A short, steep onward climb from the mightily impressive Rhiw Afon cairn brings me to the 'White Cairn', although, to be fair, 'Grey Cairn' would arguably have been more appropriate. Sadly the monument has been well and truly trashed, any lingering remnant of internal detail now lost for ever through the superimposition of a parasitic dry stone shelter. Whether my assumption that the latter was probably erected for the benefit of sheep - those of the Ovis genus, that is, and not ill-equipped walking muppets - makes it any more palatable is perhaps a moot point. The damage has been done, regardless.
Nevertheless enough remains to encourage the visitor to focus upon the positives, to look on the bright side in true Eric Idlian style. Yeah, according to Coflein the monument is:
"A disturbed, grass-covered, stone cairn, which is still a prominent landscape feature, partly due to the use of the cairn material to build a solid stone shelter... Nevertheless the essential form of the cairn is still easily understood being a stone cairn 14m in diameter and a little over 0.5m high [J.J. Hall, Trysor, 8/9/09]."
Mutilation, hey, desecration notwithstanding, the monument is still a substantial stone pile affording a superb view looking south toward the Graig Goch Reservoir and the (relative to these parts) high peaks of Cwmdeuddwr. Not that the cairn's founders would have recognised it, of course! The primary focus here is upon the sky, an impressive cloudscape providing welcome definition to what is all too often a featureless, opaque, grey mass of vapour. But not today. No, today I feel an overwhelming sense of 'space', - of place - of being but a small component of a very large 'whole' indeed. Hey, an infinitely large cosmos! The Great Outdoors, to coin a phrase.
As I sit and ponder a-while the eyes are inevitably drawn to the approx north-west where another, seemingly minor cairn stands some distance away across rough.... very rough... grassland. Checking the map I reckon this must be Carn Nant-y-ffald.... (you don't say Sherlock?) and, since the 'burial chamber' mentioned by the farmer at Pen-yr-Ochr has yet to manifest itself, I guess it must be there. No rest for the inquisitive, then.