Bank holiday in South Wales

We spent the Sunday and Monday of the bank holiday weekend caving in South Wales. On Sunday we met Brendan and a new Dudley recruit, Laura, at Penwyllt, the South Wales Caving Club HQ. After numerous cups of tea we kitted up and headed up to Top Entrance of OFD.

Getting ready at Penwyllt
Getting ready at Penwyllt

Our destination was The OFD Columns, which are only available for viewing on bank holidays so that damage to these fine formations is restricted. This is kind of amusing to me, because The OFD Columns are supposedly anthropogenic, i.e. they were formed as a result of lime leaching from kilns on the surface. Apparently, as a result of not being true stal, they are more delicate than normal formations… hence perhaps why they need special access arrangements. Regardless they are very pretty.

The OFD Columns and Richard (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)
The OFD Columns and Richard (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)
The OFD Columns and Laura (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)
The OFD Columns and Laura (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)
The OFD Columns and me (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)
The OFD Columns and me (photo courtesy of Brendan Marris)

After seeing the columns we headed to Salubrious Passage and then into the Sand Crawls before making our way out for more tea and cake (madiera) :-).

On Monday morning, we met Brendan and Laura at Luigis for breakfast.

It's such a memorable place that it deserves a picture!
It’s such a memorable place that it deserves a picture!

After a great feed, we headed up to Whitewalls for tea and then got kitted up. We went into Aggy with the plan to do the Inner Circle. Part way however, we decided that we’d had too many cups of tea and hence, a trip to the Coal Cellar Passage and the Coal Cellar was perhaps a more sensible destination in order to get out at a reasonable time. When we got to Coal Cellar Passage we explored a few side passages. The first one was extremely muddy and led to a chamber which was even muddier – very sticky, knee deep mud! After extracting ourselves from here, Richard then explored the next side passage, but decided it was too horrid to continue. The final side passage we explored turned out to be the Coal Cellar itself. It was a chamber, with black boulders seemingly appearing from a hole in the chamber roof. A good destination… but no pictures. On our way back from the Coal Cellar, we noticed some tracks in the cave which looked a bit like bike tracks. Given the number of boulders around, and given the entrance series, this seemed improbable, but then Brendan found this link

There are people more crazy than us by a long way!

We returned to Whitewalls and recovered by drinking tea. I also took a few pictures around Whitewalls of some of the more amusing wall decor…

This will be amusing for those in the know :-)
This will be amusing for those in the know 🙂
...neither do we...
…neither do we…