Disconnecting & CAMPING under the stars at Nantcol Waterfall, WALES!

When we say “Disconnecting” we kind of also mean connecting too, but most importantly we had a weekend away from WIFI, 3G and mobile signal, we disconnected ourselves from the grid of constant connectivity which, although it can be great, seems to have become a symptom of modern life.

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Constantly staring at one screen or another, information overload and a never ending stream of updates. When we arrived at this picturesque mid-Wales campsite only to look down at our useless iphones we realised how much we rely on them… Once the initial “Shock” had worn off and we felt so much more connected to the amazing countryside that surrounded us. Sometimes we all need a technology detox!

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This camping trip was a total spare of the moment type thing and sometimes those spontaneous trips are the best. No over planning or heavy expectations, just pure exploration and experience.

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In fact we didn’t even know which part of Wales we were heading too when we set off. We got a call off some friends to spend a weekend in Wales… packed out bags in haste and we were off! Good job we have done this before!

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After a road trip which took at least twice the amount of time it should have taken due to several unplanned stops… we finally arrived. Sometimes we love journeys which take a little longer than planned, when you feel like there is no rush and you can stop to take in your surroundings or sit back and listen to music with your friends whilst passing though some amazing landscape. It’s these moments when you realise life in it’s most simple form is the most amazing.

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Upon our arrival the first task was to set up camp! Fortunately modern tents are not quite the challenge they once were and as seasoned campers and festival goers we were sat on our stools sipping rosé by the river in no time!

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We headed out to explore the rugged Rhinog Mountain range in which we now found ourselves. Scrambling over the wet and slippy rocks of the Nantcol waterfall and up it’s sheer cliff edge for a dramatic view down the ravine!!

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It felt great to wander and explore this beautiful area and really clear our minds at the same time. Sometimes we get an adrenaline rush to feel alive but other times just escaping the claustrophobia of modern life is all we need!

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One of the cool features of the Rhaeadr Nantcol campsite is that the roaring waterfall becomes a sleepy river which forks off and cuts the site up into a series of small islands to explore! And explore we did!

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One of the most entertaining moments was the tree swing which dangled invitingly over the icy river! We dared each other to give it a go…disappointingly no one fell in!!

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Later on we also found an amazingly little spot to set up a slackline as the BBQ and campfire began to roar and the sun set over the mountains.

Wales, Camping, Nantcol, waterfall, nature, stars, galaxy, exploring, natural, digital detox, reconnecting, live every day, UK, Snowdonia, Welsh, adventure, travel

Wales, Camping, Nantcol, waterfall, nature, stars, galaxy, exploring, natural, digital detox, reconnecting, live every day, UK, Snowdonia, Welsh, adventure, travel

The evening was spent again taking in the simple pleasures of wine, good company, a (veggie) BBQ and games around the campfire! Without the use of our mobile phones, of the internet and inundations of texts and notifications we ironically felt much more connected to each other and also our surroundings.

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That night was also one of the clearest we have ever experienced. In previous years we had marvelled at the starry sky from our back yard at home but out here, by the soothing tones of the river, the sky was a masterpiece of galaxies, stars and wonder. The detail blew us all away, we stared up at the sky for hours, feeling so small and yet part of something so huge.

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The morning after we were rocked by the news of the sudden and tragic passing of a good friend that me, Shorty and Lee (who we had gone with) grew up with. The details of his passing something that will live with all of those who knew him for the rest of our lives and even as I write this, almost a month since the day, I can feel that lump developing in my throat once again.

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At his funeral a couple of weeks later one of the things that struck me was the saying ‘the star that burns the brightest usually burns the shortest’ and our mind collectively looked back on that starry night in Wales with new emotion and significance.

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That morning despite the sadness that had drifted in we also had even more determination to live life to the fullest, to enjoy each moment and cherish the time we are given. To take care of each other, to listen and also to be honest.

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That morning we decided to spend the day exploring a beautiful abandoned quarry over the coastal inlet just above the tiny village of Fairbourne. Seize the day… and that we did. Setting up an amazing and picturesque abseil down into the bottom of this quarry and its blue lagoon below. (Read all about it here: Abseiling into the Blue Lagoon!)

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Where is the Nantcol Campsite:

The full address is Nantcol Waterfalls Caravan & Camping Park Cefn Uchaf, Llanbedr Gwynedd, Wales LL45 2PL.

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The nearest main town is Barmouth which can be reached easily via the railway from larger towns and cities such a Birmingham and Shrewsbury as well as providing local links to other coastal towns.

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How much does it cost to stay:

Adults:
£8.00 (£9.00 **)per night
** From 24th May to 31st August 2014 Children (4 to 16 yrs old):
£4.00 per night

Dogs:
£1.00 per night

16amp Electrical Hook up:
£4.00 per night

Shower Cards (5 Min. hot shower):
£0.50

Bag of Logs:
£4.00

Wales, Camping, Nantcol, waterfall, nature, stars, galaxy, exploring, natural, digital detox, reconnecting, live every day, UK, Snowdonia, Welsh, adventure, travel

So, a weekend of spontaneity and reflection, of highs and lows both figuratively, mentally and physically. A weekend of disconnecting ourselves to connect to another and one in which we really learnt the value of living everyday to it’s fullest and taking opportunities when they come your way. Another great weekend in a country we really have fallen in love with – amazing and adventurous Wales!

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Have you ever had to take a break from technology and just simplify your life for a weekend?

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.