Ispitivanje špilje Lokvarka

Prospekt News

Iva, a guide, giving a commentary of the phenomena of the Lokvarka
Cave (photo: M. Randić)


Shortly after the Lokvarka Cave was re-opened to visitors,
an examination was held on 31 August 2009 for professional cave guides.
The test questions were based on the Manual for Tourist Guides to the
Lokvarka Cave. Commissioned by the PI “Priroda”, the manual
was written by Roman Ozimec, B.Sc. Eng., M. Sc., president of the Croatian
Bio-speleological Society, in collaboration with the speleologists Ivo
Lučić and Gordan Polić. Together with the Regulations on Internal Order
for the Lokvarka Cave, the manual served as the primary exam literature
for examinees. Six potential guides sat for the exam. All (except one)
displayed sound knowledge regarding the subject matter. The exam questions
were divided into a number of thematic groups and sub-groups. Questions
were focused on karst phenomena, on how caves are created and how they
develop, on the distinctive features of and interesting facts about the
Lokvarka Cave, on the cave’s plant and animal life, on how to guide guests,
on potential hazards and on how to handle unforeseen situations, etc.
In addition to the exam, a lecture was also held concerning the everyday
problems and issues that the guides might encounter in their work with
visitors, as for example, how to handle large groups of visitors, what
to do if children visiting the cave become frightened and begin to cry,
how to handle visitors who refuse to respect the rules (such as the rule
prohibiting the use of flash bulbs in photographing the cave), or what
to do in case of an accident, a black-out, or a panicking visitor. A particular
issue that also needs to be addressed is how to adjust the commentaries
of the cave guides to the age and level of interest of tourists visiting
the cave.
Using their exam results, the future guides will be able to identify and
improve those areas of knowledge and skills, which they have not yet mastered
to a full extent.

The “Leopard’s Skin”, a cave phenomenon of potentially great
interest to visitors, deserves special commentary (photo: G. Pavoković)