In chapter ten of of Dragoncharm, a dragon called Cumber is tasked with finding a waterfall hidden within a labyrinthine cave system. Seeing as there’s no water around, this seems like an impossible task, until he realises the falls he’s searching for aren’t made of water at all. They’re made of stone.
Here’s how I described the stone waterfall:
“What Cumber saw in the magical glow of the lightcharm which floated behind his head was a towering edifice of limestone, a mass of sculptured deposits moulded into tubes and globes and long, running channels which shone with creamy translucency. Here was a memory of water, its ancient passage, a column of lime more beautiful than anything Cumber had ever seen. A waterfall made of stone.”
Here’s what I was thinking about when I wrote it (picture by Chloe Edwards) …
… and here’s the gorge beneath which this remarkable natural structure lies:
The place in question is Cheddar Caves, probably the UK’s most famous publicly accessible cave system. I first visited Cheddar as a child during a family holiday. Going underground to view the incredible rock formations was a magical experience, one that clearly influenced some of the settings I conjured for my dragon characters many years later.
I visited Cheddar Caves again more recently on another family holiday, this time as dad. They were smaller than I remembered (isn’t that always the way?) but just as beautiful. And the limestone waterfall that stuck so firmly in my imagination? It’s still flowing, and will continue to do so long after you and I have flown from this world.
In part 4 of this occasional series, I’ll take you far across the ocean to a distant continent that was once struck by a falling star. Now where in the world could that be …?