Monday 10 April 2023

The Ballad of the Crystal Pool

 Twas a mizzling drizzling Easter morning
(The Met Office had issued weather warnings)
When five intrepid explorers prepared to set off
For adventures deep within Dan yr Ogof. 
Now cavers are canny, and while brave beyond doubt
They tend to choose caves that will let them back out:
So with thunderstorms threatening the waters to rise
They refocused their sights on a different prize.
Nearby in the kingdom of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
They had heard of the magical Waterfall Series:
A pool filled with crystals, a black calcite chamber - 
But the journey would be filled with unparalleled danger!
Yet our cavers were armed with more than just courage
They had brought with them Keith - a fountain of knowledge
And that wily cave wizard was ably assisted
By the valiant Loz, so on they persisted.
The first challenge was the streamway: it was gushing a torrent
Those swept away would meet with a fate most abhorrent.
But Keith was not fazed – he knew the most secret paths
To avoid the black stream and it’s inevitable baths.
They went down the Dugout, through slithering crawls
Over terrifying traverses (risking neck-breaking falls).
Through the airy hall of Pie Chamber and rolling back down
To the dazzling passages where selenite abound. 
They scaled Lowe’s Chain back down into the stream
And had a look at the sump (water levels to glean)
It was safe to proceed so they ventured onwards again
Up past the waterfall into the series it names.
So close to their treasure - and yet they must remain bold
For they still need to scale a rift that is lacking in holds.
They udged and grudged up; the rift thinner and thinner
The cavers each wished they had forgone their dinner.
Until, at last, out!  The long sought treasure they see!
The most beautiful corner of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu?
The pool it did sparkle, with crystalline whirls
Reflecting the o’erhanging stalagmite twirls.
Down a tunnel to the right, by using athletic gyrations
The cavers reached a room with black calcite formations.
(Only the smallest made it to this final display
The others vowed to diet and try again some day).
They took only photos and tales to be told
With beers around fires to ward off the cold.
And maybe these tales will inspire others to seek
The yet undiscovered wonders that wait in the deep.

Trip report by Anne Bell


  1. Absolutely brilliant Anne, l don't know how anyone is ever going to match your blog.
    I think mine will read OFD. We went, it was good, the end.
    Ian Millward
    Ps l have had to publish this as anonymous as l don't know what a URL is but it's really me, honest!

  2. Agreed bloody brilliant. Bit of a hidden talent there ! Graham