Caving In

31 Jan

We headed to the Caves of Diros on a whim.  It’s in the Mani region of the Peloponnese peninsula, and we to take a detour to check it out despite the deterring cost factor.  

We bought our tickets, and, since we were the only ones there, had to wait a while before our tour started as the leader wanted to make sure no one else was coming. But again, it was January, and I’m 79% sure we were the only tourists on the whole peninsula. No one else joined and we got a private tour of the cave. 

They handed us life jackets because the water is 100 ft deep in some parts of the cave —unfathomable! Get it? Un (fathom) able…fathoms, as in units measure water? No? Ok. Anyway, the guide didn’t speak any english at all, which might’ve been a good thing for him since he wasn’t subject to my constant “Ooos”, “Ahhhs”, and never-ending puns.  He pushed our boat with a long stick, taking care not to bump into any of the precious cave walls. The silence was eerie: the echoing drip of water, the sound of the boat gliding through the water, the roar of a beast from somewhere beyond (just kidding). But seriously, it was eerie, humid and incredibly neat. Because the guide couldn’t teach us about the caves, we turned to our handy-dandy pamphlets to glean what little information we could, but lo and behold it was way too dark to read, and the caves were way too stunning for reading anyway.


Not a ride at Disneyland #reallife

The whole experience took about an hour, exploring 1.2 kilometers of the lake cave by boat and then another .3 by foot at the end. The cave covers an area of 6.5 kilometers total, but most of it isn’t accessible to tourists.



Hanging down and around with some stalactites,


The stalactites were beautiful, really colorful with greens, beiges, and burnt oranges. They grow at .3 mm (0.12 inches) per year, and I don’t know how old these are (the Greek language is all Greek to me), but I did read that humans were using them 6,000 years ago. No wonder the formations have grown so massive!


I can say, without a doubt, that this is one of the coolest caves I’ve ever been in, and the images and the feeling of being underground are etched into my mind. Good thing, too, because the photos don’t do it justice. If you want a more lively representation of what the experience was like, check this out!  (Don’t get too excited, it’s only a YouTube video. Sound up, please.)



The next time I’m presented with the opportunity to head underground and check out something like this… I’m going to do myself a favor and cave in.

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