We’ve had an awful lot of rain so far this October, so much so it is defiantly a case of ‘rain stopped play’. Usually in Wales the rain does stop, but only long enough so it can start raining again. But eventually it did stop, and stopped long enough for us to make it out to the Brecon Beacons for a walk through the woods and along the Afon Mellte to visit a couple of water falls we’ve missed before on our stumbles through the forest.
Autumn has arrived and the temperature had dropped overnight to near freezing. Further north Snowdon had it’s first fall of snow of the season, and the leaves are starting to turn colour. I’m hoping for a good show this year so I can play with the camera, but I’ll probably miss the best time knowing my lack of timing. It would be nice to say that we had the place to ourselves, but the paths were heaving with families. Probably all desperate to escape the house and get outside without getting soaked. It was good to see so many kids having fun in the woods, though I did spot a few very muddy and bedraggled individuals by the end of the afternoon.
The first challenge was getting a parking space near Porth ur Ogof. When we arrive dit was full, but as we were turning around to find somewhere else to park a car left and we nipped in. The path starts at the car park and a little detour down a steep and rather challenging, slippery path brings you down to Porth yr Ogof, the Cave Mouth (sounds much better in Welsh I think). Here the Afon Mellte disappears into a wide and deep cave to reappear further down the valley. This is the entrance to miles of limestone underground tunnels and caves. The last time we were here the river was low enough we could walk safely quite a distance inside. But not today. Apparently this was used a setting for the Bat Cave in one the latest in the Batman film franchises. I can only assume that with tight camera angles and a little imagination it could be, but……Batman wasn’t at home today.
A short detour leads along a small green lane past a couple of old farms before leading you along the top of a deep gorge. It’s difficult to see the river far below, but the thunder of the water accompanied us through the woods until the path descends towards Sgwd Club Gwyn, the first water fall on this section. The river was in full torrent and was a magnificent sight are the water thundered and rushed over the falls.
Further down the valley is the next fall of Sgwd y Pannwr. This is not so easy to reach and requires a 20 minute walk down a steep and rocky path. This gives you two water falls for the price of one.
The first is a long but small fall where the water tumbles over a fault about 50 meters along the length of the river, before reaching Sgwd y Pannwr, another impressive fall of water.
As we staggered back up to the ridge way and took our breath, pretending to look at the views, we realised we had missed another water fall down the bottom of the valley called Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn. Next time! But this time with the clocks having changed it was close to sunset so it was too late. A little further down the path is Sgwd yr Eira which we explored before. But even though we only took in two of the main water falls it was still great to get out.
27th October 2019