Penfro

Penfro-simple-cover

Penfro is the Welsh name for Pembrokeshire. This album was recorded in the South West part of this county between St. David’s Head and Porthgain. It’s a wonderful stretch of coast with exposed high cliffs and sea caves and wonderful views of the setting sun. The recordings were made in the first week of July 2011.

We begin on Abereiddy Beach. It’s a warm day and the sea has a deep blue colour. The large waves are crashing onto a pebble shore with a loud roar. Each wave is different and creates a different pattern of foam as it returns to the sea, swallowed by another wave just approaching the shore.

We return to Pwll Caerog camp-site. We observe sparrows flying in and out of the barn. We can hear seagulls and crows and the occasional call of a pheasant. We enter the barn sheltered from all the other sounds and all we can hear is chirping sparrows nesting inside. Their voice amplified by the large empty space of the building slowly fades into the background as we leave the barn and walk back out into the field. A plane flies passed, leaving a long white ribbon-like trail on a blue sky.

Our next location is the beautiful sandy Traeth-Llyfn beach located at the bottom of a cliff. Peregrine falcons are nesting on the edge of the cliffs and we can observe them flying franticly above our heads, high in the air. Waves gently roll onto a beach and in the distance we see one of many small, rocky islands above which silhouettes of birds are circling. The sun slowly lowers itself to eventually hide in the blue waters of the Atlantic.

We’re on a top of a cliff. Golden wheat fields and wild flower meadows, scorching sun and blue sea stretching to the horizon surround us from all sides. Views for the coastal path are breathtaking. Gentle breeze cools you a little as you stand on the edge of the cliff looking at the hypnotic depths where waves gently crash on the rocky shores creating splashes of white foams. As you watch them you notice a seal popping its head out of the water. It seems so tiny seen from such enormous height but even from such a distance you can make out its human like face.

As you walk further along the cliff, passing big dark sea caves, you arrive to lower cliffs and a little bay were you can see a big group of seals gracefully swimming in the water and a few pregnant ones protecting their basking rocks from intruders. You can hear them grunt as they chase away other seals attempting to climb the rocks. Every so often one of the playfully swimming seals stretches its head and howls like a wolf. Here the cliff is low so you can also hear the sounds of waves splashing against the rocks. Seals seem so content and happy in the cool waters of the ocean. An environment highly contrasted to dry, hot, exposed cliffs from which we watch them. The only relief from the heat in here are cool gusts of wind blowing across the cliff top.

We come back to Traeth-Llyfn to watch the incoming tide. It’s an afternoon and the sun is still high. The dry sand feels hot to touch and so do the exposed rocks. Many little pools are formed between them which provide shelter for trapped sea creatures such as crabs. We walk onto the wet sand, which provides refreshing coolness. Gentle waves of the tide, like tentacles of a monster, are reaching further into the beach embracing the stones in an attempt to reclaim them. The sea seems slow and soft but it moves inland surprisingly fast and soon the rocks we were looking at become completely surrounded by water to become completely engulfed in it.

Another morning at Pwll Caerog welcomes us with fast moving white clouds gliding across the blue sky. The pleasant smell of hot meadows reaches our nostrils with the recognisable scent of wild camomile. Many little birds are chirping joyfully in the fields and a distant sound of waves reaches our ears. It’s a very relaxed and lazy morning. The sun isn’t too strong yet and a cold wind still brings some chill. A plane moves slowly across the sky and we hear a pheasant somewhere in the grass.

We end our journey back on the Abereiddy beach staring into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Images of tall cliffs, caves and seals still fresh in our memories dissolve slowly into the blue waves. The setting sun illuminates the sky in an array of colours which fade to the darkness of the night with its twinkling stars and the beam of a distant lighthouse running across the landscape.

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  1. Pingback: Seal Song | Glen Faramach

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