Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa yet its economic power house. It is located in the heart of South Africa's Highveld Region and is highly urbanized and densely populated. Gauteng offers to its visitors an option to explore the hustle and bustle of its urban life or the natural attractions outside its main cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
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Caving / Spelunking in Most Azishskaya Cave, Maykop, Republic of Adygeya Russia
Most Azishskaya Cave is a quite popular cave, situated at an altitude of 1600 m/5249 ft in the southern part of the range Azish Tau at the Lagonack Highlands. The cave was first explored in 1910 by five local residents. From the descent spot towards the east, there is a gallery of carbon blacks 20 yd/18.3 m long, 1 yd/0.9 m high and 5 yd/4.6 m wide.
You can see thousands of icicles everywhere, stalactites and stalagmites of 0.5 to 2 yd/0.4 to 1.8 m and a mass of stalagmite forms looking like thumbs. The deep gallery includes marvelous towering columns of a fantastic height and a diameter of 5 to 12 in/12.7 to 30.5 cm. Just before reaching the end of the corridor to the left, there is a spacious entrance into a big room, where the walls and floor are covered with thousands of stalactites and at elevations several stalagmites resemble statues of Catholic saints.
After passing the Grand hall and the columns, you go down to 8 yd/7.3 m deep. This was one of the first descriptions ever given for the Most Azishskaya Cave. The way to the depth of the cave is still opened to explore with ropes, but for those who are not such adventurous types, there is a convenient metal ladder. The cave consists of large halls and the lower floor, at the bottom of which flows the river.
The cave is full of sinter, columns, large up to several meters of stalactites and stalagmites and sinter cor. Unfortunately, many of the stalagmites have been raised once near the entrance, were pulled out to the surface and transferred to Sochi, where they were installed on the Spa Avenue. Their original appearance and attractiveness outdoors is forever lost. A sever damage in the easily accessible part destroyed over 4000 stalactites and changed the cave forever. However, the cave is still gorgeous with moves and spacious halls, decorated with massive wandering formations.
The cave continues for many meters, giving amazing views and images of different rooms and halls with many interesting formations, placed at different elevations, requiring different level of experience. The cave is now equipped with footpaths, railings and stairs and electric lighting installation, which allows you to see the fantastic decoration of an underground wonder.
If you plan to visit the cave, it is suggested to wear warm clothes, as the air temperature ranges from 0.6°C/33°F in winter to 5.9°C/42.6°F in summer with humidity close to 98%. Visiting this cave is one of the things that you won’t be sorry for!
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