Cwm Rheidol – Hiding Caches and Hydro-power

Easter Saturday dawned clear and bright. It was still cold but at least the wind had eased. I felt a little better than I had yesterday so we decided that a family day out was in order.

We wanted to hide a geocache in Cwm Rheidol so we prepared some boxes, log books and cache notes and headed out. The chosen location for our new geocache was a viewpoint set up as a memorial to Nancy Kirk. Nancy Kirk was a geologist at Aberystwyth University that Anna and I worked alongside whilst researching for our theses…. Theses? Is that right, is that the plural of thesis? I think it has to be.

Anyway, she was quite a character and must have been getting on for 90 years of age while we were there. There were always plenty of stories about her love of naked gardening and the challenges she faced as a pioneer of geological sciences as a female in a male dominated field.

We always got on well with her, even if she did always call me ‘custard’, so we thought it would be fitting to hide a geocache at the viewpoint erected in her memory after she died in 2005.

The Nancy Kirk memorial viewpoint is at the top of the Pant Da Woodland Nature Reserve in Cwm Rheidol. The walk to the top follows a steep zigzag path through the woodland passing a number of information points about the trees around you. Sessile Oak, Wild Cherry, Silver Birch, Larch, Rowan and Beech. It was fairly quiet in the woods today and still very wintry with snow on the tops of the hills surrounding the valley and no sign of much in the way of Spring. The Rheidol Valley Steam train could be seen and heard puffing and tooting it’s way along the hill on the opposite side of the valley and we soon found ourselves at the top.

We hid the cache, stopped off for a look at the view and a little rest, then made our way back down along a different path completing a nice half hour circular walk. The cache has yet to be approved but it should prove to be a good one once it is live.

We then headed off further along the Rheidol to re-find the other geocaches in the valley. Morgan and I had done all of these before but had been unable to find one of them. They all have numbers in them that are needed in order to find a final bonus cache but we had lost the numbers so had to re-find them all. It was nice for Anna to do them anyway as they visit a couple of nice little bridges, a fish ladder, hydro-electric power station, some filter beds and a nice set of waterfalls near the mines. We even managed to find the one that eluded us before.

We stopped off at the power station visitor centre for a nice little lunch and to take in some of the displays, and then we stopped at a friends house just down the road for another cuppa. Bill joined us for a stroll along the river towards one of the caches, although this is inaccessible at the moment due to some bank slippage along the river.

The final bonus cache was exactly where we expected it to be. We won’t give it away here but it was in a spot that had some significance for Anna and I as we used to go there when we first met.

We were all fairly tired by now, I still wasn’t feeling great and had now decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to race tomorrow so we stopped off in Morrisons on the way home to buy some more ingredients for baking and some nice fruit and veg… Well, if I’m not racing I can let my ‘athletes’ diet slip for a week or so and enjoy myself! So once home it was time for dinner and then some more baking. Today’s experiment were ‘snickerdoodles’ which went down really well, along with the leftovers from the shortbread I baked yesterday.

A nice day out though and hopefully the fresh air will help Morgan sleep tonight so that the Easter Bunny can pay us a visit.

4 Responses

  1. mum says:

    Sounds (and looks) like a lovely family day out.What us snickerdoodles?

  2. Alan says:

    Snickerdoodles – Google is your friend!! 🙂

    “The history of this whimsically named treat is widely disputed, but the popularity of this classic cinnamon-sugar-coated cookie is undeniable!”

    and from Wikipedia:

    “A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour rolled in cinnamon sugar. Snickerdoodles are characterized by a cracked surface and can be crisp or soft depending on preference.”

    “The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln (“snail noodles”), a kind of pastry. It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.”

    Does that help???


  3. mum says:

    Do they taste nice? That’s the important thing,although I must admit I thought you had made the name up.

    • Alan says:

      Yep, they were surprisingly more-ish. They didn’t look or seem that exciting while I was making them but once you popped them into your mouth they were yummier than they looked.

      Earl Grey Tea Cake is on the list today – The fruit has been soaking in tea overnight. I’ve got to bake a couple of the Lemon, Lime and Poppy Seed cakes as well ready to take to a BBQ at Dennis’s tomorrow.


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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