Tag Archives: Aberystwyth

Ysbyty Ystwyth to the Devils Bridge

Views From The Dashcam Episode 2

Activity to help alleviate isolation, mental health and loneliness during the 2020 Coronavirus 19 Global Pandemic Lockdowns.

We present another amazing immersive experience! Join us for a spectacular journey into Sound And Vision as we bring you

‘Views From The Dashcam’

“This episode filmed on a late sunny October afternoon, highlighting the autumn colours as Spon and Jon take a drive to Devil’s Bridge for some shamanic shenanigans. This trip reveals the spectacular wooded Cambrian Mountain countryside in Ceredigion, Wales. Although this area is often cold an wet in the winter, palm tress can be spotted amidst the almost alpine scenery. Devils Bridge, Pontarfynach”

On a bright sunny autumn  day back in early October my good friend Jon and I headed out to the mountains around Devils Bridge in Ceredigeon in West Wales. We were looking to travel from our base to the heights above Devils Bridge at the Hafon Arch 1300 foot 375 metres above Sea Level. By Himalayan standards it’s not that high but for this part of the world close to the Sea and at this latitude , that is pretty high. It is the point where the moorland starts. Beyond this area know as Cymystwyth/ Hafon is the “Wilderness” or “Green Desert” of Wales. This is an enormous swathe of unpopulated barren moorland that stretches for tens of miles and it is commonly known as the Cambrian mountains.


 

The Mountain walks and scenery above Hafon Arch
On the edge of the “Green Desert Of Wales”

There is a minor road an old pack horse route leading through to Rhayader on the other side and then some miles to the north is the main road , the A44 leading from Aberystwyth to Llangurig again on the other side of the mountain range.

We decided that day to visit the area above the Hafon Arch with it’s stunning views and pleasant mountain walkways (and mountain biking tracks) One could set off from here on your nike or by foot and get lost for days! This is nothing on the scale of the ‘wild west’ or Canadian outback but for the southern UK this is one of the remotest areas in England and Wales. Not as busy as Snowdonia but this are in many ways has plenty of scope for discovery and adventure.

Looking south east towards the Cambrian Mountains

It would be good to mention at this point that our mission would include some autumnal foraging and that part of the ‘shamanic’ mission was moderately successful and we had an enjoyable walk . Anyway back to Devils Bridge, one and a half miles downhill from the Arch, the chocolate shop was closed! Ah well

We lit the massive cheech and chong and we forgoes the munchies, the only food available was those white things dotted about in the fields everywhere round here but they were still alive. Or kind off, whether or not there is anything going on behind those wide eyes and non stop munching is hard to know. One thing for sure, there are more Sheep around here than people.

At the time of writing England is once more in lockdown. Earlier this year we invested in a modest 4k webcam for the car and I put in a 64 gig chip. It continuously records but wipes the earliest recordings with the latest. At any one point there are several hours or even days of motoring trips. This year I have driven a lot around beautiful Wales. It struck me that the video footage may be worth watching. So I downloaded everything after our first trip around Llyn Brianne and was gobsmacked at stuff I had missed because I had my eyes more on the dodgy mountain roads than admiring the scenery.

I had been building up a new PC music system and fitting up my Studio and was sifting through some of the work I had been doing under Lockdown and just prior to it, when I hit upon the idea of placing my sounds onto the video footage.

I run music production software called Cubase and this not only allows me to create and record music but it will also play back a video file in sync whilst piecing together the music for it

This I found truly inspiring. Not only was I able to relive those lovely journeys in the autumn colours but composing music became an almost magical shall I dare say a spiritual process?

Devils Bridge



Devils Bridge pic
By Alex Liivet, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5614794

Devils Bridge or to give it it’s correct Cymru name “Pontarfynach” without looking into it “Pont” I think means “Bridge” (ie pontoon)  “arf” I am unclear of “y” I think means “The” and “nach” hmm I think this means “Small” Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong So The Small Bridge ?? (I have just read that it actually means the bridge over the river Mynach)

The word Mynach is Welsh for monk; one theory is that the river got its name from the fact that it was near land owned by a monastery. Wikipedia


Watch the video. Please turn up your volume first

Anyway the story oft told is that “

“According to legend, the original bridge was built after an old woman lost her cow and saw it grazing on the other side of the river. The Devil appeared and agreed to build a bridge in return for the soul of the first living thing to cross it. When the bridge was finished, the old woman threw a crust of bread over the river, which her dog crossed the bridge to retrieve, thus becoming the first living thing to cross it. The devil was left with only the soul of the dog.” Wikipedia

 

You wouldn’t know it from driving across the bridge that actually there are three bridges each built on top of the other one. It is said that the Romans built the first bridge nearly 2000 years ago which was rebuilt in Medieval times. What we know for sure was that the first bridge was built in Medieval times then built over on two separate occasions each time the newer bridge was built over the older bridge. The latest bridge an iron bridge was built in 1901 and then refurbished in 1971. The bridge spans a deep gorge with a waterfall running through it down to the Rheidol Valley (Cym Rheidol) 230 metres below. Many tourists visit this spot and apparently there is an Annual Welsh car rally that drives through it.

The Hafon Arms Hotel

As written on the Youtube video….

“But why just admire the view when we can add music? Set up your audio speakers and playback loud on a good quality sound system for maximum effect and enjoy the ten minute journey accompanied by “Port Sian” a stunning new track written by Steve Spon for Nostramus. Share this exhilarating experience from your armchair as we take the high roads of Wales. We hope you enjoy the ride! Please click “Like” and “Subscribe” to our Channel below. Also please support us at our Patreon Channel, coming soon! “

Eighteenth century view of Devils Bridge. Wikepedia commons

Please check out our sister sites

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Finally please check out our playlist which includes further dashcam roadtrips with more music from Nostramus