I went in search of some souls and found my self again.

One thing I hoped to see less of when I came inland from the coast was static caravans. But, somehow, I’ve ended up on a site that has regimented rows of them along with seasonally pitched touring caravans. So packed is this site that I feel I am the filling in a caravan sandwich. Worst of all, 90% of all these caravans were empty, on my arrival. Now it is Sunday evening, and the few people that were staying here have left and it is like a ghost town. Once upon a time, apparently, this site was lauded in one of those ‘top campsite’ camping guides. Times have changed, the statics have taken over along with seasonal pitches and the place has lost its soul. It’s a shame because the location is stunning; you just can’t see much of it for the caravans all around you, packed together so tight that if I put up my awning (not that I will be doing that again for a while) it would be right up against the caravan alongside me.

The site is run by a woman with military zeal. Every half hour, she marches up and down between the rows, scowling and frowning at each caravan she passes, looking for some breach of caravan site rules. When not on parade, she is in and out of the utility block, checking to see if anyone has done something unspeakable in there in her brief absence.

She stops by my camper van and asks if I’m planning any trips out during my stay. She returns half an hour later to say that her husband says I can’t possibly drive my vehicle to see the waterfalls because the road is too narrow; and as for the mountain road to Bala, well, her husband would never allow her to drive that road alone. Obviously, neither she or her husband know that I’ve cut my camper-van driving teeth on the road to hell. The other thing they don’t know about me is that if I hear anyone tell me I can’t do something, I get all uppity and narky. I guess I’ve been told ‘you can’t do that’ one time too many in my life.

The sun appeared this morning for what must be the first time in over a week, and I woke up in a ‘we SHALL go to the waterfall, SO!’ kind of mood. I started out early, in the hope of beating the crowds. I stayed so long that by the time I left in the afternoon, the car-park had overflowed and there was a steady stream of new arrivals every minute. Needless to say, I gathered a good deal more vegetation on my hub-caps along the 5 miles of narrow lane to the nearest village.

The waterfall at Pistyll Rhaedr is sublime. WP_20140601_10_00_30_Pro

There is a path which goes up beyond the falls and into the Berwyn mountains beyond. This is the land of Arthurian legend and Celtic myth and it transcends any mountain landscape I’ve hitherto been…

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…this little footbridge crossed a tumbling mountain stream where the dogs took a swim in a rocky pool…

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…we sat for a long time gazing at the views down to the valley below the falls and up toward the mountains…

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… hunger took me back down to the falls and the tearooms in the little house there. I ordered a pot of tea and a slice of Bara Brith and was filled with wonder as a little green finch hopped up onto the table and took crumbs from my hand. A nuthatch then darted up and peered at me from the post beside my seat.

I talked for a time with the charismatic custodian of this magical place and he informed me of this site’s significance to the early druids. There is a small and exclusive campsite here, for the spiritually minded only, and a spiritual retreat for those who are feeling lost and adrift and needing to reconnect with themselves.

There is a special atmosphere to this place, something beyond the ordinary, something magical and mystical.

If you want to read a fascinating account of the myths and legends which surround this fabulous and remote part of Wales, follow this link;

http://www.pistyllrhaeadr.co.uk/berwyns.html

Jenny Lloyd is the author of the Megan Jones trilogy of novels, historical suspense set in early 19th century, rural Wales.

Leap the Wild Water new book cover meadow      The Calling of the Raven updated book cover      Anywhere the Wind Blows Book Cover - jpg

You can read about the books and purchase them by clicking on the links below.

Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd

The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd

Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/i1sy302jXXK

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30 thoughts on “I went in search of some souls and found my self again.

  1. Wonderful blog, Jenny – and so honest. Someone so open as you to awe-inspiring scenery and thoughtful introspection could only write equally emotive and inspirational novels. And you do. Good luck with publishing The Calling of the Raven. Looking forward to reading it. Take care in your home on wheels in those narrow lanes. Have a brilliant birthday!

  2. Shortly after I woke up this morning, I realised I was in that bad place, again. So when I read your post, I didn’t expect to feel any better, but I did. Thank you for taking me to that wonderful place. I love waterfalls and this one reminded me of my favourite in Cornwall, St. Nectan’s. If I could visit places like this on a regular basis, I don’t think I would ever feel bad again.

    • I am so happy to hear that my post had such a beneficial effect. I think we would all be happier if we could spend more time in places like this. Pistyll Rhaedr has an extraordinary energy about it. I didn’t want to leave there, I felt at such peace.

  3. Wow, thanks for this. You had me right there with you, walking down the path, seeing the majestic views, and watching the finch eat your crumbs. I can see how this recharged you. Love the camper story too. Someday I’m going on my own Travels with Charlie. Something about the solitude – like Kerouac in the Dharma Bums up in the mountains in that crazy cabin…

  4. What a glorious post, Jenny. What glory you have around you too. It moved me to read about your ‘light bulb’ moments. Your surroundings are so very beautiful, so full of ancient mystery, that I can feel your deep love and connectedness with where you are. Your intrepid determination is just great too. I cheered you on in this post! I think I will have to get a camper and overcome my fear of large vehicles in small spaces 🙂

  5. Wonderful post Jenny; very contemplative. Yes, PR is quite something isn’t it? Years since I’ve been there. We do live in a magnificent land. For some reason I’m put in mind of Elizabeth West’s Hovel In The Hills, which I read donkey’s years ago. Still got it in fact. Beautiful dogs; are they springers or something larger? I’ll share on FB

    • Thanks, John, I haven’t read that, must see if I can track it down. The dogs are Springers. Morgan dog is very large for a Springer, I’m told. He has a head like a St Bernard.

      • Yes, thought they were springers but was confused by the size of Morgan. I’ve had two springers, Bethan and Elin, who being bitches were relatively small. Proper dogs, in my view! The present one, Sali, is a cocker/springer cross. Little bugger with other dogs, always wanting to boisterously play, she is!

  6. Jenny, what a lovely journey you lead–both outer and inner. I’m so curious to see Welsh mountains. As a kid I was so drawn to any and every tale of King Arthur and my heritage includes a Welsh great-grandfather that I know little about. My husband’s great-grandmother, Mary Flora Jones, was born in Llanddyfnan, Anglesey, Wales. And I have no idea where that is! You open up to me a world I know nothing about but feel mysteriously connected to. Happy caravaning and happy birthday!

    • Hi Charli! What I have found, in discussions with other people who have Welsh ancestry, is that we all feel a deep sense of connection with Wales. I’m going to be visiting Anglesey on my travels, it has some very ancient burial mounds and such, I believe. I shall have to look up Llanddyfnan!

      • It must be in our blood, that sense of place, of home. Do let me know when you get to Anglesey! On some census documents, it’s spelled “Angel Sea.” 🙂

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