A short visit to Konasnica

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Many have written about cave Konasnica, which is nothing unusual since it is so beautiful. The cave has been famous for a while, but the discovery of new parts of the cave is responsible for a proper Carniolian caving sensation. Nobody expected all the usual beautiful parts in the shape of different limestone formations, curtains, white flowstones and more. This is why the explorers placed a door in front of the new parts which cater to stop the visitors with bad intentions. The other visits from well-meaning cavers are regulated by the tourist club, where you can borrow the key in the log cabin.

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After a morning defect with the tires and, consequently, a late departure from Ljubljana, we started finding a parking spot after a short stop in Dražgoše. After a bit of a confusing tip from the waitress we missed it, of which we were informed by a nice native. His kindness event pointed us in the direction of the parking spot. Sadly, it was the wrong way, which we later realized by checking our GPS, but due to stubbornness and pride, we refused to descend back to the starting point. The walk through the wild slope was an adventure in its own.

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We only made it to the cave at 1 p.m. and realized, with the additional wish to ‘not go down in the dead of night’, that there would not be much time for photo opportunities. Well, we wandered a bit around the front part and made it through a narrow shaft and through the door into the new parts, collected our thoughts and departed for the end of the cave.

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The cave showed its true beauty after a few meters. Even though we were expecting a comfortable shaft, we were surprised by its shape and largeness. If nothing else, we all agreed on one thing – the water once worked here respectfully. The cave follows the same direction the whole time, without any annoying stops in the shape of passages or levels. You only have to be careful to tread thoughtfully, which is a given in all caves.

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Lately we have been realizing that it is more logical to cruise through the whole cave and spend more time photographing during the return. The good side of such an action is the high morale of the co-sufferers, as there is no stopping to take photos, but on the other hand, the photographer has to put quite a bit of effort into remembering the spaces, which get the special treatment on the way back. Sadly, that is when the bad part of the strategy appears, as the morale is quickly lowered by the frequent stops and long waits. Hm, something in between would be, of course, ideal …

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As the cave is visited often, the cavers have marked the way with noticeable red-and-white ribbons. The debate whether this is needed or not is irrelevant, as without these marks, the cave would have lost its charm ages ago. The caving romanticism is smaller in this case, that may be true, and the feeling of it being untouched completely vanishes, but it is possible to show the elementalness of these spaces with an edited photograph.

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Towards the end of the cave, the most beautiful shaft branches off. Today it is quite different to the sight the first visitors must have seen, as the toll of the large number of visits has begun to show. It is however only seen on the walked-around floor, there is thankfully no ruined or dirty ornamentation. My compliments, especially to those, who rarely go caving.

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At such a late hour it was obvious that this time’s photographic return would be fast and as selective as possible. Somewhere around the middle of the beautiful shaft the morale was racing towards boredom and bad temper, which was a sign that the trip would need to be repeated sometime. Even though I was complaining without reason that the cave was ‘truly dirty as hell’, I realized, in the presence of my computer at home, that it is definitely worth another visit. And because I have already seen the cave once, a more appropriate strategy of photographing will be in order.

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After the finished action, we had the traditional pizza in the log cabin at Dražgoše, which we warmly recommend as well as the cavers of Škofja Loka … The slopes and depths of Dražgoše were wandered on by Mojca, Andrej, Vesna, Alan, Nebojša and the newbie Blaž.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Dave Bunnell

    Dave Bunnell Reply December 23, 2013 at 22:21

    Peter,

    Nice selection. Perhaps sometime we could have a spread in our NSS News about your photography in a Photograper Spotlight. A couple pages of photos, maybe a cover as well to go with it and a short article if you want, but that’s optional. We are nonprofit though so we are just talking probono here.

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