As in a Jules Verne adventure, exploring the depths of the Earth requires a combination of risk, effort and curiosity. The mysterious cavities shall have no secrets for those who practice caving.
It is a mountain discipline that entails the study and inspection of cavities and caves. Cavers determine the length and depth, amongst other important parameters.
One must have technical knowledge, the appropriate equipment and be familiar with the area being explored, just as with meteorology. Some caves can be entered on foot and no complex equipment is necessary: just the appropriate clothing, a helmet and light sources.
There are many different types of cavities of varying difficulties. Three important types exist. The first is the gallery, a horizontal passage that can have a steep inclination and various dimensions: from centimetres to passages measuring hundreds of metres in width and fifty metres in height. There is also the shaft, a vertical passageway, and the chamber, which tends to be large.
To practice this sport, it is recommended that you contact the Federació Catalana d’Espeleologia (Catalan Caving Association), which gives courses. They also have information on the types of caves that can be visited. For example, those which are of interest due to the presence of wild fauna, like bats. This is the case of the Vallmajor cave in Albinyana in the Baix Penedès region, and of the Daví and Castellsapera chasms in Sant Llorenç de Munt.
They also specify which have little oxygen and those that have a special visiting schedule, like the shaft of La Calella, located in the heart of L’Estartit in Girona.