Monday, August 2, 2010

Off to Gouffre

Believe it or not, it was cool and looked like it was going to rain all day again so we cancelled the canoeing for a day and drove off down the long and winding road to Gouffre de Padirac, an underground cavern complete with river.  Once there we waited with the hordes of other tourists in the long and winding ticket line for two hours.  And believe it or not, we all thought it was worth the wait.  Becky

This place is a geological curiosity with a round opening in the earth, perhaps 200 feet across.  At the bottom, three hundred feet down, begins a series of tunnels that wind deep into the earth with limestone formations and subtle sandy yellow, red, green, and beige walls.  Everything was wet and slick with dripping water, and along side our walkway was slow moving clear water.  We descended for a long time then got into boats that held 11 people.  A guide poled our bateau on towards another room where we started walking again through some magical caverns. Everyone but moi walked the stairs up and down.  I took a series of elevators. 

On the way back to our house around 8 pm, we stopped at Rocamadour, a village that appears to be carved out of the rock it sits around and on top of.  It has been a place of pilgrimage during the 12th century and continues to draw pilgrims devoted to the Black Madonna.  We are home and happy.  Goodnight, Kathy

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