Of Mountains and Canvas, of Baker Tents and the Welsh Robin Hood

Of Mountains and Canvas, of Baker Tents and the Welsh Robin Hood


The Yurt Cover mountain range

Been staring at mountains of canvas for some time now….


Yurt wall ridge

…which decided us it is time to go to the mountains in canvas. As you may know we currently live in Wales which happens to be very Wild and beautiful, especially around here.

On a Canvas delivery last week we were told about the Welsh Robin Hood – Twm Sion Cati so we decided we are going to start exploring at Dinas Hill.


Dinas Hill

His magical cave just happens to be just south of my favourite spot the Llyn brianne reservoir, and we quickly scaled the hill to the cave, and amazingly we found our names on the wall of fame: it is a Welsh secret that anyone who carves their name in that cave becomes…….. (not going yo tell you if you don’t know it already or it would not be a secret).


The Cave wall of fame

It  reminded me later on, when came to a waterfall, of the Journey to the Heart of the World by Ian Baker where he goes to seek the illusive mythical waterfall, but to get to it he has to follow a set of directives. The Tibetans believe that the landscape is the body of a goddess and her secret spots are “Beyuls“: (spots that are gateways, some are described like Paradise, some are places in other worlds), but in order to get to the waterfall he had first to go and visit the mountain top, and that also could not be done directly.

So circling around Dinas Hill made think about all that, the Body of the Welsh Goddess and her Wild spots. I am a great advocate of the power of the wild, in fact I secretly hope that religion will revert back to the days before gods, when mountains and valleys are where the powers are, powers before they solidified into personifications as mountain gods and goddesses – of rain and thunder) when naturalism was pure and power was pure and nature was pure……. ok enough, breath.




At the top of Devil’s Staircase


At the bottom of Devil’s Staircase

We went through forests and up and down the hills looking for a spot to pitch up that night and and ended up going of the road on one of the most off-road routes in wales: the Strata Florida 4×4 track.

This to me is the best part of Wales, where wild oaks and rough mountains come together, “where wild horses are in the face of the battle”


Wild Horses with face for a battle

It was getting dark, and we realised that our cute little 4×4 just defeated the most 4×4 worthy track and that in fact we don’t feel much for green laning, when with a sigh when we hit the the tarmac again and stopped bouncing. Why people call this fun defeats me with all the burning clutch smell, and fearing for the vehicle anatomy, like worrying about shock absorber bushes etc, , you know that picture of fording a river with your Defender, I mean seriously ?


Baker Tent

So anyhow… we took back to the lake, and,almost dark we quickly pitched up the tent, (the Land Rover Campfire Tent without the Land Rover) and went wooding in the dark and the rain, like good gypsies do.


Baker tent (campfire tent) by the lake


Fire Lit


Gypsy tipping tea

That night was lovely: the wildness of the place and darkness poured colour into my dreams and I felt energised sleeping there by the power of the wilds which was enhanced by fasting the whole day, and walking (and some intense 4x4ing) the Welsh Goddess.


Morning Coffee Yoffi

We woke up early to an amazing misty morning, with canvas banging in the rain and the wind, and our hearts feeing wild. It was like a scene from one of Bill Mason’s documentaries, and a grand victory for the Baker tent, which has proved itself the real tent of the wild. We were recently involved in a heated debate (ok actually it was only me that got heated) about the ups and downs of this fabulous open fire tent.

So no more Debate.


When Symbols Come to Life


Winter Butterfly, a symbol coming to life

Waking up today to a blanket of snow was nice: it was hard to get out of bed, but a little flutter reminded me it is time. It just so happened that it was a winter butterfly, reminding me I need to make yet another pair of  felt boots, the nicest ones yet.

As they are to be a surprise to an illustrative breeze, you can’t have a look at them yet, but that butterfly sure reminded me of her, this is why –


The summer butterfly

Last summer saw the breeze and I in Cornish Tipi Holidays where she Illustrated to her heart’s desires (and beyond some of the heart desires).

So after a little bout with our 4×4 down to thepost office, I decided that seeing it was that kind of day, it is time to insulate Thor the 4×4 truck, which is now being turned over to our overland camper. To keep us warm in the flutter of symbolic (and real) wings.

So with the help of my sabre tooth tiger saw I quickly lay the panels in between the chassis runners.


The Sabre tooth tiger of Spirits Intent


chalk lines


New Thaw by Thor panels quickly laid to rest

Yellow is the colour…


When the rain stops

When the Goddess of the rain turns her head away for a moment, we quietly (well usually not so quietly) start cleaning, preparing and taping the truck for spraying.

If we are really in her favour, we can yellow (golden, not daffodil or banana) a bit, before the next drops fall from the sky.

Only tightrope walkers spray paint vehicles outside, and only the blind ones do it in Wales.