Local Caves…

We are missing Daughts.

Suddenly there are several hours a day when we have nothing to do.  Not that she was in the least demanding but when she was home and awake we were both available to feed her, offer cups of tea, entertain her with captivating conversation, go shopping, listen to her iFlirt stories or play a game of cards.

On Sunday, with the whole day stretching before us we decided to catch a bus to Chislehurst and check out the cave scene!

As we walked from the station we saw a pretty willow fence that I had to photograph,

WillowFence

much like thatched roofs, this was an example of craftmanship that is sadly becoming a lost art  form,

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Beautiful don’t you think?

Arriving at the caves we signed up with a guide who turned out to be an American.  How silly, a fellow other side of the ponder holding forth about an English tourist attraction!

Hubs was given a kerosene lamp to help light the way,

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and I stuck close to him.

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We were told about Druids and the human sacrifices they performed on an altar we were led to.

Romans supposedly set their slaves to work mining the caves for chalk and flint.

A murder was committed in the mid 1800′s and the body disposed of in an underground pool.  Rewards have been offered for anyone brave enough to spend a whole night in the vicinity, with no illumination.  Only one person has done so apparently, most of the contestants call for help after 20 minutes.  I would too, the darkness, as we discovered, is complete.

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Ghost stories prevail.

Rock bands performed in the tunnels because of the great acoustics.

Mushrooms were grown in the damp, gloomy environment, we saw pictures of that in the museum at the surface.

The caves were used to shelter 15,000 people during the bombing raids of the Second World War.

The network of caves covers 22 miles, we walked one of them

In reality the earliest mention of the chalk caves was in 1250 and they have not been mined since 1830, so the Druid and Roman stories are there just to pique the imagination of tourists.

Hubs was sceptical about the rock bands but the internet supports the claim!

We were left by our guide for a minute or two which felt longer or shorter because there was no concept of time in the utter blackness.

I was happy we didn’t have our teenagers with us, they would have taken great delight in detouring off down the side caves and getting lost.

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