If you go down to the falls today, be sure you don’t go alone! Sort of Teddy Bear’s Picnic ring to that sentence, but jolly good advice to anyone thinking of visiting waterfalls that might have even the slightest element of risk involved during the visit. I’ve just had a most uncomfortable second night following a tumble during which I managed to break a rib, but it could have been far worse and could also have been on my own.
The day started off pleasantly enough, we had gone to Brecon to visit friends of my brother and his wife, the friends live out in the country in a Regency house on a large plot bordering a river. After an excellent lunch prepared by our hosts, sitting outside in the sun with the sound of the river running by, it was to be expected that I would wander off with my camera and spent an hour or so roaming up and down the river bank looking for suitable compositions and I was reasonably happy with a few that I had in my camera. Later, the rain came, heavy rain, this was to be significant an hour or so later, but in the meantime we retired to the inside and enjoyed the company of our hosts. When the time came to leave we returned via Brecon town to fill up with petrol and to fulfil a plan which had come to my mind an hour or so earlier.
Some months ago someone on flickr had posted a photo of a waterfall which was unknown to my circle of waterfall photographer friends. A quick check showed the falls had relatively easy access, only a short stroll from a parking space which makes a change, usually it’s a very long hike to get to a decent fall, so it was this location which I had decided to check out on our way home. With my brother reading the map we soon came to the spot to park the car and got out to survey the scene, I could hear the falls but it had started to rain again and with no coat almost decided not to do it, but my brother thought we should, if we got wet it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship to drive home a little damp.
Hunter wellingtons on my feet, hoodie on my top half, camera bag on shoulder, and tripod under the arm we set off down the path to investigate. There was a rough path down, it was quite steep but there were footholds and branches for support and I didn’t hesitate to use this route, I’ve used far worse over the years. You know what happens next of course? With the recent heavy rain it was really quite slippery and I missed a foothold and went down heavily and then rolled bashing my knee, leg and chest on the way, a large tree preventing any further downward travel, not that there was much farther to roll anyway. My brother missed witnessing this incident, he had gone to find an easier way to get down and discovered me hopping round in circles clutching my chest. Anyway, not sure how I managed it, but I did take a few photos. There was a lower tier to the waterfall but my brother wouldn’t let me climb down; I’d had the stuffing knocked out me by that time anyway so put up little resistance. No doubt my photographer friends will attempt that one, for a while I think I’ll sit-out any physically adventurous photoshoots!