When staying at Cae Mabon it is likely you’ll be sharing your dwelling with others. On some groups you may be sharing with friends or family. Other times you may be with people you don’t yet know. In those circumstances we usually recommend single sex groupings.
You’ll need to bring your own bedding. The simplest and most practical option is to use a sleeping bag. Our beds have clean top sheets, currently laundered on a rotational basis. If you bring a duvet instead of a sleeping bag you may wish to bring a top sheet as well. Similarly pillowcases are regularly washed but you may wish to bring a pillowcase as well, whether you come with a sleeping bag or a duvet. You’ll also need a towel.
If you are travelling by public transport or unable to supply your own bedding, a bedding bundle (including a duvet and cover, under sheet, pillowcase and towel) can be pre-hired from Cae Mabon for £10.
Heating Your Room
Each dwelling is equipped with a gas (in two cases electric) heater so can be kept warm. We do ask you to practice moderation in the use of these heaters, as the gas is expensive and awkward to bring onsite. Turn them on for about 15 minutes before you go to bed and your room will be toasty. Usually one or two bars are enough.
Lighting Your Way
Although we have solar powered lighting in the dwellings and some solar lamps around the site you will definitely need to bring a torch, one per person. A torch is essential! Be sure you have a good battery or, perhaps even better, bring a wind up one.
What to Wear
Contrary to popular opinion it doesn’t always rain in Wales. Sometimes we have lovely weather when it’s raining in London – ok, not that often. But of course the weather can be inclement, and being close to the mountains, changeable. So bring outdoor clothes, raingear and sensible footwear. This is not the place for high heels even in high summer.
The Cae Mabon hot tub is a great place to relax and chat. Set by the stream (a perfect dipping pool when you’re heated to the bone) it can take up to five adults at a time. Some people are happy to soak unclad; others prefer swimwear. There are no rules; it’s up to individual preference. Bring a swimming costume if you think you’ll want one. In the summer many love to swim in the lake too. Again skinny-dipping is an option provided there are no public spectators, which there usually aren’t.
Toiletries to Bring
We provide biodegradable soap in the washroom but we do ask you to bring eco-friendly shampoo and other toiletries. Grey water from the shower and washroom, after going through a soakaway, makes its way back into the river so this is very important.
A Word about Water
The water we use at Cae Mabon comes from Afon Fachwen, the Little White River. So it is fresh mountain water that has been oxygenated by tumbling and cascading through falls and pools for several hundred metres above Cae Mabon. We collect it from the river through a stainless steel gravel filter and pass it through a particulate filter into a holding tank. From there it goes to the main house and through a UV filter which destroys any bacteria there may be. From the house it goes down the hill then divides into two. One pipe goes to the Washroom, the other to the Kitchen. Just before coming out of the Kitchen tap the water goes through a second UV filter, a kind of belt and braces approach if you like. Water from the kitchen tap is the most reliable drinking water. Periodically we also lightly chlorinate the entire system to deal with any potential build up of organic matter in the pipes.
Seasonal variation in flow and temperatures can impact on water quality. To be sure the water is safe to drink we have it tested by Environmental Health two or three times a year. If there are any additional considerations about the water you will be informed of them at the beginning of your stay.
Cae Mabon is located on a hillside with sloping paths, steps and terraces and very few flat places. We’ve never been in receipt of grants or funding so unfortunately disabled access is very difficult. A determined few have made it down with wheelchairs but they are either extremely fit or have a support team of at least two to help them around. We apologise to those for whom this makes a visit to Cae Mabon impossible. Regrettably the terrain is against us on this one.
Blending and Being
At Cae Mabon we seek to harmonise with Nature as much as possible and keep our ecological footprint low. We invite your cooperation on this matter. So it’s worth thinking about such things as:
• car sharing on your journey here, or coming to Bangor by train;
• travelling light: you probably won’t need as much ‘stuff’ as you normally do;
• minimising the packaging on any consumable items to reduce the waste disposal effort;
• allowing the place itself (and the other people) to inspire and entertain you rather than portable devices and large amounts of alcohol.
As a 17-year-old lad once said: ‘Being here, it’s like being high on nothing!’ Try it. It works!