Family Day in the Elan Valley   8 comments

After all the excitement and thrills of the Pyrenees trip we needed something a little more subdued for a family day out. A picnic and short stroll in the Elan Valley was in order.

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We parked up by the Pont Ar Elan at the head of the Craig Goch Reservoir. My memories from my childhood was of playing in the the river but today it was a raging torrent. In fact the Mountain Rescue were practising their fast moving river techniques in it. I don’t recall it being particularly wet in the previous couple of weeks but I guess it must have been

Whatever, it was a fine place to spend a couple of hours filling our faces and it was actually pretty hot and humid. I would have taken a swim if I’d had my stuff with me

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We moved on to the dam of Craig Goch and were surprised to see it gushing with water. This normally only happens in winter and, despite the fact that I’ve visited the Elan Valley dozens of times, I’ve only ever seen it like this on a couple of occasions. Normally in summer the water is low enough to leave several meters of bare shoreline exposed. It makes a pretty dramatic waterfall when its in “spate” as it were

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We took a short stroll along the lake shore and over the small rocky outcrop that overlooks the dam. It was wonderfully clear day and the dark blue of the reservoir contrasted to great effect with the green hillsides (further evidence of wet conditions) and the paler blue sky

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The aerial view down over the dam was especially grand

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We moved on to the second reservoir and dam of Pen y Garreg to see if the water was flowing over which indeed it was. You can walk easily to the base of this one and it was mighty impressive

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I told the kids that extreme kayakers love to shoot the sides of these flows (although its strictly forbidden not to say bloody dangerous)

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We finished the day with a cuppa by the visitor centre at the lowest reservoir and dam of Caban Goch. This was also thundering with water which I’ve never seen before in almost 50 years of visiting the Elan Valley. Alas no photos as the car park was a chargeable one which I was too outraged to pay up for so we wanted to avoid a parking ticket by overstaying our “welcome”. Clearly the money the generate from the gift shop, cafe and bike hire isn’t sufficient to pay the shareholders dividends

We went our separate ways. TBF and TJS to mid Wales for some walking (not entirely successful as this was the start of few days of heatwave so too hot for hiking) and me and TJF back home to work and school

8 responses to “Family Day in the Elan Valley

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  1. Beautiful shots!

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  2. What a glorious day of relaxed walking. The UK hasn’t been short of rain since November I think. I love the open green spaces and the your cascading water.
    Australia has had an unprecedented wet winter and so many of the big dams in the south are opening their spillways for the 1st time in a long time. The Red Centre is the Green centre and I keep seeing shots of waterfalls off Uluru.

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    • We had a very wet mid winter but we are embarrassingly bad at managing our water in the UK. Its not uncommon for floods and full reservoirs in winter followed by water shortages in the same year! We are thinking of returning for another visit to Australia next year and heading to the Red Centre so fascinating to read its been so wet. We’ve not been before (we did Queensland last time) so my mental picture is one of dry desert rather than waterfalls!🙂

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  3. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your visit to Queensland and have even quoted your selection of places to visit in one of my blogs. I recently visited North Qld for the 1st time in many years and had a wonderful time hiking with my brother.

    http://outandabout3.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/views-from-train.html

    I have an American friend who has just arrived in Alice Springs to hike our Laparinta Trail. She has commented how lush the desert looks. Rain was falling and Uluru had several cascading waterfalls. It must be fantastic to see but certainly not the ‘red centre’. If you come next year it should still look pretty good. Happy planning.

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    • I didn’t realise you’d seen my posts from a couple of years back. Thanks for the link on your pages. It really was an amazing trip and we have some treasured memories (by the way I do read your blog and try to comment but Blogger doesn’t seem to like my WordPress ID, it rarely lets me post a comment without a lot of hassle)

      Its proving very hard to plan next years trip. We are torn between revisiting the wonderful places we went to last time and seeing something totally new having travelled halfway around the world

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  4. “swim if I’d had my stuff” – Stuff? Feeble excuse – your audience waiting for a full report of the sensations available and you dip out of taking a dip? You’re slacking!
    (Dam photos are very impressive however, so we may let you off. This time.)

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    • It was pretty cloudy and cool when we left home and was expecting a cold and chilly picnic. As we sat the temperature soared and I regretted not having my swim stuff – well that’s my excuse anyway. The temperatures were up in the 30’s next day when I was at work😦

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