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‘The endless quest for mystical powers’

Afon Y Cwm - River of the Cwm, valley or vale

weather - various, visited numerous times in an 18 month period

Merlin and his pool have had me captivated for the last year and half. I first went searching for his pool in February 2015 and took in a dip there last July (read about that here). But I’d spotted a photo taken by a local photographer, titled ‘Merlin’s Pool’ that looked totally different to all the other photos I’d seen and the pool I’d visited. Whether it was rightly or wrongly titled, I wanted to find it and so started my obsession with Afon y Cwm.

Now I’m sure most folk could probably walk the length of the river in a day, however I crushed a spinal nerve and had surgery mid way through this 18 months which seemed to hamper my ability to scrabble over wet, rocky, unpredictable (and sometimes steep) terrain at the best of times, but I gave it go all the same just in bite sized pieces.

The area around Dinas Emys is awe inspiring, you feel part of history as you walk up the cwm. Wandering through someone’s, now dilapidated, ornamental gardens, through ancient woodlands and fields, before dark craggy hills rise before you, it feels like leaving civilisation behind for another era. There are numerous waterfall pools of various sizes, each with the same crystal clear clarity and luscious greeny blue hues.

Having visited throughout the year, I can say the water was always fresh, and sometimes quite icy. It was always refreshing and left you feeling alive. I recorded it’s sounds, explored it above and below the surface, tracked it’s flow, bathed in it’s depths. I shivered on it shingle banks, warmed up contemplating water supply pipes and field systems, andl I know there is more to explore... Afon Y Cwm started a fascination with rivers that hasn’t stopped.

Huge thanks to Robie Robe’s and Alpkit for keeping me toasty post swim...

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