18 August, 2016

Of caves and cavemen

Unlike in the past years, I took my summer holidays seriously this time - partly by realizing some of my crafting projects and partly due to short escapes from the city. Lately, it was time to visit Radensko polje again. With temperatures above 30°C, it made sense to seek cooling in the system of caves we used to visit when we were kids. It is located in the southeast part of the karst field and represents the underground flow of the karst rivers that come to the surface after 10 kilometers as part of the Krka spring. 
Our goal: Zatočna jama, which under normal conditions takes in water from the Šica creek, Lazarjeva jama, which serves as the water's second route in case of heavy rain, and Viršnica, which is located above the two and is never reached by waters. 
After a seemingly endless walk past harvested fields and mown grass, we reached the alledged area of the caves. Unsure of their exact location, we kept walking some more until somewhere between the trees something metallic caught our attention.
Turns out it was the huge metal barrier covering Lazarjeva jama that was set up to prevent the clogging of the drainage system with branches and grass during floods.
Due to *small* orientation problems (i.e. not listening to auntie as she was explaining the way) we landed slightly above the entrance of the cave, meaning we wouldn't visit its interior.
Instead, we took the stairs to the upper jama Viršnica that might not look like accessible from above. However, it would soon prove us wrong.
Through hordes of mosquitos, we descended into the depths towards the entrance. Only when the thick layer of stone and soil was above us, I realized how big the opening actually was.
Once inside, it soon became pitch dark. With the help of a flashlight-app, we had a brief look at the walls of the entrance hall and found stairs that lead to the main underground corridor. 
Due to lack of nuts and proper flashlights, we decided not to go any further. However, the main corridor measures about 1200 meters of length, connecting the three caves. It hides stalactites and underground waters that flow into underwater siphon lakes, as well as animals such as the olm/proteus.
After another mosquito walk, the rest of the day was filled with less bloody animals :)
Until it was time for the day to end and us girls to go to bed. All of us girls together at last, aiming to get up early. Because the new day was about to bring a new adventure...

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