08 August 2013

Devils Throat Cave
Canyon

We awoke with massive hangovers this morning.  You would think that we would learn.  Not too much home made spirits!  Still, we don’t have the busiest day planned.  A quiet walk down to the Devils Throat and a closer look at the canyon.

Impressive high canyon walls

Impressive high canyon walls

Walking down, we took a look at the canyon first.  Just above the cave the river flows underground, and from there on it is dry.  There are plenty of trees down there, but no direct path.  We contented ourselves with just walking along the road.  Past a flying fox that has been set up along the edge, going over the drop to connect with the road further down.  On the opposite side the rock cliff towers above and below us.  It is apparently about 250m high and is very impressive.  Following the road, we came to the tunnel that has been carved from the rock to allow traffic through.  There was a large truck here that had pulled up at the side of the road with about 4 people trying to re-adjust the load of hay.

The manmade tunnel that turned out to be more interesting than the natural one..

The manmade tunnel that turned out to be more interesting than the natural one..

So hot today that the asphalt is melting

So hot today that the asphalt is melting

They had hit the roof of the tunnel and lost a lot of the bales.  Now they were loading them back on and straightening it all up again.  The tunnel is quite interesting though.  It has been spray sealed with cement when it was built, and now a lot of this is cracking open and falling off.  There were even holes carved into the side to allow light in.  Scrambling up one of them, you can go right to the edge and look out over the canyon.  On the far side there is a small area that gives a good vantage further down where the water reappears.  Coming back, we took time to appreciate the formations that are starting to appear in the tunnel.  Straws, shawls and other formations have already started as the water seeps through the rock and cement.

Devils throat carvern

Devils throat carvern

Back at the cave, we arrived perfectly.  The next tour is supposed to start in about 5 minutes.  The Devils throat is supposed to be the largest underground waterfall in the Balkans.  We know there is no decorations in the cave, but it is supposed to be very impressive.  Going in, we followed a long man made tunnel carved from the marble walls to where we stopped to get the information about the cave.  This was all in Bulgarian, so we didn’t get any off it.  However we knew already that they had done tests with the water, and although the distance from where it enters the cave to where it exits is only a few hundred away, but it takes the water over two hours to go that distance.

Carving inside the cave

Carving inside the cave

It was called the devils throat as when there is flooding and massive trees are washed down into it they never reappear, almost as if they were eaten.  It is also in the top 100 attractions of Bulgaria.

The amazingly ugly concrete staircases

The amazingly ugly concrete staircases

So, with that explained, we headed down into the cave itself.  There is a small stairway taking you into a very large cavern.  From here there is an observation point over a pool of still water.  Bats were flitting about in gloom, and luscious moss growing by the lights, and it was an impressive sized cavern.  You then go down to this and follow a very steep, wet, muddy staircase up.  All the way up to reappear near where the water enters the cave.

There is a waterfall hiding behind..

There is a waterfall hiding behind..

There was the sound of the waterfall, not the deafening crashing rumble that we had expected, but no sign of the water itself!  Back at the surface you can wander around looking down at the rocks carved with millennia of water flowing over it.

Then it was a walk back to town!  I know I sound a little jaded, but seriously.  If you advertise the largest underground waterfall, then at least let us look at it!  All in all the most impressive thing was seeing the formations in the tunnel on the road.

Back at the village we found that the one bus a day departs at 7am, so an early start to get to it.  We are not looking forward to this!

AA

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