Another collector’s item.
Keith and Brendan had been talking about Ogof Cynnes for a while, so we figured that it might lack charm and any kind of destination, however this wasn’t a deterrent and so like obedient servants we turned up at Luigi’s at 9.00 for breakfast. It was wet… very wet. We were all lacking motivation (although Richard and I weren’t aware of why that was at that point). So, we sat in Luigi’s and waited until the leak in the roof stopped… but it didn’t. So then we drove to the middle of nowhere and sat in the car… but the weather wasn’t going to break, so eventually we got changed anyway.
The carpark for Ogof Cynnes in located in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Ogof Cynnes itself is located even further into the middle of nowhere. We were ready to go. Brendan took out his GPS and we set off down a track following the direction arrow precisely, with the wind and rain hurtling in our faces. It was 2 km to the cave – cross-country. After a little while we saw a square of fencing and soon after Richard announced that the rain was now horizontally hitting his back. Then a car drove past on the near horizon. Keith exclaimed that he thought the cave was in the opposite direction. We all stood around, walked a little bit to the east and then to the west, turned the GPS off and then on, discussed the location of the road (which wasn’t meant to be there), discussed the setting on the GPS and the meaning of the large directional arrow. We then had a surreal (serious) conversation about whether the magnetic poles had flipped…. and then whether the GPS would be affected by this. After this discussion we changed the setting on the GPS, decided it was now giving the right answer and continued to walk, past the square of fence (actually the third passing of this fence) and continued across the soaking moor.
An hour after leaving the car we reached the cave, our average been was 2 km/h…. or was it more than 2 km via the route we took?
Ogof Cynnes means ‘warm’ cave. It was certainly warmer than the outside, especially once inside the entrance, which had a small waterfall cascading into it.
The entrance was quite fun. It entailed a tight squeeze which turned into an open-bottomed rift, which after a short time was blocked with a huge boulder that rocked. The route went through the tight squeeze, over the open-bottomed rift and then onto the rocking boulder before climbing down to proper passage. A little further on after encountering a fun down climb, we reached the Main Chamber.
From here we explored everywhere. None of the passages really went anywhere and none of them were particularly remarkable… that is except for the mud. There was some pretty good mud… that is, extremely glutinous, adhesive and well, phhlllurbt. It not only formed the most gelatinous swamps, but also quite structural walls, slimy coatings, and well-modelled statues (and horns). The walls were perhaps the most amazing. We encountered one of 8 feet, one of 10 feet and one of 12 feet! These were rather fun to climb, but less fun to down-climb. Keith made a particularly hasty gravity-driven descent from one of them. Thankfully, Brendan’s box of flashes survived the ordeal despite making a slightly faster descent (which ended with them falling into a rifty bit).
After a good look around we retreated towards the entrance and out of the ‘warm’ cave into the welsh rain and drizzle. The precipitation was welcome as our 30 minute walk (note, we took a relatively straight line route on the way back!) across the moor was sufficient to wash all the mud from our oversuits (aided by dips in a number of marshes). The weather was sufficiently wet that I even managed to wash the rest of my gear in the small stream that flowed down the road 🙂