Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
January 2021
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Yarrangobilly Caves

I’m quite partial to caves, and so I was interested to know there were some not far from Kosciuszko National Park.

Well, when I say “not far” this is all rather relative, since it was a 370km round trip. I drove there around the west side of the Kosciuszko National Park, along steep winding roads and across dams built as part of the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme, through deserted townships, and past trail heads that I’d love to come back to one day.

I arrived at Yarrangobilly with just enough time to walk briskly up the hill to catch the start of the tour of the Jersey Cave. There were only three of us (coincidentally the other two were actually on the summit of Kosciuszko with me yesterday), plus the guide, which made for an enjoyable and informative tour. I learned a few extra things about limestone caves that I hadn’t heard before.

I took a few photos, but they were hand-held efforts braced on railings, and only an optimist would expect a half-second or longer exposure to turn out really well, although some of them are suitable for low resolution blog images. The Jersey Cave has a characteristic cream-coloured cast, with some iron stains adding hints of orange; it’s a nice “show cave”.

The other cave that I visited was the South Glory Cave, which contrasts with Jersey Cave by having a bright white hue (see final photo). You enter through a massive arch entrance (shown in one of the photos below: the smaller cave entrance directly ahead behind the railing is actually the North Glory Cave, whereas the South Glory Cave entrance is to the right beneath the bigger arch), and the twilight zone contains some lovely mossy features with water falling from the ceiling above (the light was lovely but hard to photograph; my best effort doesn’t really do it justice).

The best thing about this cave is that there’s no guide. Lights come on for you as you move through it, which is a little eerie at first, but it’s really cool. I had enough time to go through twice, and the second time I had the whole place to myself, all 400-plus metres of it, with caverns and boulders and interesting formations. It isn’t quite as showy as Jersey Cave, but the self-guiding experience is fun.

And there’s a 20m long, 2m deep thermal pool nearby for a nice refreshing swim afterwards. The only down side is that by the time you’ve walked back up the steep hill afterwards you need another swim!

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