Staying overnight at Sonora Caverns RV Park cost $15 a night – water and electricity included – but the guided tour of caverns themselves cost $20 per adult and $16 for kids 4 and over. Still, it was 21 miles from the nearest town, so we made due with dinner from cans and managed to stay under our $80 daily budget.
The girls and I had never been in a cave before, but Daniel had. We saw stalactites and stalagmites, and columns, which are a joining of the two. We spent a lot of time learning about caves – one hour and 45 minutes, to be exact: chandeliers, rooms, crystals and something toothpaste-like that may hold the cure for cancer. We had to be careful not to touch ANYTHING, as contact with bodies can mess with the living crystals inside a cave.
Our tour guide was a keen caver – don’t even think of calling her a spelunker…these days that term is an insult to the serious caver (the correct term).
We didn’t emerge with a burning desire to become cavers ourselves, although our guide had alluded to some pretty racy goings-on underground – old hippy cavers are apparently into naked ramen noodle wrestling, but she didn’t specify what the younger generation gets up to.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.