Just north of our village the low mountains begin. The Herault river, which gives its name to our re gion, creates a gorge in the limestone. The stone is quite porous and water seeps through it easily. For a million years this action has created a gigantic cave with enormous stalagmites and stalactites. I visited the cave before but John had never seen it so it was fun to take him.
The caverns are huge. It is hard to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the early explorers crawling about in the dark inside the earth. There are now easy walkways and it is well lit and reasonably dry inside. In one very large "room" the tour guide turns off the lights and there is a magical light show with an organ playing the "Clamouse Concerto". Impressive.
We drove further up the road to St. Gillhem de Desert for lunch. This is one of the most picturesque villages in France. It is nestled in narrow shallow ravine just above the Herault river. It is a popular tourist site so, unfortunately, it is always crowded. This day since we were a little late for lunch it was really tough to get a table as many of the places were already done with lunch service. Eventually we managed to get a seat and were happy to get something to eat, even if it was not very good.
On the way home we came upon three mares, two with new colts. One was so young he could scarcely stand on his own. We fed his mom some apples.