After and evening of heavy drinking (at least for some of the group), I was rudely awakened bright and early by none other than my own bladder, I wandered downstairs to find Glen cooking breakfast solo – so I gave him a hand.
Over breakfast there was much deliberation about which cave we should go down. As the paradoxically warm winter morning sun beat down on us we chose to stay mostly above the ground, and thusit was decided that we should go to Porth-yr-ogof as it was small, easy and picturesque. We arrived at the official car park but after seeing the extortionate parking fees we drove 100m away to a big layby where the cars were haphazardly parked. Approaching the cave entrance we passed numerous signs and barriers attempting to persuade us not to enter. However, being cavers as we are, we simply assumed these warnings were for the tourist-caving proles and not the professional bylaw-exempt caving patricians that SUSS are. How very Byzantine.
We reached the cave entrance which was admittedly very impressive, just outside the entrance was a crystal clear pool that looked very inviting in the warm midday sunlight. Sam and Sam both agreed to each other that if the other jumped in then they would too, but no sooner than the appropriately named fresher ‘Streaker Sam’ was getting undressed a party of 13-year-old girls dressed all in matching caving kits arrived, led by a bloke who was attempting to shepherd them from the cliff edge while giving a half-hearted spiel about ‘cave safety’. We overheard one girl uttering one of the most objectionable sentences I’ve ever heard in reference to her Warmbac Oversuit; “I bet those guys down there are well jel [sic]* of our lush onesies”. Had Mark been there I doubt we’d have been able to hold him back.
*Footnote – this is not a ‘sic erat scriptum’, it is the sound of myself being physically sick as I type the words ‘well jel’ into a published document.
He chose to pose Streaker Sam atop a pile of rocks right by the base of the fall, looking up and gesturing at the torrent above him in apparent and obvious wonder. The photo is a potent satirisation of every caving photo ever because, as we all know, a caver hasn’t truly seen a marvelous feature until they have been photographed looking at it with an over-expressed gormless look on their face.
We went on a little bit further to see the next big pool, which was particularly wide and deep. Despite the presence of a couple and their dog out enjoying a lovely picnic on a rare warm winter day, the Sams and Naomi decided to take another opportunity to strip and take a jump in, the dog looked poised to join them but thought better of it when a load of bitterly cold water splashed it after Sam’s bomb into the pool. After the trio had had their fun and were changed we decided to turn back, this time walking via the adjacent road.
The road dragged on for a few miles but it proved to be a good choice as we took a brief stop at a tiny little petrol station where we all got ice cream and sat by the road in the sun.
After the ice cream the monotonous three-mile walk along the road seemed less daunting and we were soon back at the cars and bidding farewell to Sam and Naomi.
We made plans to return to the quaint Croyden Cottage in the summer, when the poor insulation and lack of amenities would matter less and we could enjoy a barbeque in the spacious and pretty garden.
Trip date 8th February 2015.