28-29 May 2011 - Nigel Dibben - SN83801600
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The trip to South Wales was one of the weeekends organised early in the year by Allan. We had accommodation at the Croydon Caving Club Hut, Godre Pentre at Ystradfellte. Our host was Chris Crowley who also led the trip on Saturday and we found the atmosphere very friendly. The New Inn, just down the road, served evening meals which were not cheap but were certainly substantial. Allan, Nigel and Tom travelled down together on Friday and we were able to get well prepared for the Saturday trip.
Saturday started with a bit of drizzle and there had been rain in the week so we were a bit concerned about Dan-yr-Ogof but went there anyway, arriving mid-morning. After changing and going down to Lake 1, Chris decided to check with another leader who was just coming in as the level seemed high but had been higher recently. After a bit of deliberation, we decided to go ahead and went through the partial swims into the cave proper.
The Long Crawl didn't seem too bad and we had a round trip visiting Flabbergasm Chasm, the Green Canal, the Abyss, the Washing Machine and back to Gerrard Platten Hall where we went back up into the Long Crawl again. Near the lakes, the river seemed a bit wetter and sure enough, the lakes themselves had risen by some 5 inches or more. At this point, Allan revealed that he really did not like swimming at all! However, we were soon through and on our way out through the show cave. After this, and taking a few pictures of dinosaurs (for Allan's Callum), we walked up to Tunnel/Cathedral Cave which is also a show cave and went to the end of the public section and back again. Chris and Allan were seen being photographed with two kids, clearly the member of the public thought they were representative examples of cavers!!
After changing and going back to Ystradfellte, we had some time to kill so walked over the hill into the Little Neath River valley, a pleasant walk over dryish moors. Little Neath River Cave looked fairly wet (water nearly over the dam) so we knew we might need to change Sunday plans. After that it was pub, meal, sleep, listen to the rain.
Sunday saw a damp start but it dried up later. Neil had arrived the night before and we explained the situation to him. Plans were to go to Little Neath River and see how it was - if too high then we would go in Bridge Cave and take some photos. Sure enough, it was flowing well under the bridge so we started with Bridge Cave which was fun but wet. All of us were nearly swept off our feet at different points in the cave. When we came out, we carried on down the river checking Cwm Pwll y Rhyd and White Lady Cave, all very wet. Then back to Little Neath River Cave entrance and the water was now higher than 24 hours before. So it was change and back to the hut when we decided to head home. Two good trips (one longer, one short) and good company made up for the damp weather although we never got any really heavy rain.
Thanks Allan for making all the arrangements.
Below 1: Allan emerging from the cold water in Lake 1 of DYO Below 2: Dinosaurs Below 3: Bridge Cave Below 4: The entrance to Little Neath River Cave