Okay, for my last day in Wales I had a very special (at least for me it was special ^^) location in mind, I wanted to see and explore. I even bought a torch in Merthyr Tydfil for the occasion. ;) So, what do you think it was I wanted to see? Right. A cave! But not just any cave. I wanted to visit Porth yr Ogof which was Balinor's cave, and it also appeared in "Aithusa".
But first I had to get there... and that wasn't too easy. I took the train to Aberdare, and then the bus to Penderyn, but I couldn't get any nearer than this, which meant I had to walk the rest of the way, around 6.5 km or 4 miles (one way). Well, that didn't sound too bad, but I hadn't thought of the differences in altitude. The road I took went up and down, up and down. *lol* But finally, after about 1 1/4 hours I arrived at the "Four Waterfall Car Park", also the location of Porth yr Ogof. At that point I didn't even want to think about the fact that I had to walk all the way back again. ;)
This is what the information board at the car park said:
"Porth yr Ogof is a popular cave system consisting of approx. 2.5 km of underground rivers, dry passages, pools and submerged passages known an sumps."
And this is how it looks like:
It also said, that you shoud only try to explore the cave system, if you're properly equipped and experienced or have an experienced guide with you. So, exploring the cave in detail was out of the question, because I had none of these attributes. And I actually don't have a death wish. ;) But I had to see at least the entrance, which is one of the largest cave entrances in Britain.
So, the walk itself to the car park was rather nice if a bit boring at times. ;)
But when I got to the cave it was worth every step I had made! Isn't it beautiful? :)
And of course I've got some screenshots for you that show how it was used in Merlin! :D
I didn't really get the right angle most of the time, but at least the last one is perfect, don't you think? ^^
And of course I had to venture at least a tiny little bit into the cave, maybe about 20-30 m. It got pitchblack very quickly, and the torch I had bought was actually a joke (*lol*). It was only bright enough to show me my feet and the next half metre, so, at the very least I could be sure where to put my feet. ;) And as there were a lot of little trickles and pools, that was indeed quite helpful to keep them dry. ;)
The next three pictures I took blindly, literally! I just turned on the flash and pushed the release. ^^
When I was there, I wasn't all alone. There was a family with two kids, a mouse (or something)...
... and two school classes, who were in full attire ready to explore the cave for real. And they didn't enter the cave system through the main entrance, not exactly at least, instead they used a tiny hole right at the entrance to get in. I'm not claustrophobic, but I don't think I ever could have done that! O_O
After this lovely and equally exciting exploration, I went back up again and thanked whoever put that railing along the path... ;)
Next thing on the list was at least one of the four waterfalls nearby. Unfortunately, I haven't had time for more, because I had to catch the last bus from Penderyn, and I still had a 4 miles-walk ahead of me.
And I apologise in advance, but I just have to post pictures of the path leading to the waterfall, and I hope you may get an impression of how "interesting" that path actually is. ;)
The beginning was fairly easy.
But then it was going up...
... and down.
Decisions, decisions, decisions... the slippery rocks or the mud? ;)
Okay, the slippery rocks it is.
In the end I arrived at the waterfall, called Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, with almost dry feet.
There was an almost even area right in front of where the waterfall dropped down, but I didn't dare to go any further than what you see in the picture below.
The drop was just a little bit too high to feel entirely comfortable, not to mention that the stony underground was slippery as hell. ;)
Well, that's basically it. On my way back to Penderyn I just admired the beautiful landscape...
... while the indigenous inhabitants were probably wondering why the heck I would walk that road instead of using a car... *lol*
(Nearly) the end of the road, but definitely the end of my report.
I hope I didn't promise too much and you enjoyed it a bit. :)