Sunday, 19 February 2012

Limestone Pavements and a balancing act

After an abortive trip about a year ago to find Saith Maen it was time to try again. This time equipped with a GPS handset. Last time was an exercise in pure frustration - trying to find specific rocks in a landscape full of them is not an easy task.

This is a beautiful part of South Wales very close to the Dan yr Ogof cave system and the landscape is riddled with swallet holes and deep depressions.

It has a desolate air but nonetheless very peaceful and compelling especially on a day like today when there are no other people around. On a nice summer's day the path gets quite busy but we were off across the moorland..... no path to where we were headed.

 The trek to the rock alignment we were seeking was a bit of a nightmare, across screes made slippery with snow, tussocks, streams, bogs  and boulders. 

Not an easy walk over a couple of miles of this terrain.The mountain top is a badly fractured limestone pavement. Rocks everywhere. Trying to find man made features in this landscape is certainly a challenge and we were grateful for the aid of the GPS. Finally however the GPS locator beeped and we were there. My feet were cold and wet and it was attempting to snow again. I was glad to reach it!

This is the biggest rock. My camera angle is not great but it is balanced on the rock pavement. It could possibly be a natural occurrence but somehow it doesn't look like it.

Thos was taken from the rock itself looking down the hill. There seem to be some clear rock alignments coming together at right angles but it is hard to separate the potentially man made features from the random stones. Again my angles are not good. The alignments are very hard to see.

There were a couple of other features on our list but I was cold, the weather seemed to be closing in again with the blue sky being replaced by ominous black cloud formations. It seemed sensible to head north back to the main path and an easy  route back to the car leaving the moors to the sheep, ravens and kites.

Until the next visit....
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