Monday, September 2, 2013

One of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Part II.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, commonly referred to as the Underground River contains globally important habitat for biodiversity conservation, which includes a full mountain-to-sea ecosystem. A more thorough description and video of the cave and its faunal species dwellers are presented in this official site:  http://www.puerto-undergroundriver.com/ as well as this UNESCO site:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/652

This marker visibly welcomes everyone on the receiving area after the boats docking shore. Tourism officers and park's staff are all around the area helping guests and replying to their queries, even if each group has also their own tourist guides.

 These wooden planks go direct to the lake in front of the Underground River entrance. Biodiversity of endemic and native plant species populate this area of the National Park. Some trees are also labeled with the common and Scientific names for the enthusiasts.

 An old tree with reclining side branches almost cover a big portion of the lake that in a few meters meets  the sea. This lake is brackish and is mixed with seawater backflow during high tide.

 The main facade of the entrance to the Underground River. It is adorned with naturally growing epiphytes, orchids, vines, trees and many other plants and organisms.

 The main and only entrance to the UR and cave, showing a boat full of tourists already on their way out.

 Tourists are obliged to wear the orange life vests and hard hats, while boatmen are dressed in blue. One boatman manually paddles the boat and maneuvers it through the labyrinthine passageways inside the cave.

 These are the group of tourists waiting for their turn to ride the boats to the cave. There is also a systematic queue for the boats to beautifully implement traffic and safety measures.

 Different forms of the rock structures can be deciphered from the formations inside the cave walls and ceilings. The stalactites are the most spectacular, but there are no prominent stalagmites as drippings fall mostly on water.
These structures are very prominent and beautiful, made specifically by the minerals left when water flows on them. These are still actively growing because water still continue to drip along those lines carrying the cations to be deposited here that will eventually lengthen and enlarge them.

 Boats going in at the right and go out at the left and the traffic continues in a few minute intervals making a queue like an organized parade.

 There is a fluted roof pattern in some cave roofs. The presence of 20 million year old Serenia fossil embedded in the walls of the cave justifies its declaration as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Above figures are bats making these cave their home. One side branch dome of the cave is called Bat cave because a lot of bats converge in that area. The smell of guano (a very good fertilizer) or bat excretions is very prominent near the Bat Cave. Several chambers are seen in the expanse of the UR tour.

 Can you see the big bird resting on the wall? What about the dog that seems to be communicating with the bird. The focused light is from the flashlight provided to each boat and held by one of the passengers in front of the boatman. He points to the side directed by the boatman.

 The entrance viewed from inside on our way out. It takes at least 45 minutes to navigate the entire cave.

Those rock nodules at the foot of the rock are caused by water decomposing minerals found in the rocks.

Those horizontal lines at the foot of the rocks are caused by levels of water because of the changing tides.

This is already the close-up of the UR facade showing the wall with criss-crossing boulders.



22 comments:

  1. You have a very good imagination. I can see neither bird nor dog. :-(
    Palawan is really a natural wonderland. I'm glad that I was already able to take my kids. Now, the only one I have to bring is my wife. Although that would mean na kaming lahat ulit. Hehehe.

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  2. This must have been a fascinating experience. Your photos inside the cave are excellent.

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  3. Oh I love this....What a great boat trip through this cave...

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  4. Cool boat ride, the underground river and cave are amazing. Great photos, thanks for sharing your trip!

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  5. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  6. Great trip! You made me remember that I visited a bat cave in italy decades ago, but you seem to have had more fun!

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  7. Wow, this is fantastic...can't quite figure out where you are, but wherever this cave is I want to go there! ( I'm off to google more about it, but wanted to post my comment first,

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  8. What an increadable place bet you get snakes round there. Those cave systems are huge but why all the gear on the Tourists and none on the boatmen at the end of the day they are no different.

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  9. What an amazing place to visit! Can imagine that the bats like the place! I find them fascinating animals -if they are not tooooo big and not too close!

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  10. Beautiful tour Andrea, loved seeing the insides of this cave...what fun!

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  11. Wow, What an amazing place. You are so lucky to visit this incredible place.

    Your shots are just fabulous.

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  12. Oh wow...that is a treasure and I love all the plants life and especially the rock formations. It is nice that care is taken for everyone's safety and to keep the area nice too. Lovely post for Nature Notes Andrea.. (Oh I post Nature Notes at 11 PM eastern standard time Mondays now as I was getting confused)..Michelle

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  13. What a wonderful tour! I love all the rock formations and the bats are just awesome!

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  14. What an amazing place, must be wonderful to go in there and see it all at first hand.

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  15. I have never heard of this place before. Amazing.

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  16. Wonderfull landscapes , great, greeting from Belgium

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