Snakes, Sun and the Summer Solstice
Snakes are a big part of the traveling myth Down Under, and a caving trip through the Capricorn Caves near Rockhampton, Queensland, might be the trip that brings you face to fang with a slithery python. (Don't worry, they're usually the harmless ones.) There are bats, too, and a few other creepy-crawlies to keep the hikes and cave climbs exciting.
What we especially like are the parts of the caves covered on a Wild Caving Adventure tour. You have to squeeze through spots with names like Rebirth and Fat Man's Misery, which sound not so much fun as challenging.
Coming up soon is the Summer Solstice Light Spectacle in the caves, when light from the sun directly overhead hits just the right angle to naturally illuminate the cave. (It's sorta like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones holds up the Staff of Ra.) The special caving tours run from December through to early January but have a peak on December 22 when the sun beam hangs around the longest. Here's hoping the snakes stay away on solstice day.
[Photo: Capricorn Caves]