.