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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Inspiration Part 6 - Caverns


Welcome Back!



           I’m very excited to present today’s Inspiration post, because as you will see, it is quite different from everything else I have done so far! I was also saving it for October, given its spooky and eerie appearance!

            While on vacation in late June, the kids and I had the opportunity to go visit an old cave system near our campground. We had visited these caves before but I decided to return, thinking that taking pictures for my blog may help some of my readers,

These underground tunnels are called the “Bonnechere Caves”, and are open to visitors. Please see their website for more information.

In the first set of pictures, we see the descent into the lower levels. Wooden pillars have been erected to help stabilize the ceiling, while stairs made of concrete to facilitate visitors’ access. It does not take long for the sunlight to disappear, so lights were drilled into the rock. The electric cables you see running along the ceiling and floor are to feed the lighting system.

                 

                
                 


               Now having reached the lowest level, we see the main tunnel had wooden planks installed on the floor. Again this is to help facilitate access to the many tourists who visit these caves every year.

           During the tour, our guide demonstrated just how important the artificial lighting was… by turning off the power. The darkness was absolute, as one could not even see their finger while touching their nose.

           These section of the caves also had a strange echo in them. Because of the multiple surfaces and tight spaces, sound seemed to come back to you from every angle. While speaking, your voice could be heard simultaneously from ahead and behind you in the tunnel.

                           

                 
                  


           Now we reach a section of caves that branch off the main tunnel and are not so easily accessible. Though these passages ways still have light, they lack flooring. Visitors are invited to go exploring if they so desire, and if they feel they have sure enough footing. These side paths are considerably smaller than the main tunnel, and I had to crouch low to navigate them. I must admit, that a sense of claustrophobia was building inside me at this point.


                 

                 

             

The last section of the tunnels suffered a cave-in, and now has a blocked off section. For those who are thinking about visiting, do not worry, this happened a long time ago, and the cave system is now supported securely.


These caves were cold and damp, with droplets of water falling from the ceiling. The smell was not of mould, but more like wet gravel. This cave system is also flooded for part of the year, and you can see the various water levels on the walls. The stone was also worn by the centuries of passing water, making the surface both smooth and wave-like. In the following pictures, we also see how the dripping water formed eerie “spin-like” stalagmites on the ceiling.

      

       

           Caves are a location we see often in fiction. Be it dragon dwellings in fantasy novels, a supervillain’s lair in a super-heroic tale, or a dumping ground for dead bodies in a thriller, a cave is often perceived as a bad omen. Its presence triggers instinctual fear, making it a great tool for foreshadowing.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Inspiration post and that it will be of some use to you in the future.

Until next time.

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne