Thoughts and memories of living and traveling abroad

Ireland: Next stop – Doolin

On our bus ride up to the Cliffs of Moher we stopped in the town of Doolin to pick up/drop people off. I noticed a sign for the Doolin Cave and did some research at the hostel. We decided to get up early the next day and check it out!

dooooolin

I thought Lisdoonvarna was small… well Doolin has a population of only about 300 and only has three pubs. Here’s one of them:

McGann's

Heath waiting for the place to open!

heath waits

Once the man arrived and opened up shop we were on our way in a little bus. Just us and one other man! It was a quick drive with a short stop in between to pick up the tour guide on the side of the road. Too funny!

So the short version of the cave story goes like this: Two crazy cave hunting dudes were following a little river and followed it right up to the side of a mountain. So they decided to crawl into the mountain via the river. They continued for 6 hours in a hole only 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall. Here’s the hole from inside the cave:

small hole

Luckily, we got to go in through the man made hole:

bigger hole

We continued down for a little bit, all the while following the small river that the men followed into the cave. Back to the story: After several hours of crawling through this hole their lights go out and now they crawling around in pitch black. At about 6 hours… they make it to this large opening and are able to stand up. Since it’s pitch black at this point they really just sit there for a while and listen to the river and let their eyes adjust. They can tell they are in a large opening but without lights there’s not much they can do. So they  turn around and crawl back out another 6 hours in the dark. The next day, they bring more people and more lights. When they get to the same cavern this is what they saw!:

jumbo

It’s the longest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere and second in the world. It measures about 23 feet in length. It only grows about .005 inches a year so think of how old this thing is! What makes it more impressive is the fact that it is held on by a section of calcite less than 0.3 square meters. 

up under it

helmets for short bus

stalactite

They still haven’t been able to find the water source that is causing this to grow. Let’s hope a subdivision isn’t built at the source and stops the thousands and thousands of years worth of work!

Tight squeeze!

sqeeze 

If anything, it was nice to get out of the heat for a little while! I signed the guestbook on the way out and skimmed through it. Would you believe that there was a signature in there from Fort Myers, Florida? What are the odds?!

Doolin

beer 

Now back to the hostel then on another bus… off to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire!

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One response

  1. TONY

    Looks way to tight for my liking, or my butt for that matter!

    June 20, 2009 at 12:08 am

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