Nevada Adventures – Red Rock Canyon – Calico Hills

Nevada Adventures – Red Rock Canyon – Calico Hills

DSC_9149-Red-Rock-CanyonAnyone who visits Red Rock Canyon will immediately fall in love with the colorful red sandstone outcropping known as Calico Hills. The Calico Hills were formed 180 million years ago when a very large area of sand dunes much like the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert of today were gradually infiltrated by water carrying calcium carbonate which fused with the sand granules to form the colourful sandstone hills visible today. The smooth lines and the multiple shapes reflect the movement of the sand in these ancient sands and many crossbeds can be seen throughout the sandstone structure reflecting the time when drifting sand being blown from different direction settled on top of older sand beds in the lee of towering hills of sand.

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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Our tour bus for the day - 17 adults, a guide and a driver - THE FAMILY

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Today, I was a tourist going on a tour of Santo Domingo. (location) Our tour bus would be our mobile home-away-from-home from 6AM to 8PM. – 17 adults, a guide and a driver – THE FAMILY! Look Ma – No Washroom – No problem FAMILY – we’ll just stop at the next tourist shop!!! How convenient. There’s one now —– A comfortable ride but a long ride in each direction. Up before dawn and arriving back at the resort after dark.

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Northern Ireland, Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch Caves

Northern Ireland, Marble Arch Caves

Located near Enniskillen in NI, the Marble Arch Caves have been selected as a European Geopark site.

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Cenotes, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Cenotes, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

There are very few surface lakes in the Yucatan Peninsula but the porous calcium carbonate structure of the geology of the area allows the surface water to sink through and form significant underground ‘rivers’. Small underwater ‘lakes’ can form where the ground falls away due to erosion and forms the equivalent of caves or sinkholes,. In Mexico, these underground bodies of water are referred to as CENOTES.
We visited two. The first was run as a very commercial operation with admission fees, reinforced side walls and comfortable steps down to the water’s edge.

It’s hot in Mexico and when it is hot there is nothing as refreshing as a quick dip in a Cenote.  Tour operators and tourist-oriented enterprises know a good thing when they see one and many tours now include a dip in a Cenote as part of the Mayan experience in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Each of the Cenotes is different in shape and depth.  Each can have its own micro climate supporting tropical vegetation somewhat different from the vegetation found in the countryside around the Cenote. Where the Cenote is open to the skies above, lush vines growing down the walls proliferate, but where the Cenote is an underground cavern, with very little light, the lush greens are absent.

The second cenote that we visited was much more ‘original’ in its nature and required descent on a steep set of stairs down to an underground cavern with limited electric lighting to allow visitors to see a bit in the cavern. Going from the commercial-style cenote, open to the skies, down to an underground cavern was a pretty significant contrast.

 

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