Down in the Valley

The workload leading up to the holiday period and a couple of disappointments left us physically and mentally drained.  Time for some rest and relaxation.  We booked ourselves a new year break on the other side of the country in Mid Wales, a place we have never visited before.  Travelled over on an organised coach trip and stayed in a lovely Victorian hotel where we were wined and dined for three nights.

The impressive Caban Coch Dam

On day two we were taken on a trip through the spectacular Elan Valley.  I was amazed at the ability of the driver to negotiate the 20+ miles of narrow, twisting road through the Cambrian Mountains.  That’s the advantage of doing this, being able to sit back and admire the scenery.  The disadvantage is not being able to stop when a stunning view comes into sight!  The Valley Is dominated by six dams and reservoirs which supply drinking water to the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands and also produce some hydro-electric power.  Building started in 1893 and finished in 1952.

The Cambrian Mountains

The Cambrian Mountains do not have many rocky outcrops but are more rounded and grassy.  The area has very little population and is known as the ‘Desert of Wales’.  The highest point is 2467ft (752m).

Devil’s Bridge

A stop for lunch in the village of Devil’s Bridge gave me a chance to see the structure from which the name derives.  For the princely sum of £1 you can descend into a gorge to view the three bridges built on each other.  The earliest being Medieval (c 1075-1200).  The second built in 1753 and finally an iron bridge erected in 1901.  Light down here was pretty much non-existant and I had to push the iso to a thousand.

A pretty waterfall in the town Llandrindod Wells where we were based

29 thoughts on “Down in the Valley

  1. The Elan Valley is lovely. Was there years ago, then up onto the rounded and grassy ‘Desert of Wales’ for a day’s navigation practice with map and compass. Some of the most difficult terrain I’ve ever navigated!

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  2. That bridge was pretty cool from your picture and to read how old, well as an American, I am easily impressed when anyone says Medieval. Those mountains are impressive and when we have visited it is amazing the temperature difference between the top into the valley. Happy New Year!!!

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      1. My own wee Olympus has a great stabiliser and although an inbuilt slight tremor in my hands it doesn’t seem to affect my snaps.

        I have a cute wee tripod in my camera case and camera sits atop a home-made ‘bean bag’ therein. The polystyrene bags don’t add much weight and one can almost always find a perch for it.

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  3. We hope the difficulties experienced during the holidays have dissolved and the New Year is looking bright.

    What a stunning area! Since we live in flat land, “mountains” of >2,000 feet seem impressive. The good thing about having a guided visit is you had a chance to see what the area is like and can return to explore further at leisure. (I would be planning a trip almost immediately!)

    Thank you for sharing some impressive scenery, Brian!

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  4. Happy New Year B! Nice start to the new decade as these pictures are wonderful (trust me, the ISO push takes nothing away from the shot). Admittedly, I was looking at the picture of the bridges before I got to your description, whole time wondering what was going on there. Truly a unique sight. Sorry to hear about the disappointments and those in the retail business deserve an extra week off having to endure Thanksgiving (at least stateside) and the Christmas holidays. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings us (assuredly more intriguing shots like these!)

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    1. Greetings of the new decade to you and yours! That bridge was fascinating and could only be viewed from the bottom of the gorge, luckily the Nikon is pretty good in low light with a solid support.
      It was a big blow before xmas when our daughter said she was coming back to the UK for a couple of weeks but wouldn’t be coming to see us, preferring to stay with her boyfriends family nearly two hundred miles away. Then we were in the process of selling our property and buying a new home, all paperwork and contracts signed and ready to exchange, when our buyers lost their buyer so at this moment everything has come to a grinding halt. You see why we needed that break!

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      1. Sorry to hear about the bad news – best wishes the house situation gets resolved – definitely a stressful situation. Don’t know what to say about the daughter situation as I’ve never had to experience that.

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      2. There is a saying “Sh*t happens” very true. Been trying to sell the property for two years and this was the only offer we had, still it might happen. As for the lemming, well, she’s upset her mum (and me) but she’s at that age. When I was her age I was the sort of person parents warned you to stay away from, a right rebel without a cause! We brought her up with loads of freedom, it would have been hypocritical not too, just a couple of days wouldn’t hurt her partying and we offered to pay her train and taxi fare. Ah well life goes on.

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  5. Happy New Year to you. Some great shots. Appears you had some great down time. Good for you. I live near the Ozark Mountain Range in Missouri. Like where you were it is truly captivating. Thanks for sharing. Your photos give me a chance to see areas of the world that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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