This is the first post in a series in which I will take you on my Journey to becoming a Natural Builder. And for this episode You will explore a place that really captured my Imagination. A place where for the first time in my life, I was seeing buildings I had only ever seen on a computer screen or in a book before. This place really fuelled my fire and inspired me to go in search for more, I told myself if they can do it, then so can I.
The only way I Can really describe how I felt when I first went there, Is like walking into a real life fairy tale. everything about this place was magical from the location to the buildings and the extreme sense of Natures presence.
Cae Mabon is an Eco retreat centre nestles at the foot of Elidir Fawr in an oak forest clearing by a little river that cascades down to the nearby Llanberis lake. With the summit of Snodon Moutain just five Miles to the Southwest.
The Above picture is taken from inside the communal Building, a renovated barn containing a fully equipped kitchen and a spacious eating and meeting room. And what you can see on the outside is the Glorious Cob cottage but we will come to that in more detail later.
Running Down the side of the eco settelment is a majestic River, water hurteling down at such pace and power, the sound of the water cascading down can be heard all around Cae Mabon. It was such a soothing sound almost like it was massaging my brain. Just Beyond the river you can see a few beautiful earthy building perfectly blending into their surroundings and the smoke emanating from the wood fired Hot Tub.
This sublime wood carving of a Nature Goddess looks directly from across the river gazing and keeping Cae Mabon safe.
Directly behind where I took The last picture the River cascades down for another hundred mitres or so into the Llanberis lake, which we will go and have a look at later.
Another Angle with more of the river, cascading with so much power.
The centre of the Eco Settlement and the location of the iconic Thatched Celtic Roundhouse With a fire in its hearth and smoke rising from the thatch it’s been the home of many convivial evenings of song, story and chat. Infact Cae Mabon has people come from all over Britain and the world for Events include song, dance and storytelling workshops; healing and therapeutic groups; yoga, meditation and green spirituality retreats; Celtic landscape and mythology tours; school groups and youth environmental camps (including ‘rites of passage’ events for young people); corporate intensives on creativity and communication; mini eco-festivals. People come to learn about natural building, for seasonal celebrations and for weddings. Every year there are open weeks (for those who simply want to experience the place) and the ever-popular April and October working parties.
Beautifully placed slate, a typical resource in north Wales and having them standing on edge just gives a great sense of connection with the ancestors, who also used to stand stones on these British isles many thousands of years ago.
Behind this the absolutely sublime Cob cottage, this building was constructred by famous eco builders named Ianto Evans and Lina Smiley and a group of volunteers over a few weeks, A hand sculpted house. It has a very intersting feature inside called a Rocket Mass Heater.
This is my personal favorite and the one I have spent the most nights in, The Log lodge a Navajo Hogan design, octagonal cedar logs notched together, it has the feel of the forest with its arms around you when you are inside.
The redwood Chalet, built using the cordwood technique with the logs on edge.
The Hobbit Hut, Yes a real life Hobbit house and yes you can't help but feeling that you are actually in lord of the rings in some corner of the Shire.
Looking further up the hill on the right the river and the left another Timber Cabin, in total Cae Mabon can host up to 30 people.
The cherry on the cake, a wood fired hot tub right on the edge of the river. I just love the smile on Eric's face as his stirs his tub, this is the Gentlemen who own this amazing place and has spent years making it all happen.
Plenty of logs to keep the tub warming up :)
Mesmerizing winter shot of the branches devoid of leafs reaching out for the light
Just a short walk down the hill from Cae Mabon you will find the Llanberis lake and stunning views of mount Snowdon covered in snow.
I was lucky enough to revisit this wonderful place several times and I managed to get the same shot of the mountains without snow.
No tour of Cae Mabon would be complete without a night around the fire in the Celtic round house, sitting in there is almost like sinking into a deep, older, ancient and more primal part of yourself. Drumming, singing and telling stories and much much more.
The element that connects it all, Fire!!!
It was at this Point sitting in the roundhouse with my friends that I came to a very important realisation that would mould and shape my future decisions, And that was the importance of Community, something that was really lacking in my day to day life, a sense of connection and belonging that I had found in this magical place.
The emotions and feelings from discovering this place will stay with me forever, and my newly acquired experience will lead me on to a path that I still follow till this day.
Thanks for reading this episode of Natural Builders Journey. If you enjoyed it please feel free to vote, resteem and leave a comment. I would really love to hear what you think.
And if you liked this episode don't forget to follow me for more adventures coming soon