Research Trip Ride-Along: Welsh Wonders
Ahhhh….Wales. So beautiful. I just love it here, and am so, so glad I came. With every stop I’ve found something to help with my current project, and the combined mystery and practicality of this place reminds me of Scotland.
Bronze age stone circle.
But Scotland it is not, for Wales has a charm and insoucience all its own.
The Dan-yr-Ogof caves were …. amazing. I am one of those cranky people who believe that seeing things in their natural form is enough, so the value added of the dinosaurs on the surrounding hillsides did nothing for me.
Dan-yr-ogof cave falls.
–They are not aimed at you, kc. [Welsh accented voice in my head]
–I know but, really? Dinos? Because…
— Because nothin’. Let them have their fun, yeah?
Okay, okay. I’ll focus on the bit I loved, shall I? The caves are mostly limestone, carved out by the river Llynfell, which now flows well below them. This is not to say they are not wet, as water continues to flow and shape the insides. The first caves were discovered by the Morgan brothers in 1912, who had a farm nearby. I can’t imagine the kind of nerve it took to go inside. To give you an idea, this is the hole they climbed through initially.
Original entrance to Dan-yr-ogof.
They travelled through the dark, carrying torches and marking the way with ropes so they wouldn’t get lost under ground. And what they found? Amazing.
There are three principle cave systems at Dan-yr-Ogof. The Bone Cave, so called because it was found to house 42 human skeletons, is the smallest. [It’s also filled with ‘value-added’ material like cave men and mood lighting, which is why there are no pictures of it here.] Cathedral cave, originally accessed through a tiny entrance, was simply breathtaking.
And the Dan-yr-Ogof cave system itself, with more than 16 km of explored passageways was filled with the most amazing wonders.
Dan yr Ogof topography
Brilliant rock formations throughout; with water still dripping and running, continuing to reshape the insides even now.
It defines … awe.